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- Schantz Russell Family
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The Schantz Family in North America is large and widespread; alternative spellings of the last name includes variations such as Tschantz, Shantz, Shonts, and Schanz. The family descended from Jacob Schanz (June 12, 1710-February 5, 1781) who emigrated to the United States of America in 1737 and settled in Pennsylvania. In 1810 Jacob’s son Christian Shantz (1769-1857) came to Waterloo County and settled at Freeport on the Grand River.
Christian’s son Benjamin Shantz (1811-1868) was an early Waterloo County inhabitant and one of the founders of Port Elgin, Ontario where he settled in 1854 and established a grist and flour mill. Benjamin married Lydia Kolb (1814-1862) on April 10, 1842 and together they had ten children; Josiah K. Schantz (1834-1913), Catharine Schantz (May 17, 1836-February 28, 1917), Hannah Schantz (April 1, 1838-August 20, 1841), Christian Schantz (January 20, 1840-?), Tobias Schantz (1842-1925), Abraham K. Schantz (September 20, 1844-?), Benjamin K. Schantz (December 5, 1846), Menno K. Schantz (January 31, 1849-July 6, 1888), Lydia K. Schantz (August 17, 1851-July 16, 1900), Sarah K. Schantz (April 1, 1854-April 10, 1878), and Enoch K. Schantz (October 7, 1856-May 25, 1888).
When Lydia died in 1862, Benjamin remarried his housekeeper, Margaret Swinton. Benjamin and Margaret left Port Elgin, Ontario and settled in Dallas County, Missouri. Correspondence in the collection between Benjamin and his son Tobias recount Benjamin’s settler experiences in Dallas County, Missouri.
The Schantz Russell Family Papers centre around Tobias Schantz, his wife Mary Schantz and their descendants, drawing together primary sources relating to several early white settler families of Waterloo County, primarily the Schantz, Moyer/Meyer and Bowman families, and material relating to descendants of the Moyer settlers of Lincoln County, Ontario.
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Four character references: 1.) Samuel Nash Moyer, Late Head-Master of the Port Elgin School, Clinton, Ont., 1864. 2.) S.F. Eisenhour [sic], Agt. For I.H. Defrees, Syracuse, Ind., 1865. 3) F.J. Crowder, Preacher in Charge of Pt. Elgin Mission, Canada Conference, 1867. 4.) Rev. A.M. McCulloch, Moorefield, Ont., 1884. Correspondence not indexed.
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Donated by Dorothy Russell and Harold Russell in 1995.
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Described in 1995.
Revised by NM in February 2019.
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