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APPENDICES 1 through 4


Early Family

(From the 1948 Supplement to THE ZAHNISERS by Charles Reed Zahniser, PhD.)

As set forth in "THE ZAHNISERS", the family descends from one "Valentin Zahneisen" and Juliana Clemens whose marriage is recorded in the town records of Ilbesheim, a village near Landau, Germany, in 1743. Ten years later they sailed for America. Only Juliana and her son Matthias arrived, her husband and another child having died during the voyage. From this little boy who grew up in Lancaster County, sprang our present family.

In 1790 Matthias moved to Allegheny County and from there in 1796 to what is now Mercer County which had just been opened for settlement following the battle of Fallen Timbers, and the retreat of the Indians there from. As yet there was only one other settled in the county, Benjamin Stokely. By the time of Matthias death in 1833 the family had accumulated 1200 acres, all in Mercer County, in which the next two generations largely resided. At present, however, the family is scattered throughout most States of the Union and Canada.


The name "Zahniser" itself is an American product. It was coined in this country on the basis of an original German name which seems to have been "Zahneisener", an occupational term meaning the maker of dental tools, and which appears with various spellings in German and Lancaster records. In a sense the name in its present form is symbolic; it is a symbol of the family itself being distinctively an American product. [For the foregoing study of the origin of this name we are indebted to Dr. Morgan Barnes, a distinguished linguist. (In 2022, a German Wikipedia search of Zahneisen suggests it is the name of a flat toothed chisel used by  stonemasons / sculptors; a Google image search suggests the same.) ] For this family, far from being a mere transplant of one from Germany, is really the product of the merging of three streams of immigration into this region, coming from three distinct European sources, but significantly alike in a certain cultural pattern and idealism prevailing among them. Evidences of this can easily be found by studying the names of men and women married into the family as they appear in the history ...


Of these three streams, the largest is of Scotch and Scotch-Irish origin, the second is of English origin, what might be called an English Commoner type, and the third a German liberal element mostly coming from the Upper Rhine region where the Zahneisens resided. All three of these streams are characterized by a common spirit and outlook. They were liberal-minded, restless under old-world regimentations religious and civil, venturesome and courageous, enterprising and passionately devoted to individual liberty, precisely the type of pioneer which Rose Wilder Lane shows to have brought forth on this continent that new form of social order conceived in liberty and dedicated to the principle that all men are created equal, which we call "The American Way of Life" and which is today again calling for freedom of enterprise. Among the Scotch it meant they were Presbyterians and doted on Robert Burns, the pioneer poet of democracy. Among the English they were the Commoners from whom Cromwell drew his Roundheads and later John Wesley his Methodists. In Germany they were the resistors of the region where Luther took his stand at Worms, where at Heidelberg the continental Reformed Church had its rise and adjacent to the Swiss border of Zurich, the birthplace of continental liberalism and democracy. It was these three streams mingled here which produced our present family and traditions. Our blood stream and our cultural patterns come almost entirely from these three sources. Romanic, Slavic and other Eurasian names are all but absent from our history. Thus the family today stands as a cultural pattern produced here in America, rather than any biological stream.


It is interesting also to note that a prevailing occupational economic and political similarity of pattern obtains generally in our family history. Our people generally have been farmers, merchants, tradesmen such as blacksmiths and builders in lines usually conducted independently. Relatively few entered as employees in the massed industries where labor is largely regimented. As a result the proletarian thought patterns on which communism and kindred ideologies feed are practically unknown among us. At the same time there has been nothing of toryism, junkerism and their like. In politics we have been prevailingly Progressive Republicans and Jeffersonian Democrats, in the church, variant types of Presbyterians and Methodists. With rare exceptions, all of us are Protestants. Among the professions, the Zahnisers have engaged widely in teaching, many have become clergymen, relatively few lawyers or physicians.

This is the Zahniser Family of today. Its ties are those of a tradition rather than a biological differentiation, a sort of post-natal inheritance, in largest part, of a cultural pattern to which from childhood we have cultivated a sense of loyalty. "America", someone has said, "is a state of mind, not a piece of geography." Something akin can be said of The Zahnisers. They carry a tradition of a pattern of life which they undertake to use all the ties of family relation to conserve and promote. Herein lies the reason for our present effort to cultivate and maintain more widely those family sentiments and understandings which led our fathers seventy-five years ago to start our family reunion (14) and has led to these later efforts to record and publish our family history. Thus, today, though sundered far we still can meet in the knowledge and appreciation of our common heritage in which is both a challenge and an assurance that stimulate each of us to live up to the best in that tradition.



Emigration Records


Hans Valentin (or Veltin) Zahneisen was born July 4, 1720, in Moerzheim, Germany, in the district of Landau. His father was Balthasar Zahneisen, a citizen of Moerzheim. His mother was Otilia.

Valentin married, in Ilbesheim, Juliana Clementz on September 24, 1743. Juliana's parents were Johann Adam Clementz, a judge in Ilbesheim, and his wife, Anna Maria Knoll


The date of emigration to Philadelphia was September 14, 1754, and the original place of settlement was Pennsylvania. The ship that brought the family to U.S.A. was BARCLAY.

Source: KB Ilbesheim; The Dutchman VII, 3, S. 38/39

The above was provided by Bezirks Verband Pfalz, Institut Fur Pfalzische Geschichte Und Volkskunde, Benzinoring 6, Postfach 2860, D 6750 Kaiserslautern

Valentin Zahneisen (Zahniser) died in 1753 on the ship during the crossing. His wife was Juliana. He emigrated with his wife and a son Matthias. Arrival in Philadelphia was September 14, 1754.

Source: The Institut cited just above, with the following additional notations. "According to Hinke (pp 595, 597, 599): Zahneichel, Saynhisin, Saynhaysen. Issued 1951 by Meynen S 579, Nr.7742 (Bibliogr.)


In possible conflict with the family tradition that Valentin died at sea is the following from a LIST OF EMIGRANTS FROM ZWEIBRUEKEN.

1754- Valentin Zahneissen's wife, nee Clementz, of Ilbesheim, leaves with two children for America.

From PENNSYLVANIA GERMAN IMMIGRANTS, Edited by Don Yoder, Genealogical Publishing Co. Baltimore 1984


There is also this entry in SHIP PASSENGER LISTS Edited by Carl Boyer - Carl Boyer, 3rd Newhall California 1980

"Juliana Clementz, daughter of Johann Adam Clementz of Ilbesheim and his wife Anna Maria Knoll, and wife of Valentin Zahneissen, 'who went to the so-called New Land' (about 1754). According to the ship lists her husband came along: Vallentin Zaneichel, Ship Barclay, September 14, 1754"

It now seems likely that Juliana's arrival in the New World did not find her "alone in a strange land". We know that there was a flow of immigrants from her area of Germany at that time, including people from Ilbesheim. SHIP PASSENGER LISTS shows eleven families from that town, mostly in 1753 and 1754. Two families other than Juliana's were Clementz.


Two years before the arrival of Juliana, Johann Michel Lind came to Philadelphia on the ship Snow Ketty (15) and on October 16, 1752 appeared with other passengers before Joshua Maddox, Esq. to "take the usual Qualifications to the Government." (Pennsylvania German Pioneers Vol. 1, Pg 496).


Johanne Michael Lind was the 'original land owner' of 1/4 lot in Lancaster Borough (Lancaster County Historical Society, Vol. 13, Pg. 272)


The records of The First Reformed Church of Lancaster, Pa show that Ann Maria Lind was born Dec. 14 and baptized Dec. 21 1755, the daughter of John Michael and Juliana Lind. She became the wife of Matthias Zahniser (the first Matthias- the Revolutionary soldier) -(From Pennsylvania German Church Records - Published in The Pennsylvania German Society Proceedings and Addresses Vol. 1 Pg 246. Genealogical Publishing Co. Baltimore 1983)


Another intriguing bit of information: When Nadine Zahniser Bennetts visited Moersheim in 1990, she learned from the Norbert Hoffman family, the present occupants of the ancestral house, that at about the time that the Zahneisens traveled to America, other family members traveled to the Ural Mountains and settled there.


Additional Information on the German Birthplace

The following information was presented at the annual reunion on August 12, 1967 by Mrs Ralph R. Zahniser, of 2357 Stillwagon Road, S.E., Warren, Ohio 44484, and was obtained as a result of a personal visitation to the ancestral hometown of Morzheim, Germany. This information is intended to supplement the information which appears in the original Zahniser history and which was obtained shortly after the turn of the century.

The town of Morzheim is near Landau and the Village is near the border of Switzerland. The history of the town dates back to 1200 A.D. and it was an old manor town under the Federal System, with a royal landowner and a village of farm workers. After 1500, the Manor System was discontinued and the villagers became owners of small plots of land in the hills, but continued to live in the Village proper. The population in 1965 is approximately 900 and this has not changed in over 500 years.


In the history of Morzheim, written in the German language, there are frequent references to the name of Zahneisen, the original spelling of the Zahniser name. In 1600 the name of Heinrick Zahneisen appears and there are also references in the 1700's and 1800's, showing that Heinrick Zahneisen owned 50 units of land in 1763, Michael Zahneisen owned 20 units and Christoph owned 20 units. The Bergomaster of Morzheim was Michael Zahneisen from 1754 to 1760. In 1793, eleven Zahneisens were listed as serving in the local military establishment and a George Jacob Zahneisen was a head of one of these units in 1823. 


The original home of Valentin Zahniser is apparently over 400 years old. The stone street goes up to the wall of the house, which is built around a courtyard, protected by the house, the barn and the high fence. Apparently the house, as well as the rest of the town, has changed little in some 400 years, the explanation being that it was near the border of Switzerland and was unaffected by the various German wars and the two world wars.


A protestant Church is less than one half block from the Zahneisen house, and this was built about 1770, and contains many of the old Zahneisen records. However, most of the papers were transferred to the nearby city of Landau, which is apparently similar to our county seat. It is believed that the common ancestor of Valentin Zahniser was born in this stone house, which is still in the family, owned by a Mrs. Silbernagel, who is the last known Zahneisen now living in the village. At one time it appears that some of the family made their living by raising grapes, and the records also show that one Zahneisen operated a bakery in the original home.


The Revolutionary War Record


The original Matthias Zahniser is known to have been a soldier in the Revolutionary War and under command of George Washington. Records confirming this (with variant spellings of the name) are to be found in Pennsylvania Archives, 5th Series, Vol. 7, page 836, 6th Co., 8th Battalion, and Muster Roll, page 858. These records together with others were submitted to the Daughters of the American Revolution in the case of Mabel Zahniser Clayton, on the basis of which she was admitted and enrolled under National Number 235199. Other applicants for such membership in the D.A.R. or the S.A.R. should refer to the correspondence and records on file in connection with this number in the national office in Washington.


Information in Appendix 2 comes from Nadine Bennetts, Ralph Bennett, Phyllis Bridge Egge, Dorothy Edmiston, Dale Edmiston Gilliland and others.



Daughters of American Colonists

Since 1970, the Matthias Zahniser Chapter has been a close collaborator with the Zahniser Foundation in preserving and celebrating the history and traditions of our Zahniser family.


The organization of a Zahniser chapter was accomplished under the leadership of Arlene (Mrs. Harold A.) Best, Merle (Mrs. Joseph) Trapasso and Mary (Mrs. Samuel J.) Davis. Mrs. Best was serving as Pennsylvania State Regent of D.A.C. when the Matthias Zahniser Chapter was established. Mrs. Davis was the first Regent of the new Chapter.


The claim by descendants of Matthias I to eligibility to membership in DAC is made through the ancestor Johann Michael Lind, described in Appendix 2. His documentation is in the files of the National DAC in connection with the membership of Arlene Ames Best, National Number 10941, Regent of the Pennsylvania State Society DAC 1967-1970. 


Availability of Family Records

In addition to this publication, the Zahniser Foundation may be able to provide records of descendants in other forms. The record so provided may start with any ancestor. It is recommended that the ancestor be a grandfather or the last ancestor shown in the original printing of THE ZAHNISERS.


The format of the record may be available in:


  •  A "family tree" on paper


  • BROTHERS KEEPER genealogy program format, which is what the Foundation uses,

  • GEDCOM format which can be imported into almost any modern genealogy program

  • A limited selection of other formats


It is expected that in the future we may be able to provide pictures to accompany some of the formats above. Pictures could be from the original Zahniser book, or pictures provided by the person requesting the records, or from some other source.

Appendix 1
Appejndx 2
Appendix 4
Appendix 3
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