Snyder Surname Genealogy

is a Dutch
occupational surname meaning “one who cuts outer garments” or a
derived from the Middle Dutch sniden, meaning “to cut.”  The English term “snide,” as in “a snide or
cutting remark,” comes from this root.  A
notable early name was Frans Snyders, a 17th century Flemish painter at
the time
of Rubens. 
The German Schneider, also meaning tailor, is a far
more common surname.  There are more than 300,000 Schneiders in
today.  Many of these Schneiders became
Snyders in America. The American
spellings are Snyder and Snider.  Some
Snyders are Jewish from the Yiddish name Schnayder.

Snyder Resources on

Snyder Ancestry

America.  There
are 57,000 Snyders and 41,000 Schneiders in America today.
Earlier Schneiders from Germany changed their name to the more
English-sounding Snyder.
Later Schneider arrivals were more likely to have kept their
German name.  Schneider has narrowed the gap on Snyder in America
during the
20th century.

The first Snyders in
America were German Palatines from the Rhineland who crossed the
Atlantic from
Rotterdam – Christian Schneider departing there on the William
and Sarah
in 1727 and another Christian Schneider leaving on
the Allen in 1729.  They
like others at that time came to Pennsylvania,
although the earlier Christian Schneider then moved onto New Jersey.

Notable 18th century Snyders from Pennsylvania were:

  • Anton
    Schneider who came to
    Pennsylvania from the Rhineland in 1744.  His
    son Simon
    rose from humble origins to become the third Governor
    Pennsylvania in 1808.  Simon’s home on
    North Market Street at Selinsgrove in Pennsylvania still stands.  Snyder county in Pennsylvania was named in his
  • John
    Peter Snyder who arrived
    the late 1740’s also
    the Rhineland (his brother Nicholas following him in 1755).  Peter
    married in America and bought land in farm in Franklin
    Pennsylvania.  Jacob Snyder, born there,
    headed north to farm in Waterloo township, Ontario around 1815.  His lineage was recounted in Lucille
    Heckman’s 1991 book The Jacob Snyder
    Family History
  • and
    George Snyder, born in Bucks county Pennsylvania in
    1780, who moved to Paris, Kentucky as a young man where he earned his
    living as a
    silversmith and clockmaker.  Around 1820
    credited for having invented the first American-made fishing reel.

Snyders were also to be found in Maryland and Virginia at this
time.  A Snyder family from Virginia was in Knox (later Whitley)
county, Kentucky by 1810.  The line from Frederick Snyder who
lived on Wolf Creek was covered in Frank R. Snyder’s 1992 book Snyder Family History.

Alonzo Snyder,
born in Kentucky, came south in the late 1830’s to
on land in Louisiana.  His initial investments paid off and he
became a successful planter and lawyer, one who was particularly adept
in handling bankrupted estates in the Mississippi Delta.  His
family remained prominent in the affairs of Tensas parish in NE
Louisiana for the balance of the century.

Some Snyders in America are Jewish.  Daniel Snyder, for instance,
came from a Jewish family in Maryland.  He made his money in
direct marketing and is the current owner of the Washington Redskins
football team.

Canada.  In Canada the
Snider spelling has been more common than Snyder.  Early arrivals
were those who crossed the border from America:

  • the Snyders who came to Upper Canada (Ontario) included Adam
    Snyder to
    Gainesborough township in 1793 and Jacob Snyder to Waterloo township in
    1815.  David Snider arrived with his family in 1819 and
    they made their home in Trafalgar township.  His
    place became known as Snider’s
  • then there were Loyalists like Martin Snider who had received a
    land grant from the British Government in New Brunswick.  He
    farmed there from 1794 until 1811 when he moved to York, Ontario.
    He has a large number of descendants in Canada.

These Snyders/Sniders could all be traced back to Schneider immigrants
into Pennsylvania in the first half of the 18th century.  They
tended to settle in Canada in the same tight Mennonite communities that
they had formed in Pennsylvania.

Elias Snider, from the Snyders in Waterloo county, took over the family
gristmill in the 1860’s and invested in rollers from Europe to produce
a better grade of flour that was marketed widely throughout
Canada.   He later became a prominent local politician.

Snyder Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Snyder Names

Simon Snyder was the third Governor of Pennsylvania, serving three
terms from 1808 to 1817.
George Snyder
is credited with having invented
the first American-made fishing reel in 1820.
Duke Snider
, nicknamed “the Duke of
Flatbush,” was
a popular outfielder with the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team of the
is remembered as a West Coast poet associated with the Beat

Select Snyders/Sniders

  • 67,000 in America (most numerous in Pennsylvania)
  • 15,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)




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