The Schneider Family Bible was purchased by Hannes Schneider in 1564. It was published in Zurich in 1560 by Christoph Froschauer, who began publishing such Bibles in 1520. For Hannes it likely would have been a significant purchase at that time.
By looking through the family register at the beginning of the Bible, one can follow who possessed it generation by generation over the centuries. From Hannes, it passed to his son Jacob, grandson Peter, and then great-grandson Jacob, who took the Bible with him from Switzerland to Germany in 1653.
Jacob's son Jacob then took it to Holland with him in about 1696. Grandson John took the Bible on it's longest trek when he brought it from Holland to Pennsylvania in 1736. Great-grandson Jacob B. Schneider then had his turn while he farmed in Pennsylvania. It was 3 of Jacob B.'s sons that came to Waterloo County in 1806-7: Christian, Jacob, and Joseph. It was Jacob who brought the Bible to Canada in his Conestogo wagon in 1806.
When Jacob Schneider died in Bloomingdale, Waterloo County in 1853, his daughter Magdalena, wife of Levi Bechtel, inherited it. She in turn passed it to her daughter Mary, wife of Joseph Ernst.
In the 1890's, Ezra Eby heard about the existence of this Bible while researching his book, A Biographical History of Waterloo Township (published 1895-6). He tracked it down to Mrs. Ernst who was living in Heidelberg. She sold it to him in 1896. It is believed the English family register in the front of the Bible was begun by Ezra, who translated the German register as best he could and likely supplemented it with information he had collected while researching his book. Ezra did not own the Bible for long however, as he died in 1901 at age 50.
By 1909, the Bible had made its way back to the Schneider family. E. W. B. Snider of St. Jacobs, a prominent businessman and politician, presented a summary of the family register at the 1909 Schneider Reunion in Doon and stated he held the Bible for all Schneider descendants. E. W. B. passed it down to his son William, and after William's death in 1968, his daughters donated it to the Mennonite Archives at Conrad Grebel College in Waterloo, Ontario where it has been kept ever since.
Last updated February 09, 2005