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A volunteer organization dedicated to the conservation of family fellowships and traditions

The Zahniser Family has a long and notable history since our arrival in America more than two and a half centuries ago. We are all descendants of one German boy who, with his mother, arrived in America in 1753.  This boy went on to make some noteworthy contributions to the early history of his adopted country. He eventually became the patriarch of an extensive German American family with deep roots in western Pennsylvania that has since multiplied many times over to stretch across the globe.

The Family has a tradition of dedication to preserving our collective story, encouraging family fellowship, and promoting both to all who are interested. This family tradition began with oral recitation, was complimented with records kept in the family Bible brought from Germany, chronicled in personal collections, and eventually amassed and published as a family history entitled “The Zahnisers” in 1906. It has been augmented with annual Family Reunions since 1875 as well as additional publications of, and supplements to, the family history.  Between 1999 and 2008 a digital conversion was undertaken to combine existing publications and add updates including fresh information that was available at the time.

The Zahnisers: A history of the family in America - Digital Red Book edition

The Zahniser Foundation was eventually established in 1949 as an organization to continue the rich custom of preserving and perpetuating these family traditions. This website is the Foundation’s most recent endeavor to gather the wealth of information that exists, curate the essence of our collective history, and pass it along to all those who want to know more. 

Make an impact that lives forever.
Send treasures to the Zahniser Foundation!

Send genealogy information to

  • Even with our big database, there are many missing family members.  We'd like to fill in the gaps.  If you can add information about your ancestors, cousins and / or family, please send the information to us.

  • Obituaries are an important part of the family records. They often show detail not provided in the "family tree" records; and they open a door to further research.

Send digital material to

  • The Zahniser Foundation can now store, index and display photos, videos, audios, articles, etc. of historical interest. Cloud storage for file transfers is available on request.

Apply to volunteer at the Zahniser Foundation!
Zahniser Family Tree Roots

Join the Family History Committee!


Zahniser Website Team

Join the Website Committee!


Zahniser Communication Committee

Join the Communication Committee!


Zahniser Monument Obelisk

Join the Cemetery Committee!


Zahniser Reunion circa 2007

Join the Reunion Committee!


The Old Zahniser Homestead (reproduced)

Donate to the Zahniser Foundation!


Zahniser Family
149th Annual Reunion

Saturday, Aug 3rd, 2024

Start: 11 AM    Food: Noon    Close: ~3:30


Coolspring Presbyterian Church

787 Coolspring Church Rd

Mercer, PA 16137

Register Now


Coolspring Presby Church v01_edited.jpg

For 2025, we will be hosting the 150th Annual Reunion! This is a big one, and we need all the help we can get. 

If you are interested in volunteering or have any suggestions, please contact us at 

In an effort to encourage greater participation by family members in foundation activities, the board continues to suggest joining one or more of the six foundation committees. With that thought in mind, if you would like to work with one of the committees, but are unable to attend the reunion, please contact  

Reunion Anchor

Join the mailing list, send a message, comment, or question  to the Zahniser Foundation

The Zahniser Foundation

PO Box 213 

Mercer, PA 16137

Thanks for submitting!

The foundation board at its June meeting determined that it would be wise and prudent to begin to rely more heavily on electronic communication (email) to communicate with family members on issues of interest. This decision was largely predicated on the fact that email communication is far more expeditious than regular mail, but also due to the fact that it can potentially lead to a significant savings for the foundation over time. With that objective in mind, the foundation hopes to build a comprehensive list of family email addresses to facilitate the communication process. This database will be used solely for the purpose of communicating with family members on matters that will seemingly be of interest to all, such as information about the annual family reunion. The compiled list will never be sold or shared with a commercial vendor. If you would like for your name to be added to the developing list, please send your information to or complete the above form.

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