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A History of The Family in America


Kate M. Zahniser


Charles Reed Zahniser

1996 Revision

First published in




by Kate Zahniser

With a consciousness of its many defects, but with a hope that despite them all it may serve to knit more closely the ties of kinship-love throughout the family, this book is respectfully dedicated to the memory of the Zahnisers gone on before.

Kate M. Zahniser

Charles Reed Zahniser

August 30, 1906



Origin of The Family  


The Settlement in America 


The Old Homestead


The Third Generation

Social Position and Characteristics

Part Two: Descendants of MatthiasMichaelValentineWilliamJacobDavid and Mary 

(These are scanned reproductions of pages from the original book.)

A graphic tree of the first four generations 

Appendix 1 The early family- from a 1948 supplement to the 1906 edition.

Appendix 2  New information since the 1968 edition. Notes in text also point to some items in this appendix.

Appendix 3  Information on Daughters of American Colonists

Appendix 4  Availability of family records   

"The years between have taught some sweet, some bitter lessons: none wiser than this, to spend in all things else but of old friends to be most miserly."



This printing contains the complete text of the original, 1906, volume of THE ZAHNISERS, excepting the indices and the genealogical data on the families of the third generation (children of Matthias I). It is planned that this data, expanded through the generations to the present, be made available on request through modern publishing media. Details of available formats are in the Appendix.

The Appendix also includes several pages of information on the early family which first appeared in the 1968 reprinting of THE ZAHNISERS.

Also in the Appendix are new findings about our early history, discovered since the 1968 edition.


It was considered preferable to publish these addenda in fragmented form, rather than combining them into a smooth narrative, to make this edition more easily to be compared with the early editions, and to make plain the sources .


Hypertext links have been inserted into the original text to refer to the appendices and to provide more recent information in some cases.

While many family members have contributed to the vastly expanded information now available about the descendants of the original family, by far the greatest contribution was that of Dorothy Huth Myers (1922-1989). Her tireless efforts over many years provided the major part of our now large data bank.

We are indebted also to Russell Hesch who transcribed the text of the 1906 edition into a form that could be manipulated by our computers, and in so doing provided the inspiration for the present format.


This 1996 edition is published by


Ronald A. Zahniser, President


Additions, corrections and suggestions for future publications are welcomed. They may be addressed to

Digital conversion for website use was done by J. Stuart Zahniser between 1999 & 2008

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