Sener: Samuel M. Sener Scrapbooks, 1776-1898

Collection: The Scrapbook Collection

Call No.: MG-434, Boxes 031-037

Title: Samuel M. Sener Scrapbooks, 1776-1898

Dates: 1776-1898

Extent: 7 volumes

Creator: Samuel Miller Sener, compiler.

Repository: (Lancaster, Pa.)

Shelving Location: Archives South, Side 22


System of Arrangement:  

Book 1: S. M. Sener Scrapbook of World History, 1776-1895

Book 2: S. M. Sener Scrapbook of Lancaster County and Pennsylvania History, 1779, 1892-1895

Book 3: S. M. Sener Scrapbook of Lancaster County and Pennsylvania History, 1795-1801

Book 4: S. M. Sener Scrapbook, 1812-1887

Book 5: S. M. Sener Scrapbook of Pennsylvania History, 1869-1895

Book 6: S. M. Sener Scrapbook of Lancaster County and Pennsylvania History, 1888-1897

Book 7: S. M. Sener Scrapbook of Pennsylvania History, 1892-1898


Description:   Samuel Miller Sener’s scrapbooks represent his interests in history. The volumes cover different aspects of history in Lancaster County, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the United States and all over the world. Each of the books contains newspaper clippings and marginalia (annotations). The majority of the marginalia are the names of the newspaper in which the clipping was obtained and the date of publication. However, there are also some personal comments written between articles.

In Book 1, the majority of information is about major events that have happened in world history. The most represented articles are entitled “Eyes of History,” describing historical events. There are some articles about Lancaster and Pennsylvania history, but those articles are interspersed throughout the book. Other local articles consist of dates and blurbs about lectures on world history happening throughout the area.

Book 2 includes more information about Lancaster and Pennsylvania, but also has articles related to the history of the United States. One series of articles is about the history of the states and their founders. The newspaper clippings that focus on Lancaster incorporate Thaddeus Stevens, Mennonites, and Catholics. Information on local societies includes the Pennsylvania German Society, Linnaean Society, Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution, and the Daughters’ of the American Revolution. Sener’s interest in science is also expressed in newspaper clippings on meteorites and natural science. A special item of interest is the facsimile of William Penn’s Charter.

Book 3 has information about many of the different locations through Pennsylvania. The locations mentioned are as follows: Cumberland Valley, Hanover, Yorktown, Lower Paxton Township, Harrisburg, Ephrata, Delaware County, Kittanning, Middletown, Dauphin County, Fort Pitt, and Lancaster County. A series of articles are represented throughout the book called “Historical, Biographical and Genealogical.” These articles discuss history and the origins of surnames and include information on many of the local families. An interesting clipping is the Lancaster County Revolutionary War Militia Registrar containing names of American Revolutionary soldiers and militiamen.

Books 4 and 5 contribute the most local Lancaster County information out of the entire series. Articles on local landmarks, like Historic Rockford, Ephrata Sharon House, Ephrata Cloister, Boehm’s Methodist Church, and Franklin and Marshall College, occur frequently throughout these books. Book 4 contains more history about Pennsylvania. Colonial, religious and personal histories can be found in articles about Washington County, Mifflin County, Muhlenberg, Philadelphia, Fort Bedford, White Marsh, Reading, and Pottstown. This scrapbook also has newspaper articles on family origins and genealogical backgrounds. Book 5 surveys a variety of interests including science, religion, crime, history, and prominent people. There are many people mentioned throughout the scrapbook, for example George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, James P. Wickersham, Simon S. Rathvon, Thomas Knowlton, and Samuel Sener, himself.

Book 6 covers a variety of subjects and there are fewer than fifty pages dedicated to Lancaster. However, the book gives insight to the time-period. The major focuses of the Lancaster newspaper articles are religion across the county and the Ephrata Cloister. Daniel Bursk Strickler is mentioned in a couple of articles. The rest of the book is dedicated to science and United States history.

Book 7, the final book in the series, covers current events and Pennsylvania history. Several churches in Pennsylvania are shown including Upper Marsh Creek Presbyterian Church in Adams County and Egypt Church in Lehigh County. Other counties mentioned are Lancaster, Dauphin, Berks, York, Montgomery, West Chester, and Lewis. Several articles on towns and cities within Pennsylvania appear in the book like Washington, Juniata, White Deer Township, Bedford, Cumberland Valley, Pittsburgh, Philipsburg, and Lancaster. The subjects available in this volume are family histories, name origins, taxes, the American Revolution, Indian Trails, The Whiskey Rebellion, and Welsh settlements. Other than marginalia and newspaper clippings, this scrapbook also contains epitaphs and baptismal records.


Conditions for Access:

Book 1: Please make an appointment with the archivist.

Book 2: Please make an appointment with the archivist.

Books 3-4: Please fill out a call slip for viewing.

Book 5: Please make an appointment with the archivist.

Books 6-7: Please fill out a call slip for viewing


Conditions Governing Reproductions: May not be photocopied. Please contact Research Staff or Archives Staff with questions.

Language: English

Source of Acquisition: Source unknown.


Related Materials at

Sener, Samuel Miller. The Lancaster Barrack: Where the British and Hessian Prisoners Were Detained During the Revolution. Reprint, Hershey, Pennsylvania: G. T. Hawbaker, 1989.

_____. “Local Superstitions,” in Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society (Vo. 9, no. 8): 233- 245.

Samuel Sener published several other articles that can be found in the Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society.


Subjects: Sener, Samuel Miller, 1855-1911.

Stevens, Thaddeus, 1792-1868.

Strickler, Daniel Bursk, 1897-1992.

Ephrata Cloister.

Franklin and Marshall College.

German Society of Lancaster.

Historic Rock Ford Plantation and Kauffman Museum (Lancaster, Pa.)

Linnæan society of Lancaster city and county (Lancaster, Pa.)

St. James’ Church (Lancaster, Pa.)

Indians of North America — Pennsylvania.

Local taxation.

Pennsylvania Dutch.



Whiskey Rebellion, Pa. 1794.


Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)

Pennsylvania — History — Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.

United States — History – Revolution, 1775-1783.

Lancaster County (Pa.) — History, local.

Lancaster (Pa.)

Elizabethtown (Pa.)

Ephrata (Pa.)

Hanover (Pa.)

Lititz (Pa.)

Philadelphia (Pa.)


Administrative/Biographical History: Samuel M. Sener

The Sener family settled in Pennsylvania in 1749. Samuel Miller Sener (1854-1911), the son of Henry C. Sener and Frances Coggstoll, was born in Lancaster. He received his education in public school and went on to study law. He was admitted to the Lancaster Bar in 1877, but focused more on historical and scientific pursuits within Lancaster County than his legal practice.

Sener became a court reporter for The New Era. He held the position of librarian for the Lancaster County Historical Society from May 1896 until May 1909. Sener was also active as a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the Sons of the Revolution, Society of the War of 1812, Lancaster Press Club and the Linnaean Society. At the same time, he served as a trustee at the A. Herr Smith Memorial Library. He remained an active member in all of these organizations until his death on 26 June 1911 at the age of fifty-seven.


Custodial History: Previously housed in the Scrapbook Collection, Books 20 and 50-55.

Cataloged by: CRB, October 2007.

This project was funded by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, ME60112, 2007-2008.