Saturday, May 4, 2013


Copyright 2011, The Hopelessly Hooked Genealogist (B. Harrison)

Fall weather brings with it sights and sounds that I enjoy, including Oktoberfest ethnic festivals to celebrate our Germanic heritage and share it with others. On my list for “fun” activities in the coming month will be to attend at least one local Oktoberfest in my area.  I’m looking forward to sampling some grilled bratwurst with mustard and kraut, munching on a huge soft pretzel washed down with a german beer, and listening to some lively folk music while watching the colorfully costumed dancers perform the polka.

Meantime, on this Wonderful Wistful Wednesday morning, September 28, 2011, I am going to write about my maternal Kreider ancestors from Germany and Switzerland.


My maternal 5th-great-grandfather John Michael Kreider was born in Germany about 1715, and immigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the ship “Samuel” in 1732. He was about age 17 when he arrived in Philadelphia.   He came with other members of his extended family, possibly traveling with an uncle while his parents remained in Germany for a few more years.  The Kreiders came from the area known as the Pallatine Province in Germany. John Michael Kreider is the progenitor immigrant ancestor of this family lineage in America, who came to Pennsylvania to begin a new life before the American Revolution.  He is the first in my line of Keriders to produce heirs born in the land that would become the independent nation of America.  His descendants participated in the Revolutionary War to help create the America that we all know and love today.

John Michael Kreider married Catherine Truseyen.  John, or “Johann” as his name appears in some records, became a Blacksmith and owner of a Grist Mill as a young man in Philadelphia.  In 1753 his name appears in land records as having purchased 100 acres in Upper Salford, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. That same year, his name appears in church records at Indian Field Lutheran Church, having attended a church supper with 2 female servants in his employ. In 1758 he is listed in records as a Road Overseer on a jury to help lay out a road in Philadelphia starting near Bucks County line and Brenner’s Plantation. His WILL was signed on July 7, 1761 in Hatfield Township, Philadelphia, PA. The Will was proved on Aug 1, 1761; naming his “loving wife Catherine” and children John, Jacob, Abraham, Daniel, Catherine, Magdelena, and David. Son Jacob was mentioned as "absconded, but if happens to return will receive 50 pounds, daughters Catherine and Magdalena and youngest son David to receive 100 pounds after they attain the age of 18".


My 6th-great-grandfather was Hans Jacob Kreider, father of the above John Michael Kreider.   He was born about 1695 in Germany. He settled in Strasser, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania circa 1740-1750.  He married Mary Barbara Christen, and died in Lancaster County, PA in 1768 at age 73. Some descendants of this line of Kreiders remained in the Lancaster County area for several more generations, while other moved to Virginia and then farther westward in the 1800’s. 

JACOB KREIDER circa 1667- 1745

My 7th-great-grandfather, father of the above Hans Jacob Kreider,  was Jacob Kreider, born about 1667 in Bern, Switzerland. He married Barbara Schenk about 1690 In Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany, where he died in 1745 at about age 78. This branch of the family that remained in Germany while the sons and grandsons immigrated to Pennsylvania in America.

HANS KREIDER  1630-1705

My 8th great-grandfather, father of the above Jacob Kreider,  was Hans Greider (Kreider) who was born in Germany about 1630 and died in Switzerland about 1705.  He was married to Anna Schudin.

I will write future blog entries going into a little more biographical and historical detail about some of my Kreider ancestors, as I continue my research on them to learn a little more about their lives and experiences.  I am proud to include my German and Swiss roots into my typically American melting-pot genetic heritage. 

For further background information on the Germanic cultures and the origins of the polka dance, various online sources are available including Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, at, the polka dance originated in Bohemia as a dance performed by farm peasants.  It gained popularity as a ballroom dance in Prague in 1835, and was called the “Pulka” quick step. From there is spread across Europe, and was noted in Vienna by 1839 and to Paris by 1840.  Immigrants seeking a new life in America brought their homeland customs and traditions, including the Polka dance, with them to their new homes. In North American the "Polish-style polka," has roots Chicago, while the "Dutchmen-style" has roots in the American Midwest. “Conjunto-style" polkas have roots in northern Mexico and Texas, and are also called "Norteno".

Wikipedia defines the term Germanic, as being applicable to ethnic populations with roots in North Western Europe: including the Scandanavians (Danes, Swedes, Norweigians, Icelanders, and Faroe Islanders), Germans, Austrians, Swiss, Dutch, Flemish, and English).