Schneider family collection

Schneider family collection.

9.5 m of textual records and other material.

View full finding aid of Schneider family collection (PDF)

Johann Christoph Schneider was born in Germany, in Unteröwisheim, Baden, on August 27, 1831. His father, a farmer, was also Johann Christoph Schneider; his mother was Margarethe Elizabeth Zoller. He left Germany in 1847 when he was sixteen years old and settled in Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario, where a substantial German settlement already existed. He worked as a carpenter and later as a mechanic, and by 1858 was a building contractor. He married Anna Elizabeth Metz on April 26, 1857. They had seven children, of whom John Metz Schneider, founder of the meat packing firm later known as the Schneider Corp., was the first.

Johann Christoph Schneider contributed to the physical growth of Berlin as a builder, helping construct buildings such as the Waterloo County Court House and the Breithaupt tanneries. In 1860 he purchased a 100-acre farm in what is now the Victoria/Lawrence St. area of Kitchener, cleared the land and spent the next thirty-seven years as a farmer. He was a founding member of the Church of the New Jerusalem, a Swedenborgian congregation. In politics he was “a staunch supporter of Reform principles.” (Obituary) He died in 1900.

The descendants of Johann Christoph Schneider played active roles in business, politics, the cultural and social life of the area from the nineteenth century to the present day.

The Schneider family collection was originally assembled and maintained at the archives of the Schneider Corp. in Kitchener, Ont. It was transferred to the University of Waterloo in 2001 after the sale of Schneider's to Smithfield Foods. The corporate archives remains with the company.


Fonds consists of material relating to descendants of Johann Christoph and Anna Elizabeth Schneider, their families, friends and activities. It also contains genealogical information about the Schneider and Ahrens family origins in Germany and relatives there. Includes clippings, correspondence, ephemera, films, manuscripts, photographs, slides, etc.

Includes: 2489 photographs, 322 negatives, 2323 slides, 54 film reels, 7 videocassettes, 3 audiocassettes.

Organized in 18 series:

  1. Ahrens family;
  2. Alfred S. Gofton;
  3. Jean May Hawkings;
  4. Brita Hazell;
  5. Charles A. Schneider;
  6. Schneider Family Genealogy;
  7. Johann Christoph Schneider;
  8. Frederick H. Schneider;
  9. Frederick P. Schneider;
  10. Herbert J. Schneider;
  11. Herbert J. Schneider;
  12. Howard G. Schneider;
  13. John Metz Schneider;
  14. Norman C. Schneider;
  15. Emma L. Siegner;
  16. J. M. Schneider, Inc.;
  17. Local History;
  18. Lapsley Family.


  • Material relating to an individual can be found in two separate series: as a child in the series relating to the parents; as an adult (from the age of majority or marriage) in his or her own series. For example, material relating to Herbert J. Schneider will be found in both Series 14, Norman C. Schneider and Series 10, Herbert J. Schneider.
  • Copyright remains with the family.
  • Acquired from the Schneider family in 2001.
  • Further accruals expected.

Call number: GA 134