In YNL25, we outlined what was known about Frederick Yoder of Centre Twp., Berks County. He seemed clearly to have been a part of the Oley Yoder clan. Wonderful research by Ann Yoder Balderrama, Vice President of the Berks County Genealogical Society, was reported at the 2010 Oley Yoder Reunion. It shares exciting new findings about Frederick's parents!


Parents Identified for

Frederick Yoder!

By Ann Yoder Balderrama

       When searching for information on the Yoder family, I take a rather conventional approach, looking in indices under “Y” for the typical spellings, “Yoder” and “Yotter.” Then I branch out and try “J” for the German spellings, “Joder” and “Jotter.” Recently, I had a revelation while searching through the records of the First Reformed Church of Reading at the Berks County Genealogical Society (BCGS) library in Reading, PA.

       The records of the First Reformed Church are rather extensive, and considering the fact that we know the Yoders followed the Reformed faith, the absence of the name in the records of this church is noticeable. The first volume that I picked up was a transcription by Mr. Raymond Hollenbach. He was a prolific transcriber, but he apparently did not believe in indexing his works. I had no option but to scan through the records page by page. As I did this, something caught my eye. I found records of people named Gotter and Goder, names I had never heard before. As I continued looking through the book, it became apparent that the letter Y had been incorrectly transcribed as a G, and the “Gotters” and “Goders” were really “Yotters” and “Yoders.” This discovery of the erroneous transcriptions was the breakthrough I needed in my quest for my Yoder ancestors.

       I am a descendent of Frederick Yoder, identified as "B" in the unlinked section of the Yoder Newsletter database. Most of what we know about this man comes from the biographical sketch of his grandson, Frederick Fisher Yoder, in the 1909 work History of Berks County by Morton L. Montgomery and the article on Frederick and his possible origins in Yoder Newsletter #25. Montgomery included information on the ancestry of the grandson, stating that the elder Frederick was “born in Oley, and he died in Centre township. From a tender age he was reared by his kinsman, Daniel Yoder, of near Pleasantville. His mother’s name was Hill. Frederick Yoder became the owner of a farm near Belleman’s Church, where he is buried, and at one time owned three farms. He was very active in church work and was a church official for many years. His wife was a member of the old Shartle family, and they had the following children: Amelia, who married Marcus Davis, both deceased; Alfred, residing in Centre township; Mary, who married Reuben Phillips; Jacob S.; Cyrus, residing in Ohio; Wellington, residing in Palmyra, Lebanon Co., Pa.; and Valeria, who married Nathaniel Leib, of West Reading.” All references to Fred from this point on are to the elder Frederick; I will call him Fred, as it is shorter and easier to type.

       I had been trying to find more information on Fred, as nobody seems to be able to identify his origin. Two pieces from the YNL website about him only generated more questions: General Courthouse and Area Records, BPRECDS1.DOC; First Reformed Church of Reading Vol I – “Fredrick Yoder/Sarah Kauffman 8/30/1836”; and General Courthouse and Area Records, BPCRTHSE.COC: BERKS COUNTY- Letters of Administration- for Yoders - 4 May 1838 13-165 “Sarah   Frederick, widower of Bern Twp (w/o B).” According to all existing information, Fred was married to Maria Shartle, so who is this Fred married to Sarah (who died so soon after she was married)?

       Someone within the YNL had correctly identified this Frederick in the latter instance, and I have additional information to support this earlier marriage. After searching various files in the Berks County Courthouse, I have found four documents signed by Fred, including the above referenced Letter of Administration. I am by no means an expert at handwriting analysis, but I feel confident in stating that the same hand signed all four documents. Our Fred was married twice. Support also comes from the Reading Adler, the German language newspaper. Reading Adler Marriages 1830-1839 (BCGS # 265), the edition of August 23, 1836, reported that on August 20th, Friedrich Yoder and Sara Kauffman of Upper Bern were married by Rev. William Pauli. Apparently, there was a transcription error made in the First Reformed Church volume, a 2 was read as a 3, changing the date of August 20 to August 30 (or this could be a simple typo). The marriage would not have been reported in the newspaper before it occurred.

       Several major events in Fred’s life occurred a relatively short time after his marriage: the birth of a child and the death of his wife and, a few months later, the death of his child. From the Church Record of St. Michael’s Reformed Church, Upper Bern Township (now Tilden), Berks County, PA  1810-1858 (BCGS # 4126) St. Michael’s Cemetery Tilden Township, Union Cemetery #1, Old Cemetery: Sarah Joder nee Kaufman, Wife of Friedrich Joder, born Nov. 12, 1805, died Feb. 15, 1837; and Maria Joder, Daughter of Frederich and Sarah Joder, born Jan. 23, 1837, died July 5, 1837. Sarah’s death, just three weeks after giving birth, was almost certainly related to childbirth complications. In a mere six-month span, Fred became a husband, a father, and a widower. Five months later, he also lost his child.

       The next part is a bit confusing. From Schuylkill Newspapers Vol. 3 (BCGS #2889), Abstracts of the Berks and Schuylkill Journal, page 23, the edition of 28 April 1838, it is reported that on 31 March 1838, Friedrich Joder married Mary Schädel, of Upper Bern Township, Berks County. Here is the marriage that we all know about. However, all available information gives Amelia’s date of birth, supposedly the couple’s first child, as “about 1837.” If Amelia had been born in 1837, she would have been born before her parents were married. Added to this, Amelia’s death record from St. Mark’s UCC, Reading (BCGS # 1235), Register of Death, Amelia Davis, mother of Mrs. Herman Hottenstein, was born January 16, 1836, and died February 22, 1904. I believe Amelia may have been Sarah’s daughter, not Mary’s.

       Since Fred and Sarah’s marriage was recorded at First Reformed Church in Reading, I decided to look in those records for the baptismal records for the baby Maria and possibly for Amelia. No luck. In fact, there were no entries at all for the usual spellings of the name, Yoder (except for Fred and Sarah’s marriage), Yotter, and Jotter, and the only entry under Joder was that of Jacob, born 16 March 1816, baptized 21 May, 1817, son of Daniel and Barbara Joder.

       As previously stated, the book I picked up was not indexed, so I had to read through all the entries. Knowing that Fred was born in November 1813, I thought I’d look at the baptisms from that time, not really expecting to find anything. Normally, when searching a book with no index, I just quickly scan the column with the parent’s name. If I don’t see a name from one of my branches, I move on. This time, however, for some completely unknown reason, I read down two columns, the name of the child and the surname of the parent. As I worked my way down the page, “ Maria, BEYER; Sarah, NOLL; Friedrich, GOTTER,…Wait!” Nah, couldn’t be, or could it?

       There it was. Friedrich, born November 30, 1813, baptized March 24, 1814, the son of Daniel GOTTER and Barbara, sponsor Jacob Hill. The Montgomery history said Fred’s mother was a Hill. Sponsors are often aunts or uncles of the child. I kept looking and found a marriage record for Daniel GOTTER and Barbara HILL, married on July 11, 1813. Montgomery was right; Frederick’s mother was a Hill. And he had a brother, the previously mentioned Jacob Joder.

       Montgomery’s works are known to contain errors, but in the story of Fred, he holds up quite well. He was right about Fred’s mother being a Hill, and land records show Fred did eventually own three farms, all in Centre Township, Berks County, PA. He bought a farm from Samuel Leymeister and his wife on 31 March 1849. At the time of this purchase, Fred was a resident of Lower Heidelberg Township, and he agreed to pay “$6706 in gold or silver” for the farm. He purchased the second farm from his son Cyrus in 1876. Cyrus was a landlord in Reading in 1880, and he was a resident of Ohio in 1909, according to Montgomery (this has yet to be verified). He apparently decided to give up farming and sold his landholdings to his father. The third farm was actually the second, purchased from Franklin K. Unger in 1866, but not recorded until 2 April 1881. The grantee on all three deeds was Fred only (not “and wife”), so all were sold by Fred’s estate upon his death, two in 1886 and the third in 1893.

       Why did no one, especially me, ever look in the local newspaper for Fred’s obituary? It’s there, in the Reading Eagle, Monday March 10, 1884, on page one right in the middle.

       Death of Frederick S. Yoder

Frederick S. Yoder, an old citizen and well-known farmer of Centre township died at 11 o’clock Saturday night of dropsy and general debility, aged 73. He was born in Oley and lived in Centre upwards of 30 years. His children are: Amelia, wife of Martin Davis, Alfred, Mary, wife of Reuben Philips, Jacob, Cyrus S., Wellington, and Valeria, wife of Nathaniel Lieb. The widow survives. Deceased’s estate consists of three fine farms.

       This obituary contains several factual errors, but it does state when he died; it confirms his birth in Oley and the ownership of the farms. His daughter Amelia was married to Mark or Marcus, not Martin. Fred was not 73. A Directory of Burials on Salem Belleman’s Graveyard, 1746-1972 (BGCS # 57), lists his death record; Yoder, Frederick 11-30-1813/3-7-1884, age 70-3-8, husband of Maria (Shartel). At least his wife’s name is included here. The newspaper failed to name her. His death date in the cemetery record doesn’t quite line up with the newspaper, either. If the narrative record in the paper is correct, he died on 8 March, not 7 March, but we get the idea.

       The speculation on Fred’s origin in Yoder Newsletter #25 is, I always felt, off the mark. That article tries to place Fred in the household of Daniel Yoder of Oley, who died in 1820. Montgomery states, “From a tender age he was reared by his kinsman, Daniel Yoder…” Since Fred was only seven years old when Daniel died, how can it be claimed that he “reared” Fred? A seven year-old is a long way from being reared. The YNL article also tries to place Fred as a child of Samuel Yoder, and grandson of George Yoder, Revolutionary War soldier and resident of Oley Township. George and Samuel both left wills, and neither mentions Fred. Samuel’s will states: “I order and bequeath all my real property unto my sons George and John the same to be valued & Appraised … the price there to be devided amongst my children…” He also mentions a daughter Elizabeth by name, but the above statement implies that he has more children. George’s will does not lend any substance to the speculation that Fred belongs to this family. Samuel died in 1828, five years before his father. George wrote his will when Samuel was still alive, so he is provided for in the body of the will: “ I give and bequeath to my son Samuel Joder and his Heirs…” George provided a life estate for his widow, so the whole matter of his legacy was back in the courts again in 1848 after his widow died in 1847. At this time, a final accounting was to be made, and the topic of Samuel’s heirs arose. The court documents show:

“Samuel Yoder’s heirs 1.George Yoder  2. John Yoder  3. Jesee Yoder  4. Esther Gross wife of William Gross  5. Mary wife of Henry Brumbach,  6. Elizabeth Yoder”

If Frederick was Samuel’s son, he should be included here. His exclusion indicates, to me anyway, that he doesn’t belong on this branch of the family tree.

       So after all of this, where did Fred come from? We now know his mother was Barbara Hill and his father was Daniel Yoder. Oh, great! Like there’s only one Daniel Yoder! If Fred were born in 1813, his father would be at least twenty years older, at the minimum. The only Daniel in the Yoder Newsletter database that comes close is the son of Jacob Yoder and Catharina Bierman (OY13), born 4 April 1791, but this family has no descendents listed beyond the children of Jacob and Catharina in the database. So our new question is, “Who is Daniel?” Since the Yoder Newsletter’s DNA project has developed a DNA profile for Fred that doesn’t match any of the known family lines, was it Fred, or Daniel, who was born on the wrong side of the sheets?

       In all honesty, I have had an easier time tracing Barbara. While trying to match up those “Gotters” from the First Reformed records, I found a marriage in the Reading Adler, issue of 23 October 1827: George Wagner of Upper Bern Township and Barbara Yodder were married on 9 October 1827. There was also a will for a Barbara Yoder in 1822. Was one of these ladies Fred’s mother? A second marriage could result in a child being farmed out to relatives, and the death of the mother could definitely result in the same. Since the Berks County Register of Wills Office has such a wonderful search feature on their website, I figured, why not? Let’s run Barbara Wagner through the search engine before trekking off to the courthouse. Yes, there was an estate file from 1872.

       Barbara Yoder, it turns out, was a single woman, but Barbara Wagner was our girl! Her marriage to a man from Upper Bern could be the answer to the question of how Fred ended up so far from Oley. According to census records, George was about fifteen years older than Barbara, his second wife. To the best of my knowledge, they had no children together (Barbara was almost 40 years old when they married), but George had quite a brood. He and Barbara were baptismal sponsors for at least one child of four of George’s sons, all at St Michael’s Church, between 1829 and 1841. George died in 1857; Barbara renounced the right to administer the estate in favor of three of George’s sons. His personal property was sold at public sale, at which Fred purchased numerous items, including a dog for 12 cents.

       Everything fell into place with Barbara’s estate records. She did not leave a will, but there was an estate to settle. The administrator of the estate was her aforementioned son, Jacob, because Frederick renounced the right:

To Henry C. Croll, Esq.

                Register of Wills of Berks County,

       I, the undersigned, oldest son of Barbara Wagner my mother, deceased, do hereby renounce my right to act as Administrator of my deceased mother’s estate, and request you to appoint Jacob H. Yoder Administrator of said estate,

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this seventh day of December AD 1872

Frederick Yoder (seal), Witness present, N W Lieb

This document was filed with the court on 12 December 1872. The witness was Fred’s son-in-law.

       Another document in the estate accounts has an entry labeled:

“Money in family book of said deceased

Amount charged to Fred. Yoder             661.00

     do.        do.          Jacob Yoder            600.00

     do.        do.          Wm Yoder               543.65

     do.        do.                                  Daniel Yoder                                                                    172.00”

       She apparently lent money to her four sons! We know Fred is identified as B in the unlinked families of the YNL database. William is also there as CO, and Daniel is BF. Jacob, as of this time, is not even listed in the database.

       The baptismal record for Barbara appears in the records of the Salem Reformed Church of Oley BCGS # 4597. Unfortunately, the minister who recorded it only believed in recording the father’s name, so we only know she is the daughter of Jacob Hill, as though there was only ever one person by that name. She was baptized on 13 June 1790, at the age of seven months, putting her birthdate around 13 November 1789. The sponsor was Barbara Hill. I know this child is the correct Barbara Hill, because her death is recorded at Freiden’s Church, Shartlesville, BCGS # 11905. Her tombstone, in German, gives her name, Barbara Wagner, wife of George Wagner, born 12 November 1789, died 17 October 1872, age 82 years 11 months and 5 days. Her second husband George is buried at St. Michael’s cemetery, the same place as his first wife, but interestingly enough, not actually with her. Several of George’s children are buried at Frieden’s Church, as is Barbara’s son Jacob (16 March 1816 – 28 March 1887) and his wife Catherine Shearer (13 June 1829 – 28 July 1912).


Barbara Wagner             Jacob Yoder & Wife

(Source: "Strausstown Roots" Website)

       The 1850 census, the first one to list the names of all individuals, shows Barbara, age 60, living with her husband George, 75, a farmer, in Upper Bern Township, along with a few of George’s children and grandchildren. The household next door is that of her son William, 31, a tailor, his wife Sarah, 27 and their children Albert, 5, and George, 2 (Sarah had died 9 August 185 0, before the census taker came around on 19 September, but Census Day was 1 June; since Sarah was alive on that day, she was included). I have been unable to find Barbara in the 1860 census. In 1870, she is 81 years old and living with her son Jacob, 54, farmer, his wife Catherine, 42, and daughter Katy, 9 (This census entry is the example of Y transcribed as G used at the top of page 2).

       But what ever became of Barbara’s first husband, Daniel Yoder? He has thus far remained elusive. It can be assumed that he died sometime after 1820 and prior to October 1827 when Barbara remarried, but I can find no cemetery record for him. He left no will; all of the Daniel Yoders that left wills in this timeframe can be identified. Our Daniel Yoder came from nowhere and then he disappeared, leaving a widow and four sons behind. Now, we, his descendents, want to know from where we came. And the search goes on…          

Frederick was not lost; he was just hiding under the wrong letter!


DNA Supports abraham yoder speculations (OH135)

       Samuel Yoder (OH13), the French and Indian war soldier, was gone from home ten years and "given up for lost" by all but his faithful wife. He returned to his family, a "wretched example generally the fruit of war". He and wife Elizabeth Oyster had:

     OH131- Maria    b. 1750             d. 1812   

   +OH132- George   b. Nov.17,1752   

   +OH133- Peter    b. 1763   

   +OH134- David    b. 1765   

     OH135- Abraham  b. 1768   

       A 1774 Orphans Court record for  Elizabeth, widow of Samuel "Late of  Oley", says he left 7 children, three under 14- namely Peter, David, Abraham.  Who were the other 2 children referred to in the Orphan's Court document? We don't know. The Reg. of Wills payments to minors lists a John Yoder, and a note Rachel Kreider collected years ago names a son Daniel. We know of no additional support for these names.

       While the families of sons George, Peter and David are fairly well defined, Abraham's is not.  The name Abraham is not common in this generation. It appears in the Mennonite line, but remains in Buck/Lehigh Counties. A marriage record for an Abraham Yoder and Hannah Leiss of the correct generation has been located at the Schwartzwald Lutheran Church, in Exeter Twp, Berks County, with a date of 18 Nov 1792, and we believe this is he. A combination of census, land, church and some genealogical records has allowed us to construct a probable, but incomplete,  family chart. DNA test results have recently provided support for our speculations.

       Census records seemed to track Abraham from his Oley Twp birthplace, northward within Berks County to Schuylkill County, beginning in 1800 when he has a young family. Children's ages are not consistent between census years.


1800- Abraham Yoder Berks Earl 603

                         Male  Female

26/45       1        1

<10                    1        1

       Land records shared by Richard Yoder of Bechtelsville, show that in Upper Mahantongo Twp on 18 Sep 1802, Henry Schraeckengast sold 356 acres and 154 perches to Abraham (OH135) and his brother Peter (OH133). On Dec. 2, of that year, Henry was to marry Esther Yoder  (OH1323), daughter of George (OH132) at Schwartzenwald Reformed Church.

       In 1810, Upper Mahantongo Twp was a still part of Berks County, but later became part of Schuylkill Co.  Census records show Abraham Yoder "Sr" (meaning "the older"), brother Peter, and an Abraham "Jr" in the township. The Jr. Abraham was OH1325, a son of George (OH132). This fellow was b. 12/12/1785 and m. 5/21/1809 to Elizabeth Yerger at the Hill Church in Pike Twp., Berks. He was there to operate the mill his father had just  constructed (see YNL 55 page 4). Land records show Abraham received a warrant for 322 acres and 140 perches on 12 Mar 1806 in Mahantongo Twp, then Berks County.


1810-Abraham Yoder Sr------Yoder------Berks------UpMah------826

abraham yoder (OH135)- Continued on Page 5

abraham yoder (OH135)- Continued FROM Page 1


       The deed was recorded 18 Feb 1811. The tax lists for Upper Mahantongo township (Incoporated 1811) show Abraham "Sr" there from 1811, when Schuylkill County was created, through 1816.  He and wife Hanna sold 150 acres on 23 May 1814 to the nephew Abraham Yoder "Miller" (OH1325). Another indenture filed on 1 April 1816 records their sale of the remaining 177 acres, 133 3/4 perches to Daniel Graeff. This land is in what became Eldred township in 1849.



       On Apr. 27, 1816 Abraham purchased a tract of land near Mt. Pleasant in Norwegian Twp, 134 acres and 141 perches, and used ths property as collateral to secure a note.  His family is recorded there in the 1820 census.


1820- Abraham-Yoder------Schyl------Norwegian Twp------126



       A series of events led to foreclosure on this property, and its purchase in a tax sale by Michael Bolig in 1827.





       Abraham's final census appearance is in the 1830 census. He and his wife are shown alone in a household in Tulpenhocken Twp, Berks, listed directly beside a David Yoder (age 30-40) and his family. One Amos Yoder (age 30-40) is on the next page. Further down the page with Amos is the unrelated  Jacob Yoder, who we have identified as "AL" and who we have written about in YNL29.


1830- Abraham------Yoder------Berks------Tulp------220------60/70
60- 70------1   

       It is the church records of St. John's Church in Tulpehocken Twp., which helps us to define Abraham's family..


St John's (Host) United Church of Christ, Tulpehocken Twp, Berks C.

-Abner (sic?) Yoder and Hannah         had Aron b 5/7/1817

-Par, David Yoder & Sara had Aron b 11/24/1829

                sponsor Amos Yoder and wife Rebecca

-Abraham Yoder & Catharine had John b 1/23/1833

- Abraham Yoder & Catharine had Elizabeth b 8/3/1835

                sponsor Aaron Yoder & Eliz Barry

-Abraham Yoder & Catharine had Rachel b 1/11/1836 sponsor Rachel Yoder single


       Other records from a church 3.7 mi. to the NW, also speak to this family:

Altalaha Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rehrersberg, Tulpehocken Twp., Berks Co

 -David Yoder and Susanna        had Eleisa b 4/7/1831

- David Yoder and Susanna    had Rebecca b 7/5/1832

                sponsors Abraham and Catherine Yoder

-David Yoder and Susanna         had Abraham b 1/10/1834


       The earliest of the male Yoders, Aaron, was born 5/7/1817 to "Abner (sic? possible transcription error for an abbreviation of Abraham) and Hannah".  Assuming Hannah Leiss would have been about 20 at time of marriage in 1792, she would have been about 45 when Aaron was born. The St. John's congregation included members of the Leiss family at this time. It would make sense that Abraham could have been at St. John's visiting relatives of his wife's when Aaron was baptized, and then come back to the area by the late 1820s along with his children, after his financial problems. Based on a combination of the church records and various census data, the speculated family chart included with this article has been constructed.


       Of the speculative sons, Abraham who married Catharine Troutman was the only one to remain in Pennsylvania. In 1850 he is found in Northumberland County, Pa. The History of Columbia and Montour Counties, 1887, by J.H. Battle gives a biographical sketch of Abraham and Catharine's son Daniel, a farmer living in Roaringcreek. Daniel was "born in Northumberland County, Penn., July 12, 1847, a son of Abraham and Catharine (Troutman) Yoder, natives of Pennsylvania and of German descent. His father's great-grandfather came from Germany and settled in Berks County, where he resided several years and then moved to Schuylkill County, bought a tract of land, farmed and kept the old tavern at Mt. Pleasant, but later left the place and went to Delaware County, Ohio, where he died. He never received anything for the farm he left, which was afterward taken up by other parties who discovered coal on it and it became valuable property. "

       This description obviously confuses things between two ancestral generations, while at the same time providing valuable clues which identify Daniel's grandfather as the Abraham we are following. The details of the immigrant ancestor settling in Berks County, match exactly the story of Hans the immigrant (OH). The rest of the tale about moving to Mount Pleasant points to Daniel's grandfather Abraham.  The History of Schuylkill County, Pa, 1881 says of Mt. Pleasant, "In 1831 widow Levan kept a tavern in an old log house on the site of Mount Pleasant. This village grew up under the impetus given to the neighborhood by coal operations in the vicinity by John Graham and others."

       David, Amos, Aaron and Rachel all show up in Ohio in various census records, but we do not find the elder Abraham. Did he make the move, as said in the Schuylkill County biography? Years ago, I checked the courthouse records of Delaware Co., just north of Columbus. There was no mention of a Yoder family there that early. There are records of David, Amos and Aaron and their descendants and unmarried Rachel as being in either Champaign, Miami, Greene, and Darke County Ohio as early as the 1840 census. It seems very possible that Abraham DID accompany his children to Ohio, but passed away before the 1840 census.

       We have placed references to these speculations on our YNL web site for over a decade, and some of the connections have appeared since as "fact" based on these speculations at internet sites like "" and "Rootsweb". Until now, we never felt ready to present the details in a major YNL article. Why now?

       Recently completed DNA testing has linked male descendants from two of these lines (Abraham b. 1810) and Amos (bc1797) to the unique Y Chromosome profile of Samuel Yoder (OH13).  The first result was from a descendant of Daniel, son of Abraham and Catherine Troutman. It matched at 24 of 25 markers to Samuel (OH13). The second test was from the family of Amos in Ohio. While only a 12 marker test, it matched Samuel at 11 of the 12 markers. Even though there is still much to study and learn about these families, we are ready to conclude that they do represent the family of Abraham (OH135)!


Gravestones of Amos and Mary Yoder

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I'd like to particularly thank Richard H. Yoder of Bechtelsville, PA, one of our long-time contributing editors for the information he supplied on Abraham's land transactions. He's made several trips over the years to collect Schuylkill County records and data, including two as this article was being drafted.


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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Letters to the editor

       The family of our Grandfather YR 2511144 is planning a reunion on Aug 14 and they have asked me to provide whatever information I can on our ancestors. I have located the homestead and gravesites of YR2511 through YR 2511144. Since I knew that John Yoder (YR251) may have been the first Amish settler in Mifflin County and that he purchased the property from Henry Milroy, I was determined to find the property. It turned out to be easier than I thought. When I Googled Henry Milroy I got a hit on issue 34 of YNL and the article by Mable Brunk. I then tracked down the Lanny McCoy mentioned in the article and he was kind enough to show us the house. I am attaching a couple of pictures.  

       Apparently the property has just gone through some legal issues and has a new owner. While the descendants didn’t respond to Ms. Brunk’s appeal, she will be happy to know that the house is being restored. The current owner told me that it is their desire to restore the house as original as they can. The barn and outhouses are another story. It doesn’t look like anything has been done in quite a while.  ---Ron Yoder (For more of Ron's photos see the YNL Facebook page)

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       I'm writing in regard to YNL52 about the Jacob Yoder tombstone. Madge Hubbard, who gave me her records and started me researching the Yoders, said that Jacob, after serving in the Civil War  with his father Alexander and brother Eli, went west to dig for gold and died at Central City, CO. In 2005 my daughter and I found his grave at the IOOF Cemetery near Central City. -Julia R Yoder, Marysville, OH (Alexander is M233 in the Melchior line)


Julia and Jacob's Grave            Alexander Yoder (1821-1900)

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       We had been planning a family trip to Switzerland for a few years. I wanted my children and grandchildren to see the beauty of the Swiss Alps and to visit the Joder ancestral town of Steffisburg while we were there. Then I wanted to explore the area around Belfort and Montbeliard, France, since this was the area where one of my two Yoder branches had lived.

       After our family get-together in Switzerland, my husband and I spent the next 5 days in a gite in Bourogne, France. I had selected this bed and breakfast because of its close proximity to Grandvillars, Morvillars, Dasle and other towns associated with my ancestors.

       Our host at the gite told us about the Mennonite cemetery between the towns of Suarce and Faverois, in southern Belfort Territory. It was a challenge finding it as it was not visible from the road. We traveled the road twice, looking for any sign. We checked out some white objects which turned out to be bee hives. A dog raced out barking but luckily was behind a wire fence.  Then we saw a tiny sign identifying what looked to be a long drive to a farm. It said Chemin du Chapelle! After passing 2 farms, we saw a small white building with a cross on a steeple. The cemetery is well maintained and is still in use but did not seem to have any recent Yoders. Other names were Roth, Graber, Klopfenstein, and Zaug. It was a really hot day, so we only took pictures of the stones that had Yoder/Joder easily identified on them.--- Anita Dusseau


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 were the parents of: Elijah Yoder b. 7/9/1803 m1. Kitty Reed (1802- ) m2.Anna M. (Margaret) ______ (6/6/1811-2/13/1885) d. 6/7/1880 bur. Jacobs Church, Schuylkill Co., PA. Reply to 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 interments for: as of July 16- 6412 (an increase of +1366 from Apr.) –Yoder; 165  (+19) – Yother; 47  (+9) – Yothers;100 (+15) – Yotter; 30 (+2)  – Yoter; 46 (+8) – Yoders;, 7 (+1) – Ioder; 49 (+9) – Joder; 18 (+4) - 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: .

A sample of posted gravestones is shown below.

-       -                   -                   -                   -                   -                   -                   -



From the Melchior Yoder Line

M2211- Eli b 7/12/1844 Greene Co, PA m 2/25/1866 Oberlain, Lorain Co, OH Emmeline Hutchinson d 2/13/1914 Leeburg Twp, Union Co, OH., Maple Dell Cemetery, Magnetic Springs, Union County, Ohio



Ray Yoder posted  this photo on the YNL Facebook Page "Me at the Civil War statue in Somerset, PA. I have read that this could be my great great grandfather, Tobias Yoder YR23972."From Yoder Newsletter #27, April 1996: "According to Brocht. Dr. Haupt's wife, Elizabeth  "Betty" Haupt, a former director of the Somerset Historical Center, told him that Tobias's image was used for the Civil War monument  at the  Somerset Co. Courthouse. Her mother-in-law Ida (one of Tobias's younger daughters) told her this family story.Although Brocht believes the soldier on the monument looks like Tobias Yoder, he has never found any documentation on the subject."



       Ron Yoder sent in this "McYoder" sign and remarked: "Something in the Yoder (McYoder) lineage we don’t know about! I spotted this just outside of Belleville, PA". We posted the photo and his note on the new Yoder Newsletter Facebook page, and within a few days, Christina Costanzo-Delvescovo, provided the answer to the "McMystery": "I can shed some light on this sign. This sign is at the end of the lane at my grandparent's former family farm. My grandfather was called John Mc (john-mick) most of his life to distinguish him from other John Yoders. You see, his great grandmother was Rosanna of the Amish, and so his middle name is McGonegal, a family name from Rosanna. For those of you unfamiliar with Rosanna of the Amish, there is a book about her written by Joseph W. Yoder."

       Not long after, YNL Circulation Manager John W Yoder (who with his wife has just driven from Middlebury, IN through Canada to Alaska) shared another Yoder sign: "And look what I found near Talkeetna, Alaska. It seems there was another of the ubiquitous John Yoders from "the midwest" who homesteaded up there and had a property on this road."

       Not to be outdone, yet a third  sign was received from Keith Yoder of Centerville, VA. He had photographed this several years ago in Manassas, Va.




Kevin Yoder won the August Republican primary for the nomination for Congress in Kansas' 3rd Distrit. He's the son of Wayne and Susan Yoder; grandson of: Orie Yoder (deceased) and Edna Yoder (living, 99 in June);  great-grandson of: YRB178b- Delos F (5/25/1879 Lima, IN-9/30/1974 Harper,KS) m 10/30/1902 Garden City, MO Sadie R Plank (11/11/1881-9/29/1946) (DJH3769) res Harper, KS, Mennonite.

The 34-year-old      Yoder has been a state representative for eight years and won nomination by a healthy margin. Pundits say he is favored in the November election. If he wins, he would be only the second Yoder in Congress in American history, the first being Samuel S. Yoder who represented Ohio from 1887-1891 (See YNL8, Oct. 1986).  More recently, the granddaughter of  Solomon  Yoder  (Con37) and Sarah Seagle, Rosa PETRIE b: 19 May 1879, was the wife of Cong. Charles Andrew Jonas of NC (1929-1931), and the mother of Congressman Charles Raper Jonas (1953-1973).



-Albert M. Yoder, 89, son of Moses N. (YR2354681) and Rebecca (Mast) Yoder-) died Sept. 11, 2009, Fredericksburg, Oh.

-Clayton L. Yoder, 79, son of Mackey Hendricks ( M6611) and Martha Ann (Oller) Yoder, died Jan. 1, 2010, Chicago, Il.

-Fred Allen Yoder, 98, son of  Dennis P. (YR251246) and
Pearl Fay (Bertram) Yoder, died Jan. 5, 2010, Fountain Hills, AZ, a long-time YNL reader and supporter.

-Robert R. Yoder (Con13193) son of Earnest and Beatrice (Teague) Yoder , died Jul 10, 2010, Ashville, NC.



       In the six months since we took the The Yoder Newsletter into the "Facebook world" with a "fan page", we have grown to have over 300 fans! This adventure has brought us into contact will a broad new audience and, as can be seen from some of the items in this newsletter, has been a means for sharing Yoder news and gathering family items of interest….Hurrah!


Upgrades for OH13 and OH14 Y DNA profiles.

       These unique profiles which appear in the early 1700 Oley Yoder line, were previously identified at a 25 marker level. With agreement of 4 living male descendants, 4 tests are being upgraded to 67 markers. This should let us see what a 67 marker profile looks like for both Samuel Yoder (OH13) and Peter (OH14), and provide an improved basis for future matching. The upgrades are being funded from the Yoder DNA Project General Fund and the YNL kitty. Contributions to support this effort are welcome at the following link.

Select the "Yoder" project. We'll report the results in the next issue.



         It was "Christmas In July" at the Oley Fire House on July 17 for the 32 attendees at the Oley Yoder reunion. Decorations were a few of the more than 2000 Santas belonging to President Joe Yoder, and small boxes made by Joe from Christmas cards were favors for all. Before dinner there was a lot of socializing and comparing Yoder research, then a sit-down dinner of ham, turkey, beans, salads and potato filling with fruit tarts for dessert. Our speaker, Kathy Fegeley, gave us a multi-media presentation of Christmas customs in various parts of Switzerland from St. Martin's Day through Epiphany. Prizes were awarded to the youngest - Tina Walk and John Yoder, Jr., and the oldest - Edna Dierolf and Col. Harry Yoder. Then Ann Yoder Balderrama, Vice President of the Berks County Genealogical Society, presented her sometimes surprising, and sometimes frustrating, research on Frederick Yoder. "Does this Y look like a G to you?" (See feature article on Page 1). Some transcribers thought so and thus opened her research to the Gotter family records. All enjoyed the raffle drawings  for several gifts.  After the reunion Ken and Martha Yoder gave an interesting tour of the Pleasantville Cemetery to some of the family who had never been there.- Helen Newell, Secretary


A sister of Fred A. Yoder who died this year was Margot Yoder, first wife of actor Dane Clark. She married the actor in 1931, and died in 1970. Clark remarried and lived until 1998 when he died at the age of 86. Clark was born Bernard Zanville in Brooklyn, New York. According to Clark, he was given his stage name by Humphrey Bogart, with whom he starred in "Destination Tokyo" (1943).


Pictures From the Hans Yoder

Homestead (OH1)

       From Dick Yoder of Bechtelsville, PA: " On Sat. , June 12 , 2010; Richard Allen Yoder owner of the homestead , called me and invited my son, Rick, and me to a cook-out at the homestead with his family and a group of friends . It was a very compatible group and we had some photo  taken with Richard Allen."



A full set of these pictures have been posted to the Yoder Newsletter Facebook page.


"PILGRIMAGE OF FAITH: THE YODERS IN SWITZERLAND AND AMERICA FROM ST. JODER TO YOST YODER AND BEYOND" - Virgil Yoder's photos and inspiring story of our Yoder Heritage have been a centerpiece at national Yoder gatherings since 1994. We are pleased to announce that it is now available on DVD, approximately 45 minutes in length.  Hold your own Yoder family reunion, large or small, anyplace around the world and make this the cornerstone of your program. Own your copy of this family treasure for $25 (shipping included). Send a check or money order (USD only) with your shipping address to: Virgil E. Yoder, 110 Northumberland Road;  Irwin, PA  15642-3231USA

If you have any questions, write Virgil at: