FAMILY OF HENRY CUNREDS
and
KATHERINE STREYPERS HIS WIFE

By HENRY C. CONRAD

Probably the first progenitor of the Conard family was Thanes Kunders, a Hollander. who lived at Crefeld, on the Rhine, and who becoming interested in the teachings of William Penn, came to America in 1683 as one of the thirteen heads of families who became the founders of Germantown. now a part of the great city of Philadelphia. Richard Proud, the historian, says the first religious meeting of the Quakers in that place (Germantown) was held at Kunder's house and speaks of him as a hospitable, well disposed man of an inoffensive life and good character. In his will he directed that the bed and furniture in the new room to be for the use of the Quakers. There are evidences that he was a member of the Abington Meeting as the record of the births of his seven children appear there.

The descendants of Thomas Kunders have adopted various ways of spelling their last names. A marriage certificate of his youngest son, date in 1710. discloses that no two of his sons spelled the name in the same way, Conrad, Conard, Cunard and Cunnard, have all been in use for generations and still continue. Henry Cunreds, the youngest son of Thomas Kunders, was married under the direction of Abington Friends Meeting on 6-28-1710.to Katherine Streypers. A year later he bought a strip of land in Whitpain Township not far distant from the Five Points school house called the "Cloot," and there he settled and raised a family of seven sons. I have seen a letter, dated" 4-4-1717, still in existence, given to this original Henry Cunreds and his wife Katherine, by the Friends of Abington recommending them to the Friends of the Monthly Meeting at Gwynedd, which meant a transfer of membership from the Abington to the Plymouth Meeting. This letter was found among the effects of Henry at his death, which would leave a doubt existing as to whether Henry and his wife were formally received as members of PlymOlith Meeting. I am satisfied that this original Henry Cunreds was the first Conrad identified with Plymouth Meeting and that he atte!1cled there for a period of more than forty years prior to his death in 1758. It is difficult to go back almost two hundred years and from the stray scraps of information that have heen preserved, establish positive facts, but I feel that I am justified in saying that from 1717, possibly earlier, until the present. there has been no time when there was not at Plymouth :Meeting either a member or an attendant, a descendant of this same

Of his seven sons, William, the oldest, seemed to have earlier in life gotten out of the neighborhood. The other six sons remained either in Whitpain or the surrounding townships and presumably continued their connections with Plymouth Meeting.

Dennis, his second son, married Lydia Potts of this neighborhood, raised three children, Catherine, Henry and Rachael, and died in 1786. From this line come the Shoemakers, a very large family, many members of which have been connected with Plymouth Meeting.

John, the third son, married Ann Rogers, and lived a mile out of Norristown. His children, three sons and a daughter, continued as far as known, with the Friends connection, and as this Meeting was the one neares/t them, they doubtless attended here. John's youngest son, Henry, was my grandfather. He married and settled on the farm now occupied by John M. Conrad, in Whitpain, in 1787, and spent the remainder of his life there. He was a member of Plymouth Meeting. Both he and eight of his twelve children are buried in the graveyard of Plymouth Meeting.

Peter, the fourth son, married Catharine Evans, and through his daughter Tacy (the only child which reached maturity), who married John Styer. comes the large Styer family, who for generations have been represented in Plymouth Meeting.

Joseph, the fifth son, married Rebecca Cook. He left two sons. Joseph and John. Through this branch, of the family there has been a numerous progeny, much larger than from any other branch, and these ha ve been represented in the membership of this meeting for one hundred and fifty years at least. The John Conrad, last mentioned, (born 11 -3-1780) who married Sarah Childs, was the father of twelve children, all of whom but two were married and raised families, in several instances, large ones. He was the father of Albert and Isaac Conard, of Fort Washington, who for many years were active in affairs of this meeting, and whose activities and interests ended only with their deaths in very recent years.

Benjamin the sixth son, left no children.

Samuel, the seventh son, was twice married. The children of the first marriage drifted away from the neighborhood in their youth, a son Abraham, going to Nova, Scotia, and the latter's son, Sir Samuel Cunard, became one of the founders of the famous Cunard line of ocean steamers.

Samuel's second wife was Susanna Foulke and of this marriage there was one child, Nancy, who married Abraham Philips, and the ten children of this marriage, six daughters and four sons, nearly all are buried in Plymouth Meeting graveyard. Only two of the ten married.

Thus briefly I have traced the children of the original Henry Conrads, who settled in Whitpain in 1711. He, his wife, and six of his seven sons I am satisfied attended this meeting and lie buried in the graveyard adjoining. Their deaths covered the period from 1758 to 1807. The second generation from Henry Conrads of Whitpain numbered about 130 souls. The third generation over 300, and the fourth exceeding 700. Of this surprising number of descendants from one man, a major part were identified .with this Meeting, and many of them worshipped regularly here. The further generations have appeared upon the stage of life up to the present, but of recent years the branches of the family have become more scattered, but in the present membership of this Meeting his descendants are still represented.

No stones mark the graves where the older heads were laid, and the mounds that covered them have been leveled with the ceaseless march of time. I am in the fifth generation from Henry Conrads of Whitpain. My father, Aaron Conrad, was a birthright member of this Meeting and under this roof he was married in 1829. In his young days he left the Plymouth Valley, and nearly sixty years ago took up his residence in Delaware. In that state my life has been spent, and there a little colony of graves holds those who were closest in blood to my life.

It has been my privilege from year to year, from boyhood up to worship in this building, more often in younger days than now. Here the gospel of the living God has been preached for two hundred years. I recall gentle words of admonition that have fallen from the lips of the preacher in this place; the quiet hour of se rvice, and the friendly greeting at its close. But time is relentless, the years go on, the generations pass, the familiar faces disappear, and those who live out the longest spans of life find themselves strangers in the midst of the multitude.

Two hundred years--not a stone in the building but has its memories, and not a nail in the old floor but touches a tender spot. Three of my ancestors in the older generations have been resting in the graveyard yonder for a century or more. Many times in my life I have been called to see those laid away who were close to me in blood and friendship; one in whose lap my limbs were nursed. The past is very tender in my heart. I am glad to have mingled with the friends today, and to have given of my little store of knowledge in honor of those who sowed that we might reap, and building better than they knew, left us so good a heritage.



Keep Us Updated! Fill out the Genealogy Information Form:
CR Genealogy Form

Kunders, an humble wool dyer from the banks of the Rhine, who, settling in the untrodden wilds of America, and pursuing the even tenor of a modest and uneventful life, “builded better than he knew.”

Robert Proud, in his history of Pennsylvania says, “Among the first Germantown settlers was Dennis Conrad. The first religious meeting of the Quakers, in that place, was held at his house in 1683. He was a hospitable, well-disposed man, of an inoffensive life and good character.”