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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  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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WILLIAM CONARD. In the town of Ogontz, Cheltenham township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, stand many monuments to the enterprise and skill of William Conard, who for almost thirty years has been prominently connected with building interests there. He was born in Warwick township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, December 1, 1831.

Among the early pioneers who came to America was Dennis Conard, as the name was anglicised, who came in the ship “Concord,” in 1683, from Crefeld on the Rhine, Germany, the colonists having been preceded by Francis Daniel Pastorius, who had been charged with the duty of finding home lands for them within the province lately granted by the English sovereign to William Penn. After a voyage of seventy-four days the “Concord,” five hundred tons burthen, William Jeffries, master, landed at Philadelphia, October 6, 1683. The name of the progenitor was written by himself as both Kunders and Kunrad, and is mentioned in Penn’s charter of Germantown, signed and granted August 12, 1689, as Dennis Conrad, for then he was one of the first burgesses of Germantown, as well as one of the founders. It may be said, however, that Dennis Conrad was also known as Thones Kunders, in the Westphalian, and became Dennis Kunrade, or Conrad, in the Saxon. He settled in the German colony in Germantown, which has since been included within the corporate limits of the city of Philadelphia, and from him all the Conards of Whitpain township are descended.

The family were Friends, and it is to the honor of the German Friends of Germantown that as early as 1688 they addressed the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting at Burlington, protesting against the buying, selling and holding of men, women and children in slavery, declaring it in their opinion an act irreconcilable with the precepts of Christian religion. As early as 1683 the first meetings of the Friends were held at Dennis Conrad’s house, and a part of the wall of that ancient house may now be seen on the northwest end of the two houses rebuilt and occupied by Mr. Lisher as an inn. On the site where Dr. George Bensall’s house now stands there was an ancient house, pulled down by Dr. Bensall, in which William Penn preached. It was low, and built of frame work filled in with brick. He also preached at Schumacher’s ancient’ house in Melch’s Meadows, which was built in 1686 and taken down about twenty-five years ago.

The children of Dennis Conrad and his wife Ellen, who accompanied him from Germany were: Cunrad, born in Crefeld, Germany, May 17, 1678, married, first, Anna Klincken, May 31, 1704; married, second, unknown, and died in 1747. Matthias, born in Crefeld, November 25, 1679-80. John, born in Crefeld, June 3, 1681, died probably in 1765. Ann, born in Germantown, May 4, 1684 (probably the first child born in the settlement), married Leonard Streepers, July 29, 1715. Agnes, born in Germantown, September 28, 1686, married Samuel Powell, October 29, 1709. Henry, born in Germantown, December 16, 1688-89, married Catharine Streepers, June 28, 1710. Elizabeth, born in Germantown, February 30, 1691, married Griffith Jones, No
vember 30, 1709.

Matthias Cunard, second child of Dennis and Ellen Conrad, married, May 29, 1705, Barbara Tyson; who survived him. He died in 1726, leaving children: Anthony, Margaret, Cornelius, Magdalin, William, John, and Matthias, all of whom adopted the family name of Conard.

Cornelius Conard, second son of Matthias and Barbara Cunard, married, March 29, 1732, Priscilla Bolton, daughter of Eberhard and Mary Bolton. He was a resident of Horsham, and is described as “yeoman.” In 1737 he is described as “weaver,” and in 1742 we find him described as of “German township yeoman.” He died in 1770. Their children were: Susannah, married, October 13, 1773, Samuel Carew; Samuel, of Horsham, married, November 16, 1772, Hannah, widow of Jacob Kinderdine; John, mentioned hereinafter; Matthew, of Cheltenham, married, April 13, 1760, Mary Roberts; Everard, Joseph, Mary, married, May 25, 1762, Jacob Watson.

John Conard (grandfather) married Hannah Decoursey, and the issue of this union was the following named children: Charles, born in 1800, died in 1873, married Mary Patterson, and their children were: John, Anna, Robert, and James.

2. Abraham, mentioned hereinafter. 3. Elizabeth, who became the wife of Isaac Frankenfield, and their family consists of six children: Christopher, Charles, Harry, William, Lawrence, and Annie. 4. Isabel, who became the wife of Hiram Cooper, and their children are: William, Hannah, Calvin, Henry, and Emanuel. 5. John, who married for his first wife Sarah Johnson, no issue; his second wife was Charlotte Lukens, who bore him one child, Ellie. 6. Phoebe, who became the wife of John Coar, and their children are: John, Thomas, and Charles.

Abraham Conard (father) was a native of Bucks county, Pennsylvania, born in the vicinity of Doylestown. He was educated at a pay school near the place of his nativity, and thereafter worked by the day for his livelihood. His death occurred while yet in the prime of life, he being but forty-seven years of age. His wife, Euphemia (Flack) Conard, born in 1802, died June 9, 1838, bore him the following children: 1. Robert, who married Martha Paxson, and their children are Anna and Carrie. 2. Ogden B., who married Catherine Foster, and their children are as follows: Harry, Anna, deceased; William, deceased; Margaret, and Ellen, deceased. 3. Calison, who married Ann Eliza Collins, and one child was born to them, Lillie Janette. 4. William, mentioned hereinafter. 5. Ann, who became the wife of John B. Opdycke, and their children are: George W., Marion, deceased; Jonathan, deceased; Amy Francis, and John E. 6. Francis Marion, who married Ann Sutch, and their children are Lizzie Irene and William Henry.

William Conard received a thorough and practical education at a pay school near Buckingham township, which was under the excellent preceptorship of Joseph Flack and Henry Kimble, well known educators. After completing his studies at the age of seventeen years he began an apprenticeship to the trade of carpenter. He worked as journeyman about twenty-two years, and at the expiration of this period of time went into business for himself, locating in Shoemakertown, now Ogontz. He has been thus engaged for almost thirty years, conducting an extensive business in building and contracting, giving constant employment to a large number of hands, and has well sustained the reputation for rare integrity, sterling worth and honorable business principles which he established at the beginning of his career.

In 1863 Mr. Conard was united in marriage to Harriet Emelie Duffield, daughter of Jesse and Sarah (Toy) Duffield. Their children are: Sarah Adelaide, Elizabeth Rhoads, and Don Carlos Buell, who married Minnie Elsie Broomall, daughter of Nathan and Phiolena Broomall, and they are the parents of one child, Clarice Broomall Conard.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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