Snavely sounds like an English name. In fact there is a character in the Bristol Renaissance Faires, held in Kenosha Wisconsin each year and purporting to tell the history of Bristol England, named Cecil Snavely. And it sounds like one of the law clerks in the original movie of Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" is named Snavely or Snively. But the name actually
originates in Canton Berne, Switzerland, and the German side of the Alps across the German border in Bavaria. Snavely is the anglicized version of the
original name Schnable or Schneble. The Snavelys (like the Hersheys and other
early immigrants to Pennsylvania) were Huguenots (Protestants) and many of
them were Mennonite (a severe sect similar to Amish). They came to William Penn's
colony to escape religious persecution in the Old World. So Snavely as it is spelled now is really an original American name that predates the
revolution. Snavelys and Snivelys (an alternate spelling of the same name)
fought against the British. A John Snavely was wounded at the battle of Brandywine Bridge in defense of the city of Philadelphia on September 11th, 1777.
A descendent of Robert Morris "the financier of the American Revolution" and signer of the Declaration of Independence, married a Snavely.
The Snavelys prospered in Pennsylvania for many generations. Another John Snavely moved to Maryland and built a house on the banks of Antietam creek. He called the farm "Snavely's Ford". Snavely's Ford was at the center of America's bloodiest day when, on September 17th, 1862, the Civil War battle of Antietam (called the battle of Sharpsburg by the South) was fought there. The Snavely farmhouse was converted into a Union hospital during the fighting. A direct ancestor of mine (although not apparently an immediate relative of the Snavely's Ford Snavelys), also named John Snavely, fought in the Pennsylvania Militia at Antietam. Two direct relatives through my father's mother's side (maiden name Chadoin) fought for Texas on the Confederate side and one, Alonzo Chadoin, was shot and killed near Snavely's Ford.
Click here for a contemporary sketch of "Bloody Lane", about 2 miles North from Snavely's Ford where Alonzo was probably shot. Here is a map of the battlefield including Snavely's Ford and "Bloody Lane".
Click here for a first-hand account of how 30th Virginia was ordered to take Snavely's Ford, found the pumps at the farm broken by the "Damn Yankee" Farmer Snavely and were decimated as they continued to advance. 30th Virginia was cooperating with 1st Texas "Hood's Brigade" and both regiments were almost compeletely anhillated a little North of the ford. 1st Texas in turn was supported by Alonzo's regiment, 4th Texas a.k.a. the "Hell Roaring Fourth". Their casualties were nearly as severe. The Chadoins are an old Texas family related by marriage to James Gaines, one of the authors and signers of the The Constitution of the Republic of Texas
Probably the most famous Snavely was actually a Hershey. Milton Snavely Hershey, the inventor of the Hershey Bar (his mother's maiden name was Snavely).
There haven't been many famous (or infamous thankfully) Snavelys since Carl G. Snavely who was a semi-legendary coach at UNC in the 40s. He won 3 Southern Conference Championships and lost 2 Sugar Bowls and a Cotton Bowl. Click here to see one of his more innovative coaching moves. He was renowned for his honesty. Early in his career, when coaching at Cornell, his team beat archrival Dartmouth 7-3. But Snavely conceded the game when he determined the referee had mistakenly given Cornell 5 downs on the scoring drive. By the 19990's this sort of sportsmanship had entirely dissapeared from the college game. (Click here for enduring fallout from the infamous "5th Down Game" between Colorado and Missouri.) Legend has it that Snavely invented "the sweep" and Vince Lombardi copied it from him.
Lieutenent General William Snavely flew 38 B-24 combat missions over Germany in WWII and (later) served as deputy chief of staff for systems and logistics until his retirement in 1975.
And Colonel Eugene H. Snavely commanded the 44th B-24 Bomb Group "eight-ball". 2nd Lieutenent Emma Snavely is one of only eight women buried in the the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in St. Avold, France.
Dr. Bill Snavely was the mayor of Oxford, Ohio.
Dr. Benjamin Snavely is the National Science Foundation's (NSF) program director for advanced technologies and instrumentation in astronomical sciences. My second cousin Dr. Luther Snavely was director of the Notre Dame marching band until he retired in 2000 (he has a credit in the movie "Rudy").
The Texas Snavelys moved from Pennsylvania to Texas via Oklahoma just before the turn
of the (20th) century. My grandfather Ireneus came to Oklahoma in a covered wagon
when he was a boy. He served in the army of occupation in Germany following
WWI. When he returned to South Texas he persuaded "the Belle of Harlingen", my
grandmother Roberta Chadoin to marry him. She was a graduate of the University of Texas, Austin and held also a Masters degree from Columbia. He served in the Texas Rangers and later
in the border patrol. They had 4 children; my father Robert Milton Snavely was the
2nd to youngest. He served in the Marine Corps and was stationed for a while on
Okinawa. When he returned to South Texas he obtained his B.A. in education on the G.I. Bill at Pan American College (later University of Texas, Pan American) and duplicated his father's feat by
persuading the most beautiful girl in the area to marry him - my mother Julia Mollenaur. Coincidently, Mollenaur is a Bavarian name. Julia was also the smartest girl for miles being valedictorian of her
class and later graduating Summa Cum Laude from Pan American and afterwards completing two Masters degrees, one in Education, and one in Speech. I'm the oldest of 8 (!) Snavelys. We have been in San Diego since 1977 (so practically native :) In 1991 I followed in the Snavely tradition
by marrying a good-looking, clever girl - Nancy Gaughan. Nancy is a graduate of
California State University, San Marcos (Go Tukwuts!) The Gaughans come
from County Mayo, Ireland. Nancy's mother was born in the Ukraine and escaped
the maelstrom on the Eastern front in WWII by emigrating to Berlin of all places
(sometime the eye of the storm is the safest spot) where she met Nancy's father Walter Gaughan, serving in the army of occupation after WWII.
Nancy and I have 1 child, Sophia Claire Snavely, born Nov. 15th 2002.
Siblings in order of birth:
My sister Roberta is a graduate of USD; she is married to Dr. Gary Korff M.D. My sister Cynthia is (like I) a graduate of UCSD; she is currently a third year law student at USD; she is married to Richard Campbell who is manager and co-owner of Sage Grill in Encinitas named Best New Resteraunt, Casual 2005 by the Association of S.D. Resteraunteurs. My sister Julia is married to John LaPlante. My sister Rebecca is also a graduate of UCSD (Go Tritons!); she is another "Dr. Snavely" - a "Juris Doctor" from UC Hastings Law School; she works for the law firm of "MoFo" (Morrison and Foerester) in San Francisco and is married to Ed Salaeo who is the executive chef of P. F. Chang's, Walnut Creek. My brother Robert is a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs!);as an undergraduate he held a prestigious "Regent's Scholarship" for his continuing major in History. My brother Matthew is a dope smoking Rastafarian. My brother David "Big Wave Dave" is a world class body surfer, winner of several championships, and all around stand-up guy married in June 2002 to Molly, the latest great woman to bear the illustrious title "Mrs. Snavely".
Nancy and I have 3 god-children, Sophias's cousins Austin Allan Korff, Sierra Korff, and Madison Sage Campbell. Austin's Little League team recently won the "silver bracket" championship game in Encinitas, California.
In addition to the above, Sophia has another cousin, my nephew Trevor LaPlante. The Korffs are his and Sophia's godparents.
"Scrumpy" Jack Snavely is our Jack Russell terrier. He is named after the unofficial cider the Oxford Queen's College Rugby Team. His cousin Macintyre "Mac" Korff is also a Jack Russel "terror" (since deceased from chasing a truck - see poetry corner). Goldy and Glance Snavely are 2 fat goldfish who were bought for 49 cents each and have lived for more than 2 years in our backyard pond. Gee, I suppose I could have bought Koi for hundreds of dollars but Goldy and Glance are just as pretty and definantly have more personality.