09 July 2011

Martin Greider (1718 - 1785)

Martin Greider's signature as it appeared on his will in 1785.
The Greider surname is of German descent, and has been translated into several variations, i.e. Crider, Croyder, Cryder, Grider, Greiter, Kreiter, Kryder, Krider.  The Greider's of my family are known to be of Pennsylvania Dutch, which simply means people of German descent, living in Pennsylvania.

Martin Greider was born in, or near Ittlingen, Germany about 1718.  Martin was the son of Michael Shenk Greiter/Kreiter and Barbara Graff/Groff.  Martin married Elizabeth Myers.  Martin was known for purchasing and selling land throughout Lancaster County, PA.  Martin was known to purchase the following land amounts:
  • 17 Nov 1740: 300 acres from the heirs of Isaac Norris.  Primarily situated in Rapho Twp.
  • 25 Apr 1761: 150 acres from John Reiff.
  • 12 Jun 1766: 135 acres from his nephew, Michael Cryder.
  • 11 Dec 1769: 226 acres from Michael Myer.
  • 22 Mar 1784: 260 acres, known as the Musselman-Tate tract.
The Musselman-Tate tract is one of his most important purchases, as it kept his entire family close by, in Hempfield Twp, Lancaster Co, PA.  

Upon Martin's death, his final inventory was noted and accounted for.his religious library of books:

"The number of religious books and their titles strongly suggest that he was a minister or church leader, or even that church services were held in his home.  It doesn't seem likely that any person but an ordained man would have such a library."  
- Noah G. Good, of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society

"...based on the books in the inventory, Martin was most likely a minister, probably at the Landisville Mennonite Church.  The "Guilt Apple" is a Swiss-Mennonite devotional book, Golden Apples in Silver Bowls..."
- R. Martin Keen

"...Already in the 18th century, Lancaster Mennonites were publishing books with the intention of remembering and passing on a certain faith."
- Leonard Gross

A sermon book called Decknatels Sermons was one of several works by Johannes Deknatel, a Dutch Mennonite preacher and auther of many widely used spiritual and devotional books.  

Landisville Mennonite Meetinghouse
There is reason to believe that Martin served as minister at the above Landisville Mennonite Meetinghouse.   Martin died land-rich, and cash-poor, having deeds to 947 acres, but just £ 1.10.0 in cash. We know Martin was widely respected in the community, as his debts were only to others of very prominent status.  Presumably he took out loans, to purchase his large amounts of land.  Adam Reigart (1739-1813), was the owner of "The Grape" tavern, a popular gathering place of the wealthy.  The tavern was the used as the local gathering of organizations formed to carry on the local war effort.  Reigart was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1780.  Adam was offered the rank of colonel to command the battalions and forces of Pennsylvania, during the Revolutionary War, but he declined, stating he did not have enough war experience.

Another well to do gentleman that Martin owed to was John Hopson, a local shopkeeper.  Although a shopkeeper, his main occupation was to loan out money, and collect, almost an early form of banking, mortgages, etc.

Martin Greider was well-known and evidently well-respected in the rural community in which he lived as well as among the business and trading population in the borough of Lancaster.  He was likely a religious leader and tow of his sons, Martin and John, played significant roles in the development of the Chestnut Hill Mennonite community.  Martin also left a sound financial legacy to his family that would lead to further expansion of the family into the Rapho and Hempfield Township areas.

Martin Greider and Elizabeth Myers had the following children:
  • Elizabeth Greider (b. abt 1750, married Henry Hershey)
  • Veronica Greider (b. abt 1752, d. abt 1821; married Abraham Hershey)
  • Michael Greider (b. abt 1755)
  • Barbara Greider (b. abt 1758, d. abt 1795; married Samuel Nissley, a Mennonite Bishop)
  • Anna Greider (b. 29 Sep 1758, d. 10 Oct 1813; married Martin Peifer)
  • Martin Greider (b. abt 1760)
  • John Greider (b. 17 Feb 1764)
  • Jacob Greider (b. abt 1766)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good work cousin