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- Schantz, Tobias Kolb
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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.
Scope and content
Diary entries begin with March 8, 1867, but this whole section is marked cancelled and is re-copied starting April 8, 1867. It begins with a record of Tobias' trip to Missouri to see his father, leaving his wife Mary Schantz (nee Moyer) with their 3-year old son Orpheus and new baby Etta, born the previous October. Tobias' father Benjamin with his second wife Margaret and children had gone to homestead near Wellville, west of St. Louis, in 1866. Tobias records his impressions of the countryside, the people, the prospects, the discouragement of all but his father with life in Missouri (March 17th). On July 2 he returns to Canada to where he is then living (near "Campden" --Grimsby within walking distance.) Throughout the diary Tobias records the weather and a daily health bulletin, letters sent and received, as well as his daily reading. He goes through periods of recording his meals. Tobias also lists all the work he does every day. He mentions setting the water for porridge, making the bed, polishing his son's shoes, carrying the baby to church, etc. On Nov. 9 he took a bath, on Nov. 25 he "did not sleep short of midnight. Was talking with Mary about my thought, troubles about religion ...". All parts of the diary have been filled with writing, dating as far as 1889 -- some accounts, recipes both household and medical (many give source), a record of the family tree -- births, marriages, deaths, transcribed songs, and an account probably written in Conestogo ca. 1875 of his spiritual trials and tribulations dating from 1862 and his efforts to achieve inner peace. This account is continued in the "other book," although it is not clear what book this referred to.
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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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