New answers  DISCOVERED!



For years the available Steffisburg Joder information relied on data that was copied by researchers Karl Joder and Otmar Jotter over 30 years ago. New research has provided a variety of clues and some answers. Thanks to Stähli family researcher Bruce W. Stahly for his advice and translation assistance and to professional Swiss researcher Therese Metzger who synopsized key Steffisburg estate (contract) records held at Bern, we are able to provide in this issue some significant updates on the Joder families of the emigrating generation. Your subscriptions have allowed us the discretion to pay for this expert assistance. Steffisburg church books are now available on a 3 CD set from Picton Press, Rockland, Me. These are the source for a review of baptismal, death and marriage records. Both the updated church records and the results of the contract transcriptions have been posted to the Yoder Newsletter web pages.


caspar yoder MARRIED TO verena  stauffer,

IS redefined!

In the last YNL, we provided information that established that Jacob Amman, founder of the “Amish”, had attended a religious meeting in a Joder home in Steffisburg, and that it appeared certain that this home was that of Caspar Joder, son of Jost Joder who married Anna Trachsel. This Caspar left Steffisburg and moved to Alsace, where he and his wife, along with nine children lived at Weiler in 1708 and were referred to as “well to do”. Descendants of his are shown in Weissenburg (Wissembourg in French) and Sankt-Germanshof and later on in  Salzwoogerhof. He is identified as the ancestor of  1825 immigrant Michel Yoder (YRC8), who shares the “Amish Yoder” DNA mutation of the YR1 and YR2 Yoder immigrants of 1742.

     For years this Caspar has been identified as being the same Caspar Joder who married Verena Stauffer (see YNL2 article by Lois Ann Mast based on the work of German researcher Karl Joder and his partner Otmar Jotter). From Steffisburg death and contract data, it is now clear that Caspar and Verena Stauffer lived and died in the ancestral village, and that Caspar was the son of Hans Joder who married Verena Reusser!  I’ll attempt to spell this out for our readers in a logical order.

In the earlier listings by Karl/Otmar, the birth/baptismal year for the Caspar,  son of Jost Joder and Anna Trachsel, was given as 1660, with no day provided. A review of the actual church record shows the baptismal date was actually 5/22/1664. Infants were normally baptized soon after birth, so it can be assumed he was born shortly before that date. Had this Caspar been the fellow who married Verena Stauffer on Jan. 21, 1681, it would have meant that he would have been married at the age of 16. In 1686, at the birth of Caspar and Verena Stauffer's son Hans, the father is noted as the "Kirchmeier,” i.e., the person who looks after the church property, collects rents, sells harvests etc. This would have been an unlikely role for an Anabaptist firebrand. But had this been true, and were he Jost’s son, he would have only been 22 at the time, very young for such a position of responsibility. Bruce Stahly pointed out this age issue and started us on the hunt for another, older, Caspar. 


Among the new information identified in a review of the Steffisburg Church Records is the fact that a Casper DID exist in the community who had not previously been included in the Karl Joder listings. He was the son of Hans Joder who married Verena Reusser.


Hans Joder who married Verena Reusser could be considered “the other Joder.” He is referred to in some of the Steffisburg record as Hans Joder “in der Au.” He was about the same age as the brothers Nicolas and Jost Joder, each married to cousins named Anna Trachsel, who have been the focus of researchers looking for American Joder ancestors. These three were in fact, one generation off, see the relationship chart on page 1.  The Amish and Amish Mennonite Genealogies (AAMG) by Gingerich and Kreider, refers to him by the code “YB.”  The updated AAMG version correctly identifies his son Jakob as the fellow who married Margareth Stähli, but still lists only four of his seven children. The actual family is shown below (b=baptismal dates, children not in AAMG but identified in the Steffisburg Church records are  underscored).


YB- Hans Joder m. 6/13/1656 Verena Reuesser

   YB1-  Margaret       b 10/25/1657

   YB2- Caspar         b 1/2/1659   m. Verena Stauffer

   YB3-  Jakob          b 10/7/1660  m. 1684 Margreth Stähli

   YB4-  Niclaus        b 8/24/1662

   YB5-  Barbli         b 10/13/1664

   YB6-  Hansli         b 3/3/1666

   YB7-  Madlena       b 12/16/1669


Caspar (YB2) who was born/bapt. in 1659 would have been 22 when married, and 27 when a “Kirchmeier”, much more reasonable ages to match with this identification.  Birth data alone calls into question the Caspar son of Jost to Verena Stauffer marriage.  Death records raise further doubt about this fellow:


From the Steffisburg death records:


8 April 1735  - Caspar Joder the old of Glockenthal "biz 70 years old".  Glockenthal  (Bell Valley)

7 Jun 1735-  Froni Joder, born Stauffer in  Glockenthal “uber 70 years old"


This information seemed to match to the Caspar/Verena Stauffer couple. But they were supposed to be in Alsace, breeding a large progeny!  Furthermore the age of  the Caspar here matches exactly to that of the son of Hans (YB2). Stähli family researcher Bruce W. Stahly  shared his experience and contacts to arrange for the services of professional Swiss researcher, Therese Metzger.  Estate settlements for Steffisburg are kept in the contract records at the cantonal archive in the city of Bern -- i.e. Staatsarchiv des Kantons Bern. Based on the death information we had discovered on the Steffisburg church CDs, we focused her efforts on Caspar and  Verena and several other Joders of the same generation. The records relevant to Caspar and Verena Stauffer are as follows, by file number:


Steffisburg Contract Records:


241 Obligation. Primary guarantor is Caspar Joder in the Gloggenthal. 1716. (YB2)

     248-249  Debt Contract.  Debtor is Hans Joder in the Au.  Guarantor Caspar  Joder in the Gloggenthal his son.  1716 (YB and YB2)

     79  Promisory Contract. Caspar Joder the old Kirchmeir of Gloggenthal. He is satisfied with with the adjoining land. (YB2)


97             Receipt. Caspar Joder in Gloggenthal. (YB2)

179  Obligation. 1000 pounds. From 1707. Chief guarantors were  Hans Joder in the Au;  the old Kirchmeier in the Gloggenthal;  and Jakob Joder in the Pfaffenhalter, sons. The surety was the mill in the Au, belonging to the chief gurarntor. Cancelled 1719. [Three pages of text, not all read.] (YB and YB2 and YB3)


A284  (Hans Joder/Verena Reusser family- YB)

12-13 Estate Settlement.  The late Hans Joder in the Au of Steffisburg. His sons and grandsons:  Caspar the elder son in the Gloggenthal and his sons Christen and Caspar, Jakob the younger son of Pfaffenhalten and his sons Hans and Caspar Joder. 1719/1721. (YB family)



91 Debt contract.   Caspar Joder  the old Kirchmeier  and as guarantors his son Hans Joder and son-in-law Christian Reusser both of Erlen.  1723. (YB2)

111 Obligation.  Caspar Joder  acknowledges to his mother Verena Stauffer, who acknowleded it with the hand of her husband Caspar Joder the old Kirchmeier. 1722. (YB2 and YB26)

212  Lease contract. The same people listed  above in item  91.




p. 63- Brothers Hans and Christen Joder exchanged for themselves, and their mother Verena Stauffer with the consent and permission of Caspar Joder (YB2)  her husband and their father, with Caspar Joder, a son, and Christen Spring and Hans Zaugg their sons-in-law and their mother, property in Gloggenthal.  two houses, a barn, an oven house, a granary, in return for an Alp (pasture) in the area of Röthenbach  for pasturing about 10 cows in the summer. No date, it must have been 1733. Written in 1737 , the transaction was cancelled because the signatories were dead and no promise had been carried through.


p.224 - Verena Stauffer with the consent of her husband Caspar Joder (YB2) old Kirchmeier of Steffisburg sold  the rights to pasture two cows in the Alps,  29 May 1734.





p. 132-144  Estate settlement- Estate settlement of the late Caspar Joder old Kirchmeier married to the late Verena Stauffer; parents of Hans; Christen; Caspar ; Anna married 1st Christen Reusser; 2nd Christen Spring; Barbara married 1st Christen Gasser; 2nd Hans Zaugg; [Description of the estate and property. 3 pages.  11 August 1736.]


These records clearly show that Caspar Joder and his wife Verena Stauffer remained in Steffisburg and died there in 1735. The Amish Alsatian Caspar (at Langenberg by 1712 and still there in 1735) seems certain to be the son of Jost Joder and Anna Trachsel,  and his wife may have been named “Verena” (an Anabaptist Caspar Joder and his wife Verena Hoffin (Hoffer) had a male child born at Durrenentzen 3/20/1695. The child died unbaptized 5/31/1695.) But this Caspar WAS NOT the Caspar who married Verena Stauffer.  The research by Karl Joder and Otmar Jotter that created a matching family in Alsace must have made assumptions based on similar naming patterns among the next generation.  From the baptismal and contract records, the following family can be constructed for the Steffisburg couple;


YB2- Caspar Joder (in the Au)  m 1/21/1681 Verena Stauffer, both died in Steffisburg in 1735 (b. represents baptismal dates)

    YB21- Anna            b 4/16/1682

    YB22- Anna   b 5/20/1683 –m 1st  6/8/1708 Christen Reusser; 2nd Christen Spring

           YB23- Barbara Joder  b. 1/4/1685   

    YB24- Hans            b 10/24/1686 - baptism refers to father Caspar as “the Kirchmeier,” pos m. Barbara Berger

    YB25- Christian       b 2/15/1691 , pos. m.1715 Rosina Schwendimann

    YB26- Caspar          b 9/1/1695 

    YB27- Peter           b 2/18/1700

    YB28- Barbara         b 10/29/1703  Barbara married 1st Christen Gasser; m2. 3/7/1731 Hans Zaugg

(Barbara had children by Christen Gasser starting 3/4/1725


NOTE: Stähli researcher Bruce Stahly contacted us about a reference that had been found which told of Jakob Joder buying a piece of land from his brother-in-law Caspar Stähli, who was brother to Margareth Stähli, Jakob Joder's wife. Being himself a Yoder descendant as well as a Stähli one, that  got his attention and jogged his memory of having seen an unresolved issue regarding  a Joder/Stähli marriage in Steffisburg. And, ironically, he found this Stähli family, from Oberhofen, is not at all related to his own Stähli family. This contact led to a re-look at the Steffisburg CDs, and the contract research which, as Bruce describes this, is “a good example of the strange twists and turns genealogical research can take.” We now know that Jakob who married Margareth Stähli  is the brother of Caspar Joder who married Verena Stauffer.


have we found “hans of great swamp”?

Over 20 years ago, Rachel Kreider told me that she thought the next Yoder immigrant likely to be linked to their Steffisburg roots would be the Mennonite line of “Hans of Great Swamp.” Among the newly reviewed estate settlements of Steffisburg is one which hints at who this Hans might have been!  We know that by presenting a speculated identification, some will soon claim it to be fact and it will appear as gospel on the internet, but the information is just too significant to suppress.

We know that Hans of Great Swamp (see YNL3) was born approximately 1680. He purchased a tract of 99 acres in Lower Milford Township, Bucks Co., PA (then known as "The Great Swamp") from Joseph Growden of Trevose, PA on January 17, 1720 for fifteen pounds in silver. He was the only early immigrant to have the name Caspar among his children and grandchildren (unless you count the reputed Casper Yoder of the Indian massacre - see YNL 31). Based on common naming practices at the time, it is logical to consider a father for Hans in Switzerland named Caspar.

The same research which has allowed us to correct the identification of Caspar Joder who married Verena Stauffer, does not contradict that Caspar, son of Jost, moved to Weiler in the Pfalz and sired at least a part of the Amish Yoder immigrants to America. But there was another Caspar in Steffisburg of the proper generation. This was the son of Niclaus Joder, brother of Jost. That Caspar was born in 1648 and married to Anni Zaugg in 1670. The baptismal listings, now supplemented by estate/contract records, allow us to define his family as follows (b. = baptized):


Y73- Caspar Joder m 1/7/1670 Anni Zaugg
   Y731-  Anna         b 11/2/1672- the miller’s  wife from Wiler
   Y732- Christina     b 3/15/1674
   Y733-  Margret       b 2/6/1676  --- m. 6/24/1070  Michel Braun, lowlands
   Y734- Hans          b 10/7/1677 --whereabouts unknown- 1724-1735  (“in a foreign land”)
   Y735- Barbara       b 12/7/1679
   Y736- Verena        b 1/28/1683 -died young

       Y737- Eva             b. 1/28/1683 – twin – died?

       Y738- Christina  b 1/28/1683 - smithy's wife of Mettenwil
   Y739-  Mathias       b 7/20/1684 -- (m 10/1/1706  Barbara Meyer)
   Y73a- Caspar        b 2/6/1687    (?m 2/13/1711--Anna-Meyer) (d? 8/12/1762)

       Y73b-  Verena        b 10/20/1689  ----wife of Peter Blanck
   Y73c-  Kathrin       b 7/30/1693  ----wife of Peter Meyer, lowlands
   Y73d- Niclaus       b 2/23/1696 -- not mentioned 1735



Details from the contract archive “Kontraktenmanualen” of Steffisburg which begins in 1712 shows as follows:


Kontract File A276

88-94  Renunciation explanation: the late Caspar Joder (Y73) in the Scheidgasse. The heirs are the widow named Anna Zaugg, represented through Jakob Joder, legal representative, her cousin, and the children Anna Joder, the miller wife from Wiler, Christina Joder, the smithy's wife of Mettenwil, Margreth Baum-Joder and Barbara, Verena, Christina and Catharina Joder with their trustee. 4 March 1713. There are many debts. [No sons named!]

132  Obligation: Mathys Joder (Y739) of  Steffisburg primary guarantor with Peter Meyer, Kirchmeier, his brother-in-law. 1713.


181 Sale. Anna Zaugg the late Caspar  Joder's (Y73) widow in the Scheidgasse along with her trustee Jakob Joder in the Pfaffenhalten,  district treasurer and  of the court at Steffisburg,  along with the children mentioned here, sold a piece of pasture.  [No children mentioned!]


A281- 63  Sale. Anna Zaugg  Caspar  Joder's (Y73) widow sold a piece of farmland. 1717.


29-33 Sales Contract. Caspar Joder (Y73a) in the Scheidgasse at Steffisburg sold the house and household that he inherited from his father.  1717


85-87  Sale. Caspar Joder (Y73a) in the Schmiedgasse bought together with his father-in-law Daniel Blank and his brother a house and household by the new mill. 1717.


A297 - .201  Acknowledgment  of obligation


Hans Joder (Y734), the late Caspar Joder's son, in the Scheidgasse, about 40 years old, is in some foreign country; moreover it is not known whether he is still alive. (In German "Hans Joder, Caspars sel. Sohn in der Scheidgasse ca. 40 Jahre alt, befindet sich ausser Landes, es ist ungewiss, ob er überhaupt noch am Leben ist.")  His heirs: Matthys and Caspar Joder, Verena Joder, wife of  Peter Blanck, Margareth Joder, widow of the late Michel Braun, at this time in the lowlands (Pfalz or Alsace)  … for all of them, and also in the name of their sister Catharina Joder, wife of Peter Meier, also staying in the lowlands,  with the permission of their brothers and brothers-in-law, and all the brothers and sisters of Hans Joder, who has been due 48 Kroner since 15 April 1724.   Executed  16 May 1735.


     Bruce Stahly comments on the German text of the original: “The phrase in the contract, "ausser Landes", referring to Hans,
specifically means "abroad" or "out of the country."   I guess they didn't think of Alsace or the Pfalz as being "abroad."   Seems to suggest something a little more removed than Alsace or the German Palatinate.
… I am guessing that some of the heirs wanted to spend the 48 Kroner but were afraid of difficulties if Hans came back, so they took the precaution of documenting the situation.”

     This information clearly shows that Hans Joder (Y734), born in 1677 to Caspar Joder and Anna Zaugg, had gone to “some foreign land” (a good description for America), and was out of touch with his family from a point before 1724.. Our “Hans of Great Swamp” matches the approximate age, and his migration time also matches. Is this our “Hans of Great Swamp?”  It seems the best hypothesis we have found to date. There is no other unidentified “Hans Joder” found in America this early.





What does this new information mean to the Yoder DNA study?  For one thing, it extends the “Most Recent Common Ancestor” on the male side back one additional generation, and provides us with 66 out of 67 markers in the Y-DNA chromosome profile for Kaspar Joder born circa 1548 and married to Magaretha Moser in Steffisburg on Jan. 17, 1571. The only difference is that the single person tested from the Hans Joder/Verena Reusser line (a living Steffisburg descendant through their son Jakob Joder who married Margareth Stähli) has a different value at marker 617. His value shows a “14” instead of the “13” common in all the other DNA tests. This mutation could have occurred in ANY generation between the present and the 16th century Kaspar.

Perhaps the primary solutions to the Yoder immigrant puzzle which may someday come out of the DNA data is an answer to the question “What are the origins of the Amish Yoder lines?” (namely YR1 and 2, YRB, YRC and some of the 19th century Alsatian Yoder immigrants). These folk all share the “Amish Yoder Mutation”, a value at DNA marker “19” of “16” versus the “15” found in the Oley, Mennonite, Conrad, Melchior, and living Steffisburg Yoder lines.

This “Amish mutation” took place someplace in the ancestry of YR1 (b. c1695) and YR2 (b. c1700).  We know from the DNA tests that descendants of the Amish Caspar Joder (Y6b) of Weiler and Langenberg in the YRC line inherited the Amish marker. Can we tell where this mutation originated?

As long as it seemed that the full family data for this fellow was known and tied to the births in Steffisburg, it appeared impossible for the mutation to have originated with him. The “facts” are all now much less clear. Age-wise, YR1 (unnamed husband of “widow Barbara”) and YR2- Christian, would have needed to be in the generation of the children of Caspar (Y6b).

Believing that the Caspar-Verena children listed in Steffisburg were those of the Caspar in Alsace, Karl Joder and Otmar Jotter constructed family and descendant information for him which included the following three sons:

-A son Hans Joder who married to Katharina Oesch, and who remained after his father at St. Germanshof, and whose grandson Samuel wrote the 1807 letters to his “dear cousin” Christian “Schweitzer” Yoder in Somerset County, Pa., and whose male descendants have the “Amish mutation.”

-A son Christian Joder m Anna Maria Clauss (daughter Ullrich Clauss of Interlaken). Lived Salzwoogerhof-Gemeinde  Lemberg/ Pirmasens. Christian Joder was  the Amish Mennonite Bishop of the Fronschburg area.  He is shown as the great-grandfather of Joseph Ioder who settled in Bureau Co., IL in 1837, and whose male descendants also have the “Amish mutation.”

-A son Caspar Joder who married Magdalene Gungerich. And resided Germanshoff  by Weissenburg. (Per Hermann Guth- "lives in Erbesbudesheim in Reinish Hesse" estate belonging to the Laroche family- renters) . His son Christian, per Herman Guth, was  at Rosenthalerhof, mentioned as an Amish  preacher , and  moved to Ripperterhof sometime around 1778 (80 km away).

Either the European research has correctly identified Caspar’s son Christian, and YR2 could not have been the same person, or the Christian who married Anna Maria is misidentified and was the child of one of Caspar’s Amish brothers. In either event, the fact that both have the “Amish mutation” would lead to the conclusion that the mutation occurred a generation earlier with Jost (Y6) . 

If Jost (Y6) had the marker, then all his sons should also all have had it. These sons were: Hans b. 1644 m. 1671 Catherine Risser (Reusser); Peter b. 1649 m. 1684 ? ___ Stähli; Jakob b. 1652 m.  1685 Verena Kaufmann; Christian b. 1657, m. 1684 Barbara Gerber ; and Jost b. 1661 m. 1685 Barbara Rupp.

The Huckels in their French Joder research, track many of the Alsatian Joders who share this mutation back to Hans and Catherine (Risser) Joder. Joe Springer of Goshen College, however, has found no proof that Hans was the progenitor for these lines. So far, we do not know the destinations of descendants of Peter, Jakob, and Jost, although each of them are shown by Steffisburg records to have been Anabaptists like their brother Caspar. The Karl Joder/Otmar Jotter data does claim that the Jotters of Eppstein, Germany were founded by Christian’s son, also named Christian, who was born in 1687. Based on one test only, descendants of this fellow DO NOT share the Amish mutation. This result (and the lack of other tests for descendants of known brothers) would appear to rule out the mutation being in the generation of Jost (Y6). So we have two possibilities, each of which seem to be not possible, depending on the reputed “facts”.  However, based on the logic surrounding the   “two Christians” (Caspar son/not son and YR2) analysis, the most likely assumption seems to be that Jost (Y6) was the origin of the “Amish mutation” and that the Eppstein Jotter line was NOT descended from Jost. What do our readers think?


The Yoder DNA data results can be seen at:


The Yoder Newsletter- Founded 1983 by

Ben F Yoder (1913-1992), Chris Yoder & Rachel Kreider

Chris Yoder, Editor, Saugatuck, MI; John W. Yoder, Circulation Manager, Middlebury, IN; Rachel Kreider, Senior Contributing Editor, Goshen, IN; Esther E. Yoder, Mail Manager, Goshen, IN; Donald Kauffman, YNL  Webmaster, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Other Contributors: Richard H. Yoder, Bechtelsville, PA; Dr. Don Yoder, Devon, PA; Neal D. Wilfong, Cleveland, NC.


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Two Yoder politicians are seeking advancement. In West Virginia, 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge John Yoder has filed for the open seat on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. John previously served as a state senator for 8 years. In Kansas, 4 term State Representative Kevin Yoder, age 33, is a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives in the August 3rd primary. The last Yoder in Congress was Samuel S. Yoder (1887-1891) (YR233317) who also served as Sgt at Arms of the U. S. House of Reps. (see YNL8 for his story).  For more information about Kevin see:


John C. Yoder                        Kevin Yoder



In response to a recent Yoder “Roll Call” on the listserver, Ben Yoder wrote the following:

YR 2-- "Immigrant" Christian Joder
YR 25--John Yoder
YR 257--"Red" Yost Yoder
YR 2579--Michael Yoder
YR 25793-- Jacob "Seven Folds" Yoder
YR 257936--Benjamin Siever Yoder (my grandfather)
YR 2579366--Benjamin Yoder (my dad)
YR 25793663--Benjamin J. Yoder (That would be me.)

He provides the following to explain the unusual nick-name for his  great-grandfather:

“It was from counting the number of his double chins. By all accounts, he weighed close to 300 pounds or so. Quite a big guy, as you can imagine. I checked with my dad on the Seven Folds nickname. He confirmed what is in written sources -- that his grandfather was over 300 pounds when he died, and then he added that it took six grown and husky men to heft his coffin as pall bearers at the funeral.

“He said he always knew his grandfather's nickname in German, Siebe Dick (spelling? I hope I got that right. Does anyone know enough of Pennsylvania Dutch to correct that?) and then he translated it for us kids who didn't speak German. Siebe/Sieben = Seven, and Dick = Thick or thicknesses, or Dad chose "Folds" because it was used to describe his numerous double chins.

It all makes me think of Strong Jacob and other stories of big, powerful Yoders. -----Ben Yoder

      -            -       -                  -        -        -        -        -        -        -

For more on various Yoder nick-names see the Rachel Kreider article in YNL 10.


Alfred Yoder (Con379) Photo?

In an eBay sale last October, a small Civil War bible was sold that had once belonged to Adolphus Yoder (Con379), along with the photo above and lock of hair of this Civil War soldier. Adolphus (11/27/1846-4/25/1927) m 2/6/1873 in Logan Co, Il Mary Ann Kincade, resided in Kansas City, MO and was buried in the Riverside Cemetery, Arkansas City. Ks. They had no known children. The person selling these items received them together and assumed that the photo was Adolphus, who served in Co. D, 2nd NC Jr.  Res. as a private. Adolphus would have been only 18 at the end of the war, and the photo is of a much older man. Adolphus had an older brother Alfred M.  (Con371) who was a Sgt in Co. G 9th Texas Cav. Alfred  b. 5/9/1833 was “missing in Battle” Oct.4,1862, and with the lock of hair it seems more likely that this was he.



The George Yoder Mill  


By Richard H. Yoder, Bechtelsville, Pa

George built this mill in Upper Mahantango township, Schuylkill Co. ( Schuylkill Co. was part of Berks Co. until 1812).  The mill was built on a tract of 250 acres. George conveyed the mill to his son Abraham (OH1325) on 24 March 1818 .

To get there, take Rt. 61 through Schuylkill Haven, turn onto Rt.  183 to Rt. 125 and continue thru Hegins where it turns North . After going over the mountain and into the valley, as soon as you get into the valley you will cross a very small stream. Immediately turn right onto a small road. The small mill is just a few hundred yards from there. The property was owned by Marge and Charles Boyer when I was there at the time I took the photo,

The house directly across from the intersection of the small road you turn onto is where Abraham Yoder lived. Abraham married Elizabeth Susana Yerger who was an only child . When her mother died in 1840, she inherited their farm in Pike Township, Berks Co. So Abraham and his wife sold the farm in Schuylkill Co. and

-George Yoder Mill- Continued Page 5

-George Yoder Mill- Continued from Page 4

moved back there They are both buried in the Hill Church Cemetery right next to the church. This was the same property where Rudy Rhoads and his wife Alva Yoder lived at a later date,

The early mills were small and located on small streams because the population was very small at that time and filled their needs. It would appear the original mill burned because the date chiseled into one of the wood members is around 1854 . It was very common for the early mills to burn due to the very dusty conditions when operating. One spark from the stones during the grinding process is all it took.



New Info on NC/Georgia Yothers!!

 -by Anita Nail


In a surprising turn of events, the mother of EPHRAIM A. YOTHER has been discovered! 

 Ephraim has long been thought to have been a possible son of ADAM and SALLY (DAVIS) YODER (See YNL 11).  However, in August 2009, MILLS YODER BRIDGES of Chapel Hill, NC, discovered three deeds in the North Carolina State Archives that proved Ephraim A. Yother was the son of ELLENDER (ELEANOR) YOTHER, widow, of Macon County, NC. 

 This was thrilling news, but there are conflicting facts that make this confusing.  Ellender Davis married a Daniel Yother in 1807, but Conrad’s son Daniel Yoder was apparently already married to Elizabeth Cline.  According to Fred Roy Yoder, “only Conrad Yoder(1) journeyed to the far southland”, so who were the fathers of the two Daniels who were old enough to have married both Ellender Davis and Elizabeth Cline?  Were these two Daniels the same person?


·  6/18/1780 – Conrad Yoder’s son Daniel was born.

·  6/23/1785 – Conrad’s son Adam was born.

·  2/24/ 1807 – Elender Davis married Daniel Yother

·  Jan. 1809 - The last Will & Testament of Allen Davis listed Sarah and Ellender Davis as

his oldest children.  Adam Yoder and Allen’s wife An Susanna, executors.

·  5/14/1809 – Daniel and Elizabetha Yoder have a daughter, Saloma.

·  7/09/1811 – Adam Yoder and his wife Sally have a son, John George.

·  7/27/1811 – Daniel and Elizabeth Yoder have a son, Daniel.

·  1212/1813 – Adam Yoder and his wife Sally have a son, Adam.

·  1815-1817 – Ellender Yother has a son,  Ephraim A. Yother.

·  1820 – Clark Co., IN census shows a Daniel Yoter and  seven children.

·  1830 – Macon Co., NC census- Ellender Yother, head of the household, who was

 30 – 40, with three sons, 1 5-10; 1 10-15; 1  15-20.

 In the late 1830’s, several Yother men began appearing in north Georgia.  As noted, it was thought that they were all Adam & Sally’s children, because Adam was supposedly the only Yother who had not stayed in Lincoln County or moved to Indiana.  Finding the three deeds in Macon County, NC proved that this was not the case, after all.

 Now that we know that the widow Ellender Yother was the mother of Ephraim and at least two other sons, it will be interesting to see, for certain, who the mysterious Mr. Yother was!  If you can add anything to this story, please send the information to Anita Nail at


The Swinging Bridge

By Richard Yoder, Bechtelsville, Pa



     The swinging bridge in the photo was located at the south end of the Hans Yoder (OH) property in Oley Township. It was one of three, dating from the 1890s, which spanned the Manatawny creek. The dirt road went down the bank to the left of the photo and through the Manatawny creek, turning to the left in the creek, going about 150 ft. and then turning right and going out to the road to the Yost Yoder (OY) homestead. Earl Rhoads is shown with children Ruth, Edna and Leon. The bridge was removed about 1972.


Photos provided by Ruth (Rhoads) Umble.



The YNL will publish Yoder related inquiries or exchanges at no charge.  Send Queries to: Chris Yoder, 551 S. Maple St., Saugatuck, MI 49453 or email at .


Who was Frederick Yoter, b.  1809, died Sept. 3, 1846 and was buried in the Mt. Hope Cemetery, Logansport, Cass Co., Ind?? If you have a clue, please contact: Chris Yoder, 551 S. Maple St., Saugatuck, MI 49453,


“Find-A-Grave” - Document Your Own Yoder Line on the Internet

The “Find-A-Grave” web site allows you:  to post the name and dates of your ancestor in the cemetery where he or she rests; to add his or her photo; to add a photo of the gravestone; and to post a biographical summary or obituary.

   Visit the site at: . Already recorded are internments for: 5,046 (an increase of +1072 from Oct.) –Yoder; 146  (+27) – Yother; 38  (+5) – Yothers; 85 (+16) – Yotter; 28 (+13)  – Yoter; 38 (+5) – Yoders;, 6 (+0) – Ioder; 43 (+30) – Joder; 14 (+8) - Jotter family members. You can either add your ancestor to a cemetery, or post data on an existing record. For assistance write: Chris Yoder at: .

Samples of posted gravestones are shown on this page.

-               -                   -                   -                   -                   -                   -                   -


Frederick Yoter,  age 37y and 3d, died Sep. 3, 1846, Buried Mount Hope Cemetery, Logansport, Cass Co., In.  Who is this fellow?


YR12a471- Benjamin Iddo Joder, Birth: Apr. 22, 1863, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, USA, Death:  Mar. 5, 1946, Cheyenne, Laramie County, Wyoming, (grandson of Joseph Yoder as featured in YNL46)



OY4344- John B Yoder (2/8/1833 Richmond Twp, Berks-10/14/1905
Lyons PA bur St Peter's Ch, Richmond Twp) m 6/9/1855 Sarah Ann Sitler (9/18/1833-6/25/1897)
son of Johnannes and Magdalena Breyfogel Yoder, bur. Saint Peters UCC Church and Cemetery, Fleetwood, Berks Co., Pa.




-- Elwood and Joyce Yoder Dyersburg TN


Last year, after several unsuccessful attempts to fit it into our schedule, we arrived to spend our week in October as volunteers at the Yoder House. There was no way we were prepared to enjoy the week as much as we did. The apartment was very comfortable. The first day we were not sure how we were going to make it without seeing the news on TV or an occasional movie. By the end of the second day we found we were very relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed reading our books each night at the end of our day. By the end of the week we were amazed. We had discovered how to sit and talk during the meals which I prepared in the kitchen every night. To this day we have not returned to watching TV as a mainstay of life. 



We opened the Yoder House on a Tuesday morning and wonderful visitors began to cross the threshold. We offered each one the self guided tour sheet or a guided tour. Most visitors were thrilled to get a guided tour.

Two couples stopped in and just wanted to stick their head in the front door to see what was going on. We briefly mentioned the Root Cellar, Smoke Room on the 3rd floor and they were ready to take the tour.  They had not planned on spending any time at the house and as they left they thanked us and said they were sure glad they had stopped.

Another gentleman stopped in and was killing time while he was waiting on his friends to meet him at the restaurant. We took him through and he said his friends must visit the Yoder House. About two and a half hours later he did return with another couple and two older ladies. They were all captivated with the house and the history of the Amish and Mennonite people. They could not believe they lived within 2 hours and had never been to Grantsville. They said this is where they would bring their company from now on because it was such an interesting place.

These are just a few of the stories. We felt a special part of the Yoder House, if only for a week. We put 120 tourists through the house during a cold and rainy week. For us we met many wonderful people who just wanted to know about the Amish and Mennonite people. We felt very well received. We are English and have always been proud of the plight of our forefathers however after learning so much more and spending our week at the Yoder House we are extremely proud of our ancestors and the Yoder name. I hope this helps you consider spending a week at the Yoder House. Believe us,  it is an experience you will never forget!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If interested in Hosting at the Yoder House (on-site accommodations provided) contact email:   or phone (301-895-5411 EST).




-Edison Kent Yoder, 100, (YRB18651) son of Jonas and Ida (Weber) Yoder, (1/29/1909-4/4/2009Grace Brethren Village in Dayton, OH)

-Jonas J. Yoder, 98, (YR23443269) (10/2/1910 Hydro,Ok-6/11/2009 Bonners Ferry, ID) son of Joseph J. and Fannie (Esch) Yoder.

-Gerald Leroy Yoder, 96, (YR2337a512) son of Olen and Barbara (Mishler) Yoder (7/25/1912-3/24/2009) founder of Yoder Oil Co.

-Harold Yoder, 94, son of  Christian and Mary (Miller) Yoder (YR2341667) died 1/30/2010 Kalona Iowa.

-James E. Yoder (8/11/1927-1/16/2010 Weslaco, Tx) son of  Ernest and Lovina (Eicher) Yoder (YR2514942)

-Chester Yoder d. 12/31/2009 Ashland, Oh age 58


NEED HELP WRITING YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY? “My business is an autobiography-ghostwriting service, wherein I write someone's life story so it can be passed along to family members and descendants. I believe this service would have particular appeal to individuals who are interested in family history. If any of your readers would like information on how the process works and the various rates, they can email me at ---Jonathan Wade, (206) 300-2293



Thanks to Keith Yoder of Centreville, Va for pointing out availability of Yoder newspaper clippings at the Library of Congress web site. The article above appeared in The Omaha Daily Bee, Omaha, Nebraska, April 16, 1889, page 1. It tells of the trial for the culprits who murdered Christian Yoder (YR2611a) on 2/28/1899 in Somerset County, Pa. His full story can be seen on the Yoder web pages at:

The Library of Congress newspaper site includes selected papers from 1880 to 1922 and can be found at:

Other excellent research sites are provide by Google, for newspapers at:

And for digital  books (including many out of print)  at:



You can now find The Yoder Newsletter on Facebook! We hope to use our page there to enhance our communications with family members, and to reach out to gather new data around the world.



A Yoder Cook-Memory Book


   For their 50th wedding anniversary, Edward and June Yoder of Bonne Terre, MO combined good food and good memories to create a special cookbook for their family.  What a tasty way to celebrate! Ed, a son of Darwin Pete Yoder (Con15a4) of the Conrad Yoder line, and his bride have attended a number of the national Yoder reunions over the years.




The 60th Annual Reunion of the Yoder Family of North Carolina (descendants of Conrad Yoder) will meet the weekend of August 7 & 8, 2010. The meeting will be held at Grace Lutheran Church where Dr. J. Larry Yoder is the Pastor. The area South of Hickory and West of Newton, North Carolina is deep in the history of the Conrad Yoder Family and the "home church" for many of our ancestors. The Conrad Yoder Family Cemetery is within several miles and a Memorial Service will be held at burial site on Saturday evening. Contact Bill Yoder at BYODERNC@AOL.COM or President Phillip Yoder at for information or Rachael Kennedy at for address changes or to be included in e-mail notices.



                 The “OLEY YODER” FAMILY REUNION for 2010 will be held on SATURDAY, JULY 17.  The meeting will be at the OLEY FIRE HOUSE, which is located in the village of Oley, Berks County, Pennsylvania.  For those of you unfamiliar to the area, this is where the brothers, Hans and Yost Yoder established their permanent homesteads in the early 1700’s.

                 The reunion will be open to everyone who can join us.  Our theme will be “Christmas in July” and we will have activities of interest to all our Yoder relatives near and far.  We will have a genealogy table where we can collect information and answer your questions.

                 There will be a variety of other activities, many of which will be detailed in our reunion letter.  If you would like to be included in our mailing or have any comments or questions, please contact us by mail at:  Oley Yoder Heritage Association, c/o Nancy Yoder, 415 State St., Pottstown, PA 19464; by phone to Joe Yoder at 610-779-5932; or by email to Ken Yoder at, please put “YODER REUNION” in the subject line. Our best wishes to all the Yoder Family, The Oley Yoders


“Welcome to Yoder” sign from Yoder, Kansas