mistakes that can cause
you a lot of time. Anyways to get to the Shaneyfelts’ You will see in the following paragraphs on the Shaneyfelt’s
the different generational breakdowns and the original Shaneyfelt is believed to be Frederick Shenifelt which is derived from
the German name Schonfeld. You have to put those two little dots over the O in Schonfeld to make it spelled right in German.
That name goes all the way back to 1673. Look instead of me trying to explain it the easy way I’m now realizing that’s
going to be impossible so here goes the long way. Again it’s only fair to grandma Mains to give her family history a
good report just like the other families. One good thing about the Shaneyfelts they were all good Christians and regulars
church going people because there were good church records for them. The Shaneyfelt name goes all the way back to 1577 in
Kartmannsdorf Kirchberg, Zwickau Sachsen. That ‘ s somewhere in Germany near the Austria border.
You know for once I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place with this family because their roots go back so far and
not to reveal them would be ashamed but I dread the work but when you start out to do something as my dad always said do it
right or don’t do it at all. Anyways here goes.
The first record of a relative of the Shaneyfelt family that can be traced by a paper trail is Johannes Schoenfeld. He
was born in 1632 in Hartmannsdorf, Leepzig, Sachsen. The own of Leipzig is best known as the place where Johann Sebastian
Bach wrote most of his famous works. It has always been a town of commerce. Sachsen is a region in Germany located on the
Elbe River . It is the Eastern most region of the German wine country know for it dry full flavored with a fruity acid taste.
Johannes’s father was one Johannes (Hans) Schoenfeld) who was born on the 27 of Jan in 1607 in Hartmannsdorf Kirchberg,
Zwickar, Sachsen. Germany. Why they use these long town names is beyond me but that is the way it’s recorded and I’m
afraid if I leave something out it may be hard to trace something, so I’ll include it all. Johannes’s mother was
Anna Lange born about 1612 and that’s all we have on her.
Johannes had five (5) children and they are as follows:
1. Johannes Heinrich Schoenfeld born Jan 3, 1673 in Germany
2. Martin Schoenfeld born Aug. 2, 1668 in Germany
3. Michael Schoenfeld born Sep 12, 1669
4. Christina Schoenfeld born 30 Sept. in Germany
5. Justina Schoenfeld born Apr 21 1671 in Germany
From that list I can’t tell which are male and which are female can you? Anyway we can be thankful that the first
born Johannes Heinrich Schonfeld decided to seek wealth in the new world as they called it then. But first some brief history
of the family is in order. As with the name Laughery having a meaning “Mountain Lake”. The name Schoenefeldt has
a meaning also, which is “ Beautiful Fields.” Johannes Heinrich nickname was you guess it John Henry. The family
grew up in the Germany-Silesia region of Germany. Nikolaus, Baron of Schonfeld, of the era pre 1644 of or near Prague is found
in the region of Moravia or Bohemia of old Nether (or Lower) Silesia.
These are all region of Germany and Western Czechoslovakia. If you were to say the name Schonfeld in Czech you would say
“Krasno” and there is a village of Krasno in Western Bohemia, Czechoslovakia. From people I have talk to doing
this book regarding the Shaneyfelt name they have explain that there were numerous problems because of the difference in spelling
and having experience the problem with the Laughery name I can sympathize with them. It is thought that the Schoenfeld came
from the Zwichan area now part of Saxony, Germany. Let me explain these areas a little Germany is divided up into regions
or areas well like our time zones or Northwest Region or Northwest Region. Example being Bavaria where the city Munich is
located that is a region. It is usually associated with their weather or resources. Anyways in that region there are Schoenfeld
family members in church records in Zwickau as early as 1550. Can you imagine that being able to go back that far in our family
history. The earliest entry of these records was that of Matthaeus Schoenfelder’s marriage to Margaretha Schroedter
on Feb 7, 1466 in Zwickau. Who knows it’s all more than probable that 2oo years later our Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
Johannes Schoenfeld whose birth is recorded at the Hartmannsdorf Church in Zwickau, Saxony on Jan 3, 1673 born to Johannes
Schoenfeld and Justina Zimmer. All the records indicated this to be true.
It had already been established that the two families Schoenfeld and Poet were from the Reichenback, Nether Silesia and
Moravia is where the Schoenfeld family originated. The religious background of the people of the Silesian area was Protestant.
The Lutheran church was predominant, but, with the Reformation, had come early origins of the Moravian Mennonite and the Schwenkfelder
sects. There was a lot of religious turmoil at this time in history for that region thus the exodus to the New World. The
Jesuits tried to forced conversion to what they called the true faith.
The Poets and Schoenfeld state that previously they had been Lutheran and had been persecuted by the Jesuits. In Zwickau,
there are Lutheran church records which contain at least two Schoenfeld families with sons named Johannes Schoenfeld born
in the 1670’s one of whom could be our Johannes Schoenfeld. Further research in this area, might contain a marriage
record for Johannes Schoenfeld and Elizabeth Poet.
There is also an old tale of a priest and a nun marring, however there is no mention to such a romantic background made
in the Poet and Schoenfeld letters. It would appear that the conversion from Catholic to Lutheran by the German ancestors
of the family happened some 200 years before the family immigrated to Germany and then to America.
The letter-journal of the old Poet-Schoenfeld states that on Sept 22, 1731 there was a trip made by John and Elizabeth
to Haarlem in the Netherlands. Two years later the Schoenfelds emigrated to America. While living in Haarlem, the document
was written by Johannes Poet, Elizabeth Schoenfelds brother and signed on behalf of himself and his wife Elizabeth and sent
out to their friends and family in their hometown region of Reichenbach. The Schoenfelds and the Poets were very secretive
and careful, as they were afraid of imprisonment, They state that in their letter that they were not confirmed believers or
members of any church and that they had their on individual beliefs. They referred to themselves as “High Germans”
and that they had been invited to settle in many places on their travels through Germany, as they were by profession, “tailors
of singular skill.”
More research was done and another letter was found by the Moravian Church that was sent by John Schoenfeld to a Germantown
newspaper in 1742. This letter was well written and should infer something of the authors education. The letter was located
in the Archives of Breslau (Wroclau) Poland, which was formerly part of Silesia. A microfilm copy of this document can be
found in the United Stats Library of Congress. The towns that they fled to are known and they did this because of religious
persecution. They were invited personally to stay at the Saxony estate of Herrnhut, by Count Zinzendorf, the later day founder
of the Moravian Church. They soon wore out there welcome there because they would not join or conform to his church or beliefs
so they were on the run again. This time they ended up in the Netherlands . It was from here they set sail on the 18 of Sep
1733 on the “Pennsylvania Merchant” of London . John Stedman was the Captain from Rotterdam.
They didn’t use there real name on the ship manifest on it they were listed as Johan Shoenvelet and Elizabeth Shoenvelden
and arrived with the Schwenkfelder Second Migration. At the time of their arrival they still didn’t belong to any church
so they joined the German Reformed Church. By the way all his sons that followed him late to America joined the same church.
Our direct link Frederick Seinfeld being one of them. Johannes was by profession a tailor of singular skill. He was an educated
person, very proud, and yet a very spiritual, humble man. I don’t think that I mention earlier the Johannes Schonfeld
and Elizabeth Poet met and married in Silesia which today is Eastern Germany, Northern Czech Republic and Western Poland.
They were married in 1710.
If you thought the Laughery name was bad on various spelling it can’t compare to the Shaneyfelt. There are at least
61 variant spelling of the surname. So with the Laughery, Wilson and Nicholls I got off easy I guess. John Henry Schonfeld
and Elizabeth had five (5) children again one of them Frederick being our link to the family name and heritage. The children
1. Johannes Schonenfeld b: 1709 in Silesia, Saxony, Moravia, Germany
2. John Peter Schoenfeld b: Abt 1712 same as above
3. Frederick Shenifelt b: 1715 same as above
4. George Schoenfeldt b: 1730 same as above
5. William Shanefelt b: 1736 in Germantown, Philadelphia Co. Pennsylvania. Notice here that the name starts to take shape
for what will eventually become Shaneyfelt.
My guess is and it make sense Frederick would have been 18 years old and on his own or left with grandparents and or other
family back in Europe when his parents came to America . He wasn’t far behind them because he came over on the ship
“St. Andrew Galley” that landed in American on the 26 of September in 1737 in Maryland. Old Frederick must have
had some money because he purchase a large track of land and made a plantation out of it and called it “Castle Plains.”
It was located near present day Hagerstown, Maryland. Again one thing must be remember that when they moved to the land near
Hagerstown it was the frontier then. Baltimore and the town on the Chesapeake Bay were settled but the frontier was still
a rough place to live. The Shaneyfelt’s are given credit in Maryland history for being in the forefront on settling
the vast frontier. When he bought the land the French and Indian War was in going on and he had to end up quartering troops
but that was good for him and his brothers because they were given credit for militia service to the country and it is recorded
on colonial Maryland records , The book the Early Shanafelt Family by Laurel Shanafelt Powell records that Frederick Shenifelt
was married to Mary Magdalena who was born in 1753. They were married in 1772. They were married in the First German Reformed
Church Frederick Co. Hagerstown MD. But research has shown that she might not have actually been his wife. The wife that makes
the most sense is a women named Mary Elizabeth Wescheback who also was of German extract and she was born on Jan 27, 1746.
1. John Shenifelt b: 1768 in Castle Plains Hagerstown Maryland
2. Elizabeth Shanefelt b: 1770 I Hagerstown, Washington County Maryland
3. George Michael Schoenfeld b: 6 Jan 1773 Washington Co Maryland
4 Frederick Shenifelt B: 1775 in Washington Co Maryland
5. Catherine Shenifelt b: Abt 1775 in Maryland
6 Margaret Shenifelt b: Abt 1775 in Maryland
7. Eve Mary Shanefelt b: 19 Mar.1779 in Hagerstown, Washington Co Maryland
8. Mary Shenifelt b: Abt 1781 in Maryland
His profession was listed as a farmer and died at the age of 70 at his plantation “Castle Plains” on the Conococheaque
river southwest of Hagerstown Maryland. He was only married 21 years so he got married when he was 49. He left a very extensive
will which was probated on Aug 23, 1783 it was written on 29 July 1783 and registered at Hagerstown Court House. In the will
he mention his wife Mary, his plantation, George Shenifelt, my brother Michael, Frederick, Mary ,Catharine, Margaret, Eve.
He gave the largest part of his estate to his eldest son John, born in 1768 (who married Rosanna
Miller) a smaller portion to his daughter Elizabeth. He also states in the will “ Also I give devise and bequeath
into my Eldest son John Shenifelt, his heirs and Assigns all
the tract or parcel of land and houses thereon whereon I now live called “Best of Castle Plains. “ It was said
the total parcel contained 114 acres more or less.
The daughter Elizabeth marriage in 1789 to her cousin John born 1766 son of William of Rock Hall, Hagerstown. William continued
making land purchases along the Antietam Creek in the Lieterburg District on the northeast edge of Hagerstown, calling his
holding which total 302 acres a “Rock Hall” in 1806, bonded these two lineages of the Shanafelt family firmly
together. Frederick had also purchased land from his brother George named “Dear Bought” whether it was a high
price a poor piece of land or perhaps it was just more valuable that Frederick had imagined and thought that his brother would
give him a break.
It would be only fair to tell what happened to some of the other children of Frederick Schoenefeldt because they were real
pioneers. George Michael ended up in York Co Pa in the York town area. He was will 100 lbs by his father which was a lot of
money at the time and he used it to become a wheat farmer. He also planted and tended Grapes. His grapes were used to produce
wine. He married a Catharine Kock who was born abt. 1714 and they had four children listed in the tree to follow. George died
sometime after 1811 in York Pa.
John Shanafelt and no I’m not misspelling the name, this is the different ways even members of one family spelled
their last name. John ended up in Ohio where what we now call Mohoning Co. His was one of the earliest settlers in that area.
He married a Rosanna Miller b: 1 Feb 1772 and she died 2 Jun 1837 and year before John. John kept this women busy because
he had 12 children. What was odd Rosanna had two sets of identical twin boys listed later in the family tree. Now we know
where all the twins come from don’t we.
Catherine Shenefelt one of Fredreich daughter married a George Geyer who was born on 4 Mar 1774 and died on 22 Spt 1848
in Ohio. They had seven (7) children again listed later. She died on 14 Spt 1839 and is buried somewhere in and around Muskingum
Eve Shenefelt again was born in Hagerstown on 10 Mar 1779 and died 19 Mar 1848 in Wolfsville Pa. She was married in 1803
to Ludwick Protzman who was born on 16 Feb. 1783. Don’t know when he died. They had three (3) children.
Of course we know where Frederick Shenifelt ended up along with the sister Margaret we know she married her cousin and
stayed on the farm.
Now I not entirely sure what transpired and a lot of what I say is just good old speculation the facts are true but the
order in which they happened is confusing. After Frederick died everyone started moving around. I guess again it was the old
“Go West Young Man Go West Syndrome” but west they did go. Some not to farm like Frederick Shanafelt Jr. the father
of George Shaneyfelt our G-G-G Grandfather. Old Frederick made it as far as Rostrataver Twp. Then he moved to Westmoreland
Co. and finally in
1830 ended up in Fayette Co where work as a farmer. There is no record as to who he was married to or a least any record
that we could find. We do know that he had 5 children and they were:
1. George B Shanafelt b: 24 Oct. 1806, He died on 19 May 1864
2. Martha Shenifelt b: 1801 d: 1810
3. Mellie Eleanor Shenifelt b: 1804
4. Anna Sheinfelt b: 1801 d: 1810
5. John Shaneyfelt b: 1815,
Now I won’t at this time include the entire family tree I will put it in at the end of the chapter. Of the children
listed above George would be of importance to us because he is our Great-Great-Great_Grandfather. He is the father of John
Shaneyfelt who is the father of Othoniel Shaneyfelt my Grandmother Mains’ father. There doesn’t seem to be much
history of the family after they moved to Fayette County in that I mean they all settled down to there trads and skills .
Most were coal miners or electricians. Some drove trucks for a living.
George Shaneyfelt one of Frederick Sheniefelt son was born in Bowman, Flatwoods which is near Perryopolis in Fayette Co
Pa. He was born on Oct. 24, 1806 and was married to Elizabethe Underwood before 1828. Elizabeth Underwood was born on Aug
8, 1808 in Flatwoods also. They had 10 children one set of twins Joshua and Rebecca born Aug 8, 1839. The other children will
be listed in the tree. One of his children was John Shaneyfelt the father of Othniel. His last will and testament was drawn
up and sign on the 227 of April 1864 about 20 days before he died. It was an interesting will and here are some excerpts .
“In the name of God Amen, I George Shaneyfelt of Franklin Township, Fayette Co of the State of Pennsylvania, being
of sound mind and memory, and considering the uncertainty of this frail and transitory life, do therefore swear, ordain, publish
and declare this t0 be my last will and testament . I give to my beloved wife Elizabeth my span of mares together with two
sets of harnesses, my best-two-horse wagon, one plow, and one harron together with two cows of her choice and six sheep of
her choice and two hogs. And further I give to my wife all my household good, or such part of them she may see proper to keep
and also ten bushels of corn, twenty bushels of wheat and what bacon I have on hand, also my windmill and the resifue of my
Item 2nd I give and bequeath to my wife all my real estate al long as she remains my widow, Except - the house
and lot on the East corner of my farm on which my son John Shaneyfelt and further I authorize and empower my Executrors to
make and execute a deed of conveyance in my name to my son John for the aforesaid parcel of my real estate. He then goes on
the describe what is to happen after his wife dies and that was to dispose of all his property and settle all his debths and
devide what ever was left over equally among all his children.
Again the son John who was left the house on the farm is Othniel Shaneyflet’s my Grandmother Mains father. Now come
the hard part the later generations are accutally harder to follow because they tended to move around more then the pioneers
Shaneyfelt married a Miss Elizabeth Underwood who was born on the 8th of Aug. 1808 and died on April 5, 1894.
She is buried in the Flatwoods Cemetety in Fayette Co Pa. John and Elizabeth had 8 children and I think I’ll list them
so you can get an idea of where they ended up moving to:
1.Joseph Montgomery Shanerfelt b: 15 Feb 1857 in flatwood married Frances Mahala Orbin July 2, 1878 in Broadford, Dunbar
Twp in Fayette Co. Pa. She was born 1 Jan 1859 in Broadford Dunbar Twp . Joe died on Nov 28, 1922 in Marquette Hamilton Co
NE. She also died in Hamilton Country NE on Apr. 14, 1961 Yes she was 102 years old when she died.
2. Celestina Shaneyfelt b: 1859 died Abt. 1960 she lived to be 99
3. Jennie Rebecca Shaneyfelt b: Jan 1, 1861 Fayette Co died in Oct of 1950 in Oklahoma She was married to Joseph Bush aft
1880. They had three children listed later.
4. Nora Narcissa Shaneyfelt. B: Mr 12, 1861 Fayette Pa. M: Josiah Decker Stillwagon Bef 1883 in Riceslanding Pa. Josiah
was born on Jun 76, 1860 and died Oct 29, 1931. He was born in Braodford Pa. They had eight children listed later.
5. Mary Margaret Shaneyfetl b: 1869 again Fayette Co. She also married a Stillwagon
6. Henry B. Shaneyfelt b: 1871 Fayette Co. d: Jan 22, 1944. Looks like he followed Joseph out to Neberska because he married
a Amanda somebody who was born on Feb 22, 1871 and died on July 16, 1963 both died in Neberska.
7. Emaline Shaneyfelt b: 1875 not much know about her except she was married to a Frank Jones
8. Othonied Shaenfelt b: March 12, 1865 in Frost Station died May 23, 1918 in Fayette Co . Buried in the Maple Grove cemetery
in Fairchance. Of course we should all know by now that Othoniel is the father of Lena Olive Shaneyfelt my grandmother.
Othoniel Shaneyfelt born April 5, 1866 in Frost Station Pa he died on my birthday May 29, 1918. He married Jennie Harned
on April 2, 1887 she was 18, he was 21 he listed his occupation on the marriage license as coalminer she listed no occupation.
I have really had a hard time with Jennie’s parents which were William and Mary Harned and the only way I found this
was on their marriage license. I do know they were from West Virginia. Othoniel parents and grandparents are well documented
as I will show later.
Othoniel mother was Sarah Jane L (Livingston) Shaneyfelt born on April 2, 1839 in Flatwoods Pa. and died on May 19, 1918
in Dawson PA. She is the Livingston tie to the family. Her fathers name was Othoniel Livingston Sr. born about 1817 in Broadford
PA and died Sept. 30, 1894 in Franklin Twp Fayette Co. PA. I just wonder if the place where Othoniel Sr. was born is suppose
to be Bedford PA. and this is another case of misspelling by the person doing the data input.
I know that Othaniel Sr. father’s name was George Livingston born 1795 died in 1850 and the mother’s name was
Huldah Donnelley born in 1796 died in 1864. Thank God for the Mormon site because it got me straight on Othaniel mother I
had her originally as Jennie Russell who was born in 1864 and died in 1934 and as you can tell by the dates that would not
of worked but this was information put in the data bank in the Uniontown Library by someone I have since corrected it. Othoniel
Senior’s wife was
Margarette G. (Gilleland) Livingston born about 1822 Fayette Co PA and died on Aug 5, 1848. Here again another name surfaces
Thomas Gilleland born 1798 died June 1835 and Jane Hunter born Nov. 5, 1787 died Jan. 13, 1859.I don’t think I even
want to get into the Gilleland side maybe later.. Othoniel Sr. was married twice and had listed as follows: