My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JAMES D. SCHNEBLY. The valuable and attractive farm of one hundred and ninety acres, two miles north of the village of Spring Valley, Greene County, which is the home of the above-named gentleman, is also his birthplace, and upon it he has spent his entire life in farming, milling and stock-raising. His natal day was May 29, 1822. He received a common-school education, and under the tutelage of his father, he became a practical farmer and miller capable of continuing the work which his parent had begun. He now ranks among the leading and most substantial agriculturists and stock-raisers of the county. In politics he was originally a Whig, his first Presidential vote having been cast for Henry Clay in 1844, and he has voted at every Presidential election since, being identified with the Republican party since its formation.

The gentleman of whom this biographical sketch speaks, is a direct descendant of one John Schnebly, of Switzerland, who crossed the ocean accompanied by a brother Jacob, and settled in Maryland, the descendants being slaveowners while they lived in that State. They had come from the vicinity of Bear, Switzerland, settling near Hagerstown, where the next in the direct line of descent spent his life. This was Leonard Schnebly, who was born on the ocean, and who upon reaching man’s estate married Elizabeth McLaughlin, a native of Maryland. Their family comprised three sons and a daughter, named respectively: James, John, Henry and Nancy. The latter became the wife of David Barnett.

The above mentioned James Schnebly opened his eyes to the light September 18, 1792, in Frederick County, Md., and learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner. During the War of 1812 he held a captain’s commission under Col. Barnett. On July 25, 1813, he was united in marriage with Catherine Dunn, a native of the same county as himself, whose natal day was November 11, 1792. Some three years after their marriage they removed to the neighborhood of Harrodsburg, Ky., but a year later changed their abode to Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio. The same year Mr. Schnebly purchased one hundred and forty-three acres where the subject of this sketch now lives, and built a sawmill, removing to the place in 1819. He cleared and improved the farm, and a few years after taking possession of it purchased an additional two hundred and forty acres, but subsequently sold two hundred acres, leaving an estate of the acreage it still comprises. This he retained until his death, July 15, 1879. In 1833 he built a gristmill with three burrs, just below his house, and this mill was operated until 1887, since which time it has been idle.

James Schnebly and his wife were active and devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to the support of which they contributed liberally. Mr. Schnebly was a Jackson man until the veto of the United States Bank Bill by that famous General and President, when he became a Whig, and quite as a matter of course, still later identified himself with the Republican party. He and his wife had eleven children. John L., is a miller; Elizabeth, married Adison Talbert, a teacher; Susan R., is the third born; James D., the next, is the subject of this sketch; Mary S., is the wife of Williamson Miller, of Glasgow, Mo.; Hiram H., a miller, lives near Ripon, Wis.; Joseph G., is a physician in Topeka, Kan.; Frederick B., is a carpenter in Kansas City, Mo.; Ellen F., is the next on the family roll; George F., served in the Seventy-fourth Ohio Infantry, and died at Murfreesboro, Tenn., in his country’s cause; Peter R., is an attorney at Xenia. Frederick was also a Union soldier, having been First Lieutenant in the Twelfth Ohio, and subsequently holding the same rank in a signal corps.

The maternal grandparents of our subject, were George and Susannah (Rentch) Dunn, who reared a family of three sons and four daughters, named respectively: John, Jacob, James, Elizabeth, Kezia, Catherine and Mary. The father was a native of Maryland, and a farmer. His daughter, Catherine, the mother of our subject, died October 11, 1870.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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