Yoder Newsletter Online

Issue Number 3 - - - April, 1984
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MELCHOIR YODER Research Summary -- by Mrs. M.Fred Coffman

There is not much evidence on this family and their descendants and what is available conflicts to some extent.

Census records for Northumberland Co. PA (see note #1) for 1810 lists a Melchior Yoder, over 45 with wife, and the following males, all aged 26-45, all married and with children: John,Jacob, Henry, Melchior,Jr, and Peter. Since they all appear on the same census page (288) of Center Twp., one could reasonably expect that there was a relationship. In the 1800 census, same place, there are 5 Youter families listed, again all on the same page. They are Milear (Melchior?), Benjamin, John & Jacob (these aged 26-45), and Henry, age 16-26. In 1790, only Melchior Yoder is listed in Montgomery Co. with 3 males under 16, 3 males over 16, and 2 females. From the Tax Lists (2) of Philadelphia county (became Montgomery in 1784) we find Melchoir Yoder taxed in 1774 for 130 acres of land. He is still in Hatfield Twp. of Phila.Co. in 1779 & 1780. Then in 1783, Malchoir Yoder is taxed for 170 acres of land in Limerick Twp. He remains there (3) through 1796 when he and sons John and Jacob all disappear. There are no land records recorded in Montgomery county for Melchoir Yoder (of any spellings).


Dunkelberger, in his Story of Snyder County, (PA), 1948, p 166, says ''This land extended as far west as the land known later as the Peter Yoder farm. Beyond this was the land of Melchoir Yetter." In another Snyder County book (4) a section on the Yoder family says "Melchoir Yoder, Senior, came to the section now known as Globe Mills before 1800. He seems to have had a brother named Henry. Melchior and Henry were born in Germany and after coming to this country settled in Montgomery County,(PA). In 1796, Melchoir Junior, and his wife, Anna, came to the Middle Creek Valley and bought some land from Judah Roberts in what is now Middle Creek Township. In a short time his father, brothers, and uncle also came to the section. Melchoir, Senior's children were: Peter, Jacob, John, and Melchoir,Junior. Some think he also had a son named Abraham. There is evidence which indicates that Melchoir died in 1802 (but he appears in the census of 1810!). John succeeded to the ownership of his father's estate. In 1790, his family consisted of three males over and three under 16 years, and two females."

The above quotation would appear to conflict with census records and Orphans Court records of Snyder Co.

The Godshalk/Gottschall Family records (5) state that Ann Godshalk the daughter of Godshalk Godshalk who died in 1786 was married to Melchoir Yoder, a carpenter of Phila. Co. PA. Whether this is the father or the son is open to conjecture.

While John Yoder (born 1768) son of Melchoir Sr. is listed as a weaver on the tax records, the other sons were carpenters (6) . Together they built the Seiber's of Globe Mills Lutheran Church and a public school in 1805 in Middle Creek Twp., Snyder Co. Glatfelter (7) does not list any early Lutheran Church at that location by that name, but it could well be known today by another name.


1.PA Census: 1810, Northumberland Co,Center Twp., Roll#53,p288; same Co. 1800 Reel 142:03,p747; Montgomery Co,1790,p159.

2.PA Archives,3rd S.Vol.XIV p349,611;Vol.XV,p50, 418;Vol XIV p598.

3.Original Tax Lists,Montgomery Co.Hist. Soc.

4. Fisher, Dr. Charles A.,SNYDER COUNTY PIONEERS, 1938, p 102.

5. MSS collection, Montgomery County Historical Society, THE GODSHALK/GOTTSCHALL FAMILY,Rev.N.B. Grubb (1924)

6.Fisher, op.cit.

7. Glatfelter, Charles H.,GERMAN LUTHERAN AND REFORMED CHURCHES IN THE PENNSYLVANIA FIELD,1717-1793, Breinigsville, PA,1980.


EDITOR'S Note: Mrs. M. Fred Coffman, 30 Grouse Rd.,Malvern,Pa.19355, would be interested in hearing from any readers who may have knowledge of this Yoder family.


Captain Jacob Yoder-Early Adventurer

The illustration above was provided by Mr. Earl Joder, the prominent German researcher of our family. Captain Jacob Yoder, a member of the Oley Valley Yoder family, is recorded as the first man to take a flatboat down the Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans. Look for an article on his life in a future edition of the Yoder Newsletter.(The real date of this event was 1782)




Chris Yoder, Battle Creek, Michigan Ben F. Yoder, Goshen, Indiana


It was a little over a year ago that we put together the first issue of the YNL. We really didn't know what to expect in terms of interest.


As issue #3 goes to press we are happy to say that your newsletter has grown to over 514 subscribers across the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Africa, Germany, France and Hong Kong.


Our 500th subscriber was Elioise Cunningham of Yucaipa CA (a descendant of Caleb Yoder and Susanna Hochstettler).




Among the items contributed by our readers was a cryptic reference obtained by Mr. Lester Yoder of Leesburg FL. One of the bits of data he has collected over the years is about a tombstone inscription from Eplers Churchyard, Berne Twp., Berks County PA. It reads "Here lies Johan Nicholas Yoder, is born 5th day February 1698, died 16 October 1759" (in German). We at the newsletter cannot link this early settler to any particular Yoder immigrant line. Can any of you tell us where Eplers Churchyard is, and who this gentleman may have been?


(Note- Later found to be a Souder)


ARTICLES WELCOME--Share your research with fellow readers! The Yoder Newsletter would welcome the submission of any original research and findings by Yoder historians. Because of space limitations and the need to prioritize the sequence of publication, we cannot guarantee early use, but do invite contributions. They may be edited.


REUNION UPDATE... Most family reunions take place in the summer months. Our spring edition of the newsletter should be a timely place to announce them for the interest of others. Please let us know as soon as you can.


Perhaps it should be known to all readers that if you are in receipt of an offer to purchase THE YODER FAMILY HERITAGE BOOK by Beatrice Bailey we would advise you to save your money. Although it does have a section on heraldry, general genealogical advice, etc., all it contains pertinent to YODER is a list of Yoders (over 7000 with addresses) gleaned from public sources, that would be of interest to Yoder related readers.

The offer as it comes infers that you will receive information on the Yoder family. This is not true (except for the above list). Paul W. Yoder of Houston TX sent me copied data regarding this publication along with a warning to be wary. He and I both have copies of this book and feel all of you should be warned.

The YODER NEWSLETTER will furnish you more YODER information you seek for a lot less money.



We certainly appreciate all letters that we've received. Those that contain information that might be of interest to some of you we print.

================================.==== ========

"I am most happy to see in the MFH that you have a newsletter. I am deeply interested in this. I am a Yoder.(My mother's maiden name was Voder and all my brothers and sisters had "Y" as middle initial except me!)" Ira A. Kurtz, Jr. Mennonite Centre,76 Waterloo Rd. 1/7 Kowloon, Hong Song.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

"I was very happy to be able to answer the query of Jean Yoder of High Point NC. She asked about the Jacob Eschbach Yoder line. He was the son of Jacob Maurer Yoder 1804-1854 and Anna Eschbach 1808-1883 of Lehigh Co PA. Jacob M. Yoder was the son of Abraham Yoder 1761-1836 and Elizabeth Maurer 1771-1843. Abraham Yoder was the son of Casper and Barbara Yoder of Lower Milford Twp, Bucks Co PA. Casper was the son of the immigrant, Hans Yoder and his wife, Anna." Richard J. Yothers Jr. Boston MA


"My husband's grandmother, Margreet Amelia Yoder married Joseph Thompson. She was the dau. of William Sherman Yoder who settled in Jefferson Co. PA. I believe they are from the Oley Yoders. I researched the Thompsons and traced them to Maryland, Harford Co., but I am stuck there. I have always wanted to do the Yoders. I like the newsletter very much." Florence Thompson Uniontown OH 44k85


I am interested in developing a chart of descendants of my Yoder forbears. My grandfather was John A. Yoder of Smithville and my mother was Crissie C. Yoder." Ernest C. Shank, Cookeville TN 38501


From Pauline Yoder, Greencroft, Goshen, IN: Please send me the Yoder Newsletter. I am very interested. I was a Yoder and married a Yoder--my grandma Yoder was a Yoder--and my mother's sidle has Yoders--no matter which way I turn--there they are.


Eloise Cunningham of Yucatan CA writes the following. "I would like to also say to Yoders everywhere 'You are sure missing a lot if you are not a subscriber to the Newsletter.' " Thanks, Eloise'


NEWSLETTER READER STARTS HIS OWN... MR.H. Walter Yoder of Grand Rapids Michigan has begun a newsletter within the family of John P. Yoder (1837-1917) as a means to gather information and to share it among the members of that family. We commend his efforts, and wish him well.


FAMILY KEEPS IN TOUCH THROUGH TRAVELING LETTER.. The children of Menno S. Yoder (1863-1952) have spread far and wide. To solve the problem of keeping in touch they have a traveling letter which makes the circuit every few months. Each party adds their own news to the package and then takes it out again and provides new when it comes back. Would this work for you?



Yoder, Kansas by David Luthy

Located in Reno County, Kansas, eight miles southeast of the county seat of Hutchinson is the small town of "Yoder". It is in the center of an Amish farming community. Its name comes from an early settler, Eli M. Yoder.

Eli Yoder was born February 6, 1844 in Union County, Pennsylvania, but grew to manhood in the Amish community of Long Green, Maryland, where his parents had moved about 1849. Eli's father, Solomon, was bishop of the Maryland congregation. In l874 Eli was thirty years old, had not joined the Amish Church, and was yet single. He decided to go West to "seek his fortune" and landed in Reno County, Kansas, where he met a non-Amish young woman, Mary Young, and soon married her. They settled down to farming a half section of prairie -320 acres. (1)

Four months after arriving in Kansas, Eli was joined by another wayward Amish youth, E. F. Peachy, of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. Although Peachy's father was also an Amish minister, he too had chosen not to join the church, commenting later in life, "My parents belonged to the Amish Church, but they could never persuade me to belong." (2)

In the fall of that same year, a third Amish youth, John Nafzinger, arrived in Reno County. He was a nephew of Eli Yoder, being the son of Eli's sister, Lydia, and Peter Nafzinger of Long Green, Maryland. John worked on his uncle's farm and got acquainted with Mrs. Yoder's sister, Emma Young, and married her.

None of these three young men chose to remain in the Amish faith in which they had been raised. Perhaps they even thought they could escape from their plain past by moving far away from their home communities. If this was the case, it must have come as quite a surprise to them nine years later when Amish families from Illinois began settling in Reno County--right in the neighborhood where they were homesteading. Actually it was quite by accident that the Amish settled there. Originally they had planned to go to Nebraska; but when they could not travel further because of a flood, they detoured into Kansas. A real estate agent from Hutchinson showed them land in Reno County. They liked what they saw and purchased farms in Kansas instead of Nebraska.

Eli Yoder now found himself with Amish neighbors. He showed no interest in their church, and it is said that he tried to hide the fact from them that he had been raised Amish--a seemingly impossible task with a name like "Yoder". E. F. Peachy related many years later how Eli was finally exposed:

Mr. Yoder was the first Amish man to settle in this community, but when Amish people followed him and organized a church, he never united with them. In fact, Mr. Yoder tried to keep it hid from the Amish folks that he had belonged to them. Jake Bontrager once said they were threshing for Mr. Yoder. After supper they were sitting in the room talking. Mrs. Yoder then went in the bedroom and brought Mr. Yoder's long-tailed coat and barndoor trousers and showed them to us in the absence of Mr. Yoder. No sooner had she shown them to us until Mr. Yoder happened to come in and saw what she was doing. He rebuked her rather severely for it, right in the presence of the entire threshing crew. (3)

When the Missouri Pacific Railroad was being built across Reno County, it passed over Eli Yoder's farm. He persuaded the railroad to construct a 20-rod spur past his buildings and talked the government into establishing a post office in one room of his house--thus Yoder, Kansas was born.

In 1899, Eli Yoder sold his farm to an Amishman, Rudy M. Bontrager, for $6,000 and moved to Hutchinson where he became a justice of the peace on July 29, 1905. (5)

Yoder, Kansas never grew very large. By l910 it had a population of thirty-five. In 1973 its population had risen to almost 100, mostly retired farmers. A longtime resident of the Amish community, D. K. Borntrager, reported in 1973 that the town consisted of:

...a five-room consolidated school, a very good and strong bank, a big hardware and lumber company owned by Alvin Fry, a big elevator 100 feet high and another storage bin with a capacity of 350,000 bushels, one food locker, one very busy gas station and repair shop, one all-purpose blacksmith shop, and a big road contractor with big machinery. (6)

A mile west of town is a police academy located on the former naval air base which displaced Amish farmers in 1942.

Yoder is not listed in the index of the 1982 Rand McNally Road Atlas, but does appear on the Kansas map. It is situated on Highway No. 96 and has a post office using ZIP code 67585.


1. Thomas, Clarke and Glenn Williams, "They Preserve Old Simplicity," The News-Herald, May 20, 1951.

2. Borntrager, D. K., "History of the Amish Mennonites in Reno Co., Kansas", an unpublished writing dated Feb. 22, 1967.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Genealogical data for Eli Yoder and his parents were obtained from Amos L. Fisher, Ronks, PA.

6. A letter to the author dated May 21, 1973, from D. K.Borntrager.


(The article above,which originally appeared in the July 1973 issue of "Family Life", has been updated by the author especially for the Yoder Newsletter)



Many readers are looking forward to the publication of Dr. Hugh Gingerich and Rachel Kreider's monumental work on the Amish immigrants and their descendants through 1850. Levi L. Stoltzfus has informed us that the prepublication price of $35.00 ended as of April 1, 1984. Information on this fine book and its expected publication date (sometime next summer) can be received by writing Levi L. Stoltzfus, 98 South Graffdale Road, Leola, Pa. 17540


Self righteousness, derived from abstinence from a a habit or practice, is the greater sin.


This article was used with the permission of Mennonite Family History and is taken the from the Oct. l983 issue----

Hans Joder of Great Swamp--By Ken Hottle

There are more than fifty genealogies on various Yoder families in America but none specifically concerning those that settled in upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The following, based on the premises that the relationship between John Yoder Sr. and John Yoder Jr., is one of father and sons, is an attempt to fill that gnawing void.

The immigrant and progenitor of this family was one Hans Joder or John Yoder Sr. Although the specific date of his immigration is not known, it can be reasonably fixed between 1713 and 1720, and most likely 1717, the year in which some of his friends and neighbors who settled at the Great Swamp also immigrated.(l) He and his wife Anna, whose surname is unknown, were born in Europe in the latter part of the 17th century.(2) They were friends of and contemporaneous with George Bachman (1685-1753) and Maria Bachman (1698-1776) who once were their immediate neighbors and possibly related.(3) The size of their family when they immigrated is unknown but the fact that their son John required naturalization and their son Casper did not suggests that the former was born in Europe and the latter in America.

The earliest record of John Yoder Sr. is based on hearsay evidence in the form of notes kept by Isaac Yothers (1884-1959).(4) These notes state that John Yoder Sr. bought from Joseph Growden on Jan. 17, 1720 ninety-nine acres at Great Swamp in Richland adjoining (actually between) lands of Jacob Clemmer and George Bachman. That property is at present bound on the north by Route 663, on the east by the Milford and Richland Township boundaries, on the south by the road from Quakertown to Milford Square and the Upper Bucks County Airport, and extends westward by two-thirds of a mile or half the distance between Portzer Road and Milford Square. The entire property basically remains farmland and is what is now known as Route 663 Produce and Nursery.(5)

The earliest existing document identifying John Yoder Sr. is a petition dated Sept. 17, 1730 requesting a road be laid out from the new meetinghouse to Montgomery Road on the county line in order to have access to Philadelphia.(6) In 1734 the names of both John Yoder Sr. and John Yoder Jr. appear on a single document; a petition for naturalizations. The purpose for naturalization was to secure the right to own and transfer real estate under existing English law.(8) Between 1720 and 1740 naturalization virtually required an act of the Provincial Pennsylvania Assembly and few Germans achieved this goal, and then not without political bribery.(9) The results of this particular petition were that only 14 of 55 petitioners obtained naturalization by an act passed on March 29, 1735 (10)

Fourteen years elapse before further evidence of John Yoder Sr. is found. That evidence, in the form of estate papers of his friends and neighbors, reflects that he was a responsible member of his community. Considering his associates, the strategic intermarriages, and religious activity of his descendants, it would be a reasonable speculation that he was an elder or trustee under the bishopric of Valentine Clemmer. In 1748 he signed a renunciation to the executorship of the estate of Samuel Shoup who lived at Great Swamp with John Drissell.(ll) In the same year he helped take inventory for the estate of John Landis of Great Swamp.(12) In 1751 he appraised the estate of Jacob Clemmer of Lower Milford.(13)

During the year 1750 he apparently had intentions toward retirement and it was not coincidental that his son John chose to engage in real estate transactions in December of 1750. These actions were well coordinated with John Yoder Sr.s retirement plans.(l4) The last known document concerning John Yoder Sr. is dated April 2, 1753 when he witnessed the purchase of land by his son Casper.(15)

When he and his wife died or where they are buried are unknown. Although there is no list of children or a family Bible record now known, there is evidence that such a record may have existed. Among the confiscated personal property of his grandson during the Revolutionary War there were two Bibles sold at public auction. One belonging to Casper Yoder (d. 1798) was bought by John Bare for L6.7.6, the other belonging to Jacob Yoder (1734-1807) was bought by John Siegfried, then sheriff of Northampton County, for L14.10.0.- an incredible amount at that time. At that same sale L14 purchased a steer, a cow, or ten sheep. It is possible that one of these Bibles, presumably the latter, may originally have been the Bible of John Yoder Sr. This provenance would confirm both with tradition and the practice of primogeniture .(16)

From a legal viewpoint there is neither proof nor primary evidence that John Yoder Jr. and Casper Yoder were or were not sons of John Yoder Sr. of Great Swamp. Concerning John Yoder Jr.; the geographical proximity indicated in the petition of 1734 and particularly the fact that both successfully obtained naturalization strongly suggests the relationship of father and son. In 1735 the homestead was crowded with both children and grandchildren which would be a reasonable time for him to set out on his own- thus he purchased land at Saucon. His land purchases were all upstream conforming with the usual father-son pattern of settlement. Both men settled beside George Bachman suggesting a common relationship, and the land transactions of 1750 are all too obvious to be coincidental.

Concerning Casper Yoder; although the Yother Notes are hearsay they can be validated to the extent that the land owned by Casper was the same owned by John Yoder Sr.(17) There is an impression among some descendants that Casper was an only child, but evidence supporting this exclusiveness is wanting.

In addition to these arguments, there was among some colonial brothers the practice of naming their sons identically. It is more than curious that John Yoder Jr. and Casper Yoder each named their sons Abraham, Casper, and Jacob. Casper had another son named John and there is an unproven, but persistent belief that John Yoder Jr. also had a son named John. Thus between 1720 and 1750, there is sufficient, consistent and connected, circumstantial evidence to infer that they were both sons of John Yoder Sr.

There is a speculative third child; a daughter, in the intriguing personage of one Magdalena Yoder. Her appearance can be traced to the papers of Dorothy K. Landis collection at Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society where there is a notation stating that Michael Sell (1748-1772) married Magdalena Yoder. Ms. Landis obtained this pearly morsel from some unrevealed source, but applied it to the wrong person and family.(l8)

Michael Sell was a son of Henry Sell (1724-1786) and Mary (Shell) Sell (b. 1726). The similarity of these two surnames has caused many genealogists to error, (19) but it is within the error that a greater revelation is found. Mary Shell was the only daughter of Michael Shell (1693-1769) and it is HIS second wife's name that was Magdalena.(20) This, in an probability, is the Magdalena Yoder that Ms. Landis placed in error.

To speculate further, Magdalena Yoder was also a sister to John and Casper. The close relationship between the Yoder and Sell families, with its intermarriages, has never really been explained. Magdalena Yoder as step-grandmother to the Sell children and the elderly aunt to the Yoder children would be in a position to both influence and account for that relationship. Hopefully, additional children of John Yoder Sr. may eventually be identified through modern research techniques.


Ken Hottle, Box 714, Allentown, PA 18105.



l. John C. Wenger. History or the Mennonites of the Fronconia Conference (Telford, Pa.: Franconia Mennonite Historical Society, 1937) p. 398. in the year 1717 many more of our fellow believers came to us from Germany: The earliest German setters of Great Swamp were probably among this group.

2. See footnote #7. Allowing that John Yoder Jr. at least 21 years Of age in 1734, his parents would have been born in the 17th century.

3. Dorothy R. Landis. Report or the 31st Reunion of the Landis-Landes Families (Bethlehem, Pa: Times Pub. Co., 1950) p. 44. Anna Bachman is given as the wife of John Yoder Jr. without supporting evidence or reference to the source of that statement. The question is raised whether Anna Bachman was the wife of John Yoder Jr. or John Yoder Sr.!

4. These notes were generously shared by a grandson of Isaac Yothers, Richard J. Yothers, Jr., 259 W. Newton St., Boston, MA 02116.

5. On a draught of that property dated 1821 the Row to Milford Square is identified as the Road from Quakertown to Millerstown" which suggests that may have been an early name for Milford Square.

6. William W.H. Davis. History or Bucks County. 2nd rev. ed. (PipersviSie, Pa.: A.E. Lear Inc., 1975) 1:443. There are numerous errors in the account of this petition which contains 35 rather than 32 signators. The three additional signatures are those of David Ginkers, John Greasley, and Casper Ceimar. The signature of Hans Joder is erroneously transcribed as Samuel Yoder, Other similar errors are Abraham Hill is actually A. Shelly, Jacob Klein is L Klemmer, Peter Curtz is P. Zuck, Henry Walp is H Taylor, and John Jacob Zeitz is George Zeitz. The original document is in the criminal division at the Bucks County Courthouse.

7. Petition to the Assembly in 1734 for Naturalization by Divers Inhabitants or Bucks County at Historical Society of Pa., Streiper Collection, Bucks County Papers, 1:47. The names on this petition are not signatures in spite of the fact that some are written by various German hands. Attached to the petition is a clerical copy of these names. A rendering of this petition appears in Davis's History Of Bucks County 1:425-426 which contains both omissions and errors.

8. Upon the death of an unnaturalized alien, his land, along with improvements, would theoretically revert to the proprietary government under existing English law. Although never enforced, this law served as a constant threat to the German-born immigrant.

9. Richard K. MacMaster, Samuel L. Horst, & Robert Ulle. Conscience In Crisis (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1979). Naturalization statistics and their corresponding legislative process are compactly and effectively treated here as well as tracing political bribery revealed in Pa. Archives, 8th Series, 2:2855-2856.

10. James T. Mitchell & Henry Flanders. Statutes At Large of Pennsylvania From 1682-1801 (Harrisburg Pa - 1891} 4:282-285. Both John Yoders are included among the successful 5 Mennonites, 2 Brethren, and 7 Lutheran or Reformed petitioners that acquired naturalization steming from the petition of 1734 Abraham Shelly and Jacob Musselman were among the who were not successful. Whether their failure can be attributed to their moral scruples or a lack of funds remains to be answered.

ll. Will of Samuel Shoup of Great Swamp (Jan. 8, 1747/48 probated Feb. 15, 1747/48), Philadelphia Co., Will Book F:128, File #100. This renunciation which included John Drissel, reads, "but being antient and not fit to travel in ye winter Season."

12. Will of John Landis of Great Swamp (Sept. 26, 1747; probated May 1, 1751) Phila. Co., Will Book 1:397, File #255.

13. Will of Jacob Clemmer of Milford (March 30, 174 pro. Nov. 11, 1751) Phila. Co. Will Book 1:438, File #280. His name but not his signature appears.

14. John Yoder Jr. negotiated a complex sale of 250 acres in Milford Twp. that involved several principals. The dates of these transactions were Dec. 21, 1750 and Dec. 30, 1750. The land was based on a warrant dated May 4, 1737 and was probably in part an investment vehicle for John Yoder Sr. The notes of Isaac Yothers state that John Yoder Sr. sold the homestead to his son Casper on Dec. 8, 1750.

l5. Deed, John Lester to Casper Yoder (Aprll 2, 1753, rec. Nov. 7, 1797) Bucks Co. 29:390-391. Casper paid John Lester L140 for 70 acres in Richland Twp. This land joined the northeast corner of the homestead tract at what is now Portzer Road, extended eastward to the junction of Route 663 and Old Bethlehem Pike, which also ran diagonally across the property, northward beyond Quakertown borough limits above what is now the K-Mart shopping center, and westward again to Portzer Road.

16. Pa. Archives, 6th Series, 12:432, 444.

17. Joseph Growden s great tract of 1490 acres was sold in part to Divers Dutchmen prior to 1725 when the residual average was sold to Robert Fletcher. On 1785 a resurvey of this remainder was made basically identifying the family names of these Divers Dutchmen.

18. Will of Michael Sell (pro. April 10, 1772) Northampton Co., Will File #556. The fact is that Michael was 24 years old when he died, his wife s name was Barbara and he had a son named Michael.

l9. May Mathis Green-Watson. Nold Family History & Genealogical Background. (Corpus Christi, Tex:1941) p.7. The Shell and Sell surnames are erroneously considered as one family and it is through this error that the records of the Shell family are preserved.

20. Will of Michael Shell (pro. Feb. 19, 1770) Phila. Co. Will Book 0:465, File #346. In this will there is mention of a release between Michael Shell and his second wife. This release has not as yet been located .


(Editors' notes ---If your Yoder ancestors had longstanding Mennonite roots (as opposed to those who converted from the Amish), this excellently researched article by Mr. Hottle should be of particular interest. All of the Mennonite Yoder lines that we are aware of descended from the "Hans Joder of Great Swamp".


(picture of Conrad Yoder gravestone)


Conrad Yoder monument, erected in 1958.


The above picture was copied from Fred Roy Yoder's book History of the Yoder Familv in North Carolina. It is a comprehensive work covering the descendants of Conrad Yoder



(picture here)

"Oldest Unaltered Church"-1777

The above print was on stationery received from Ben Yoder, of Mohrsville PA. He wrote, "Rev. Jacob R. Yoder preached in the Pricetown Church Of the Brethren 1860 to 1881. He was a greatgrandson of the Widow Barbara Yoder and my greatgrand father."



Of all the Yoder immigrants of the 18th century, Conrad Yoder was unique. He is the only one of our name known to have settled outside of the Pennsylvania area. In his History of the Yoder Family in North Carolina, 1970, Dr. Fred Roy Yoder tells of Conrad's immigration to Pennsylvania in the middle of the century and of his move to North Carolina sometime between 1755 and 1762. There he settled about eight miles south of Hickory, North Carolina and raised a family of six sons and two daughters. The family Bible records cited by Dr. Yoder show the following birth dates for these childrens John 26 Oct. 1764; Jacob 13 Dec. 1767; David 3 Apr. 1770; Elizabeth 14 Apr. 1776; Elias 31 Oct. 1777; Daniel 18 Jun 1780; Catherine 21 Dec. 1782; Adam 23 Jun 1785. The first three children were by Conrad's first wife Christina Cline, and the remaining by his third wife, Catherine Huffman. Two of the sons John and David, remained in North Carolina and their descendants are discussed in some detail in Dr. Yoder's book. Jacob, Elias and Daniel moved to southern Indiana about 1815 and Adam is said to have gone to Tennessee.

Laban Yoder, a great grandson of Conrad Yoder wrote in a letter to S. C. Yoder, Goshen College, dated January of 1928, that Conrad was a Mennonite and owned a Mennonite Hymnal. He also stated that Conrad visited with his brother Jacob Yoder in Berks County, Pennsylvania, prior to his migration to North Carolina. It is not known who this Jacob might have been and how Conrad is connected to the other branches of the Yoder family.

Laban goes on to discuss the children of Conrad who moved to Indiana. "of these sons Jacob moved to Indiana and settled near Bloomington. He was the father of five sons: Emmanuel, George, Jacob, John and Henry....Elias, son of Conrad, moved to Indiana c1816. His sons were John, Jessie, Jonas, Conrad and Joe."

We are all certainly indebted to Dr. Fred Roy Yoder, Laban Yoder, Colin M. Yoder, George M. Yoder and other members of this family who have over the years documented bits of their heritage. It can be expected that the Yoder Newsletter will provide further details in future issues and hopefully break new ground on the descendants of Conrad Yoder who moved west.


*************YODER INQUIRIES*************************

Who was Elvina Yoder (Elseyra Yoeter?) who married Milton Willeford. Her mother was a Miller and her son Samuel Willeford was born Dec.1853 in Carthage,KY. Reply to:R. Kreider c/o the Yoder Newsletter, P.O.Box 594,Goshen,IN 46526


Would like info. on Andy or Andrew Yoder who lived in Plymouth,lN area. Wife Sarah Hershberger. Children:Abraham,Rudy,Joe,Andrew, and Anna who married Adam Miller.Reply to:Henry Yoder, 1575 Badour Rd,R 2, Midland,MI 48640.


Info. desired on John Yoder/Yoders b.ca.1785, m. Elizabeth ?, lived in Green Co.,SA. Parents of Alexander Yoder/Yoders b.ca.Mar.1821, who lived in Licking & Union Co,OH.Reply to:Mrs. Clyea Yoder,11646 Hinton ML RD,Marysville,CH, 43040.


DUAL QUERY: Wanted: info.re.Soloman Yoder (1776-1866) and Barbara Miller (1774-1858) family. Soloman-son of Christian Yoder and Barbara Hooley; Barbara-dau. of Daniel Miller & Veronica Mishler. Reply to both:1)C.P.Yoder,141 S.E.49th,Portland, OR 97215; and 2)Linda Williams,4621 Dixon Dr., Westminster,CO 80030.


What were the names of Daniel Yoder's parents? Daniel died Mar.18,1800 in Union Twp,Berks Co, Ph. His parents may have come from the Oley area. Daniel's wife's name was Anna, who died Mar.28,1801. Reply to: Ralph Levengood, Box 105, R¢2,St.Peters Rd.,Pottstown,PA.19464.


What became of Henry Yoder, b.1782. Son of Christian ("Schweitzer") and Barbara Hooley. Believed to have left Amish faith. Respond to:C.Yoder,203 Lakeshire Rd.,Battle Creek, MI. 49015


TWO FOR ONE: Who were the parents of Veronica Yoder, wife of Stephen Kurtz? Seems too young to have been dau. of 1742 im. Christian Yoder. Also want full name of Yost Yoder's first wife (m2 to Mary Siever). Reply to John M.Byler,Rt.4,Box 4599, Mercer, PA. 16137.


I would like all records pertaining to the Yost and Barbara Yoder family. Their oldest child, Christian was born 1761. Was the Isaac Yoder in a 1809 Amish ministers list another son? Their immigration data?--John M. Byler, Rt.4, Box 4599, Mercer, PA. 16137.


What is the ancestry of William Brown Yoder,born 7-30-1845.Married Mary LaDorna Artman 3-7-1871 in (?) Union Co.,PA. Possible son of Joshua (b.circa 1805) and Elizabeth (b.circa 1810). --Marli Yoder,526 W. Washington, Kirkwood.Mo 63122


Need info on ChristianYoder b. 22 Jan l824, son of Joshua Yoder. Christian m. Maria Lantz and the family was in Middlebury IN around 1888. Where was Christian born and from whom was Joshua descended? Willis Yoder, 4349 SW Lakeview Blvd. Lake Oswego OR 97034


Who was Jonas Yoder, b. June 5, l827 m. Catherine, d. of Joesph Kanagy, Port Royal,PA, lived in Wayne Co., OH from 1863 to 1875? Jonas d. in Lancaster PA, Nov 6, 1881. Mrs. Annie E. Kinsinger, RR#l, Box 35, Meyersdale PA-15552


Want information on Daniel Yoder b. 1793 Somerset Co.,PA m. Susanna Ramsparger l834. Daniel d. 1849. Susanna m. J. J. Bauman (2). Daniel Yoder's dau. Mary m. Samuel C. Mast in l853 by Moses Burkholder. Where were they married? Please reply to Mrs. Frank Gross, 91-08 182nd Place, Jamaica NY 11423


Need info proving or disproving that Joseph FORNEY's l/w was Barbara YODER, Joseph warranted land in Brothers Valley Twp., Bedford Co. 15 Dec 1774. Christian YODER's land was warranted 2 Dec l773 in Brothers Valley. Joseph was from Lancaster Co. Christian was borm Berks Co. Joseph's second child was b. 15 Nov 1777. Wish to correspond with descendants of this Christian YODER.--Evelyn Schleusener, RR#2, Box 159, Laurens IA 50554


Searching for roots of William Peter Yoder (1863- 1934) d. in Bonne Terra, MO and was son of Martha Covington, father unknown. William Peter born in Ste. Genevieve Co. MO. He married Annie Jane Ross in 1895; 5 children, Millard William, Stanley Ross, Thelma Mae, Darwin and Dorothy. He had a bro. Sam and sis. Carrie Wiggins.--Edwin E. Yoder RRp4, Box 247, Bonne Terre MO 63628


Want ancestors of Benjamin Yoder (8-29-1817-5-21-18 99) and Brigitta Yoder, wife,(7-15-1821-5-13-1909). Both bur. Frieden's Union Cem., Oley, Berks Co.PA. Brigitta was dau. of Jacob & Mary (Reinhart) Hausman. Children: twins, Jacob & David, William, Frank; James, Emily, Amanda, Sarah, Louisa and Mary Ann. --Marilyn S. Markley, 774 Cain St.,Pennsburg PA 180


Who was Jacob Yoder (son of Barbara Shellenberger Yoder) who served as executor of John Shellenberger's will (b. 1731) ? John Shellenberger died in Manheim Twp., Lancaster Co., PA in 1813 and was the brother of Barbara, Jacob's mother.--Virginia C. Jansen, 1679 Drew Ave., Columbus OH 43220.


Seek Anna Yoder's parents and dates. She married Henry Leonard ca. 1820. Widowed; married ca. 1829 Force, Wayne Co., Ohio. Mrs. D. E. Zeller, Holiday Spa-Space 41, 10401 North Cave Creek Road, Phoenix AZ 85020.


Information needed on Veronica Frances YODER, m. to Michael DENLINGER: 3 children known of: Mary (m. Jacob Hockman); Jacob & Henry. Veronica's father may have been Daniel YODER (which ones? Michael came to Lancaster area PA by 1717. Don't know any dates, so need all help I can get on this family. They seem to be the beginning of my husbandts family in Ameriea.-Carol Jean Yoder Denlinger, 6382 Union Road, Clayton OH 45315.


Is J/YETTER variation of YODER? Seek origins Peter J/YETTER (c 1740-l781), (No. Annville Twp?)

Lebanon Co., PA (wife a Stoever). Children Eva Maria, Maria Catarina, Anna Maria. Related John

Peter Jetter. Christened l766 Lancaster PA? Jean A. Larson, 1323 12th Avenue #2, San Francisco,

CA 94122


Wanted INFORMATION REGARDING THE DESCENDANTS OF PETER YODER (l805-ca l870). Malenda b. l835, m. John Jacobs. Johannes Sidney b. 1837, James b. 1840, Newton b. 1843, Franklin b. 1846, Barbara b. l848. Children of marriage with Martha Covington: Mary Elizabeth b. l864; William Peter b. 1866, Virginery Caroline married Henry Wiggins, Samuel b. 1871. Most were in St. Francis County, Missouri. Please contact Marjorie Schramm, 850 Elm Tree Lane, Kirkwood MO 63122.


Seek parents and ancestry of Barbara Yoder who m. John Oyster ca. 1780 FA. Both went to Ohio; John d. there in l844. Respond to Paul A. Morris, 123 Oak Road, Nantucket Acres, Seaford DE l9973


Christina Gerig b. 17 Apr. 1831, d. 21 Oct 1909, m. to Moses Schrock b. to June 1828, d. 22 Apr 1909. Christina Gerig's mother was Christine Yoder. Does anyone have any information on this Christine Yoder, who had m. Joseph Gerig? Mrs. Paul Wade, R#1--21604 Freeport Rd. Sterling ,IL 61091




This newsletter will identify Yoder-related books currently available for purchase. Most of these deal with one specific branch (twig), and may not be of interest outside that immediate family. We will attempt to provide sufficient data for you to guage your interest. Further details can be obtained from addresses indicated. Give us full details of any books available regarding cost, etc.


The David Yoder Family -l22 pages, quite a few pictures, "a little historical information" , and memories from each of the ten children. David s/o Samuel s/o Isaac s/ o Yost s/o Henry born in Switzerland l756 and bur. Summit Mills PA. $5.00 plus $1.50 postage and handling. Writes Mr & Mrs Daniel V. Yoder, R.D. 5, Fox 253, Dover DE 19901


William J. Yoder Familv Historv Book-covers the family of this Amish bishop of Nappanee IN (1858-1936). $7.50. May be ordered or information obtained from: Elizabeth D. Nisley, RR#l, Box 127, Hutchinson KS 67501


Familv Record of Jeremiah Yoder and Fannie Bender (m. Jan. 22, 1882), 1975, by Sylvan Yoder. There is also a 1977 supplement. Sylvan has a limited amount left at $2.75 each. His address Sylvan Yoder, 1112 Irvin, Carlsbad NM 88220

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Familv Record of Peter W Magdalena (Gingerich) Yoder (m. Nov. 10,1864), 1975, by Agnes Yoder and

Edna Swartzendruber. There is also a supplement to July 1, 1980. Price $4.00. Order from Agnes Yoder

2020 South Downing, Denver CO 90210


Your Newsletter staff would like to learn more about the following Yoder families :


Joseph Yoder-b.cl806 in Germany-a l837 immigrant to Bureau Co.,Ill.

Jacob (b.1767), Elias (b.1777) and Daniel (b.1780) Yoder of North Carolina- moved to

southern Indiana in 1810's.

Adam Yoder-(b.1785) of N.C. Poss. descentdants in TN, GA, and Missouri.


HOW ABOUT?? Henry Yoder- born ca.1776 in PA. Lived in Indiana to 1830s. In Madison Co.,ILL

as of 1850. Please SEND any NEWS to C.Yoder, THE YNL, 203 Lakeshire Rd.,Eattle Creek,KI.49015



In our first issue we listed several Yoder related books being researched for future publication. We encourage our readers to inform us of any not here mentioned for the benefit of both author and the family involved. Here are two more we've heard of :


Mr. Richard J. Yothers of 259 West Newton St., Boston MA 02116, is working on the descendants of Jacob Yothers (of Bucks County Yoder line) and is hopeful of publishing this calendar year.


Mr. Levon Yoder, 2499 Sword Hwy, Adrian MI49221 is working on a history of the Allen County, IN Yoders. He is a descendant of the Alsatian immigrant Joseph Yoder (1825-1911).


We are sure either of these gentlemen would welcome hearing from fellow descendants who might have information of use in their efforts.

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* YODER, Hatten Schuyler, Jr. American petrologist Born Mar. 20, 1921, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.



Dr. Hatten Schuyler Yoder, Jr., Director of the Carnegie Instition Geophysical Laboratory in Washington, is one of a number of our family who have distinguished themselves in varying lines. Dr. Yoder has been the recipient of many awards, has held prominent research, academic, and editorial positions in his field, and is the author of a multitude of papers which have been translated into other languages including Russian.

We are glad to number him among the readers of our newsletter. Of interest to you all will be one of the tributes he received during his very active career. A spectacular purple mineral that occurs in Tanzania was discovered in 1959 by Dr. Duncan McKie of Cambridge, and has been named YODERITE in honor of Dr. Yoder who first studied experimentally this central part of the composition in which it lies.


(the sketch of Dr. Yoder is from Modern Men of Science, vol. 2, 1968, McGraw Hill Inc., and is reproduced with permission of the publisher)



After hours and hours of effort, we have over 2,000 Yoders from the last century indexed in our records. We also have made a start in assembling all 1850 Census records for Yoders in the United States. If you would like us to screen these files for your ancestor, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope and as much information as you can for each generation going back. Of particular value are dates of birth, marriage, death, locations (if Known) ,name of marriage partner, and the same for as far back as you can go. This will not only possibly reward you, but it will help us at the newsletter key in on Missing" family links. Be patient as we expect it might take us a while to answer a big volume of input, but each reader inputing this information will hear back with the return of his self addressed envelope.(send to: 203LakeshireRd,Bat.Cre,MI 490l5)


NOTES ON LAST ISSUE-NO.2---The demographic map on page one provides a representative proportional distribution of Yoders from one address sampling. It does not reflect total Yoders in the United States.... The article on page 7 on "European Yoder Research" reprinted with permission of "The Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage" appears, as several readers noted, to have one or more generations missing.


Yoder Descendants Meet at Belleville

Pioneer Spirit Marks 150-Year Reunion


BELLEVILLE, PA.-The 16th Moses H. Yoder family reunion was held August 13-14 at the Belleville Mennonite School, but it was more than the usual reunion. The family was commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Moses H. Yoder, the youngest son of nine children of Christian (Kiefer) and Esther Hertzler Yoder, who was born in the Kishacoquillas Valley

Moses Yoder was a true pioneer going always west from Mifflin to Mercer County, Pa to Indiana, to Missouri to Kansas and finally, in the Cherokee Run, he homesteaded in Oklahoma Today his living descendants number 774 and live in 25 states from Florida to Alaska and Hawaii and one in England.

A total of 69 Moses H. Yoder descendants, with 37 other Yoders descendants of his brothers Dan and Simeon and his sisters Anna and Lydia along with five visitors enjoyed the programs.

Alvin and Lee Yoder of the Simeon family prepared and guided a historical tour on Saturday afternoon Two school buses transported 90 people to the top of Jacks Mountain for a view of the beautiful green Kishacoquillas and Furgeson valleys

ON THE WAY down the tour leader pointed out Gypsy Dan Hollow, named for Moses brother Dan who had returned to the valley seven times earning the name Gypsy Dan. A memorial stop on the tour was the Keifer Christ homestead where Grandpa Mose was born.

At the home of Stephen Zook, descendant of Moses sister Sarah, the entire tour group was impressed with a historic German Bible brought to America from Switzerland in 1746 by Jacob Hertzler.

Saturday evening's program was given to history - " Our Fathers Lived in This Valley" by Alvin Yoder and "And Grandpa Mose Went West" by J. Otis Yoder. Charts of family lines and maps helped to clarify the family history.

SEVERAL historical documents had been photocopied or printed for sale to the children. Alvin Yoder provided copies of the will of Christian Yoder, Moses father, the settling of the estate, and a court order appointing a guardian for Moses H. who was not of age at his father s death.These documents contain signatures as well as information.

The J Otis Yoders provided printed copies of the English translation of spiritual counsel Moses mother Esther Hertzler Yoder, wrote in German for her children and grandchildren six weeks before her death. The translation was done by Amish Bishop Ezra Kanagy of Belleville.

The Sunday morning program was both historically inspirational and worshipful Isabelle K (Mrs J Otis) Yoder, who had written the Moses H. Yoder story and genealogy in 1970, brought the statistics up to date and challenged the group to be growing on its roots.

ORPHA COOPRIDER (Mrs. Ezra) Hershberger, of Goshen, Ind, gave a colorful account of her grandparents, Reuben C Yoder, Moses' second child, and his wife Maggie Bontrager. This Reuben Yoder is remembered by older residents of Belleville as the man who brought horses from the west and sold them to Pennsylvania farmers.

Mabel (Mrs O J ) Yoder of Denver, Colo, the oldest daughter of Moses youngest son, Martin, pre sented a dramatic resume of her memories of her grandmother, Elizabeth Slabaugh Yoder, Moses second wife, and the closing days of pioneer Moses H. Yoder. His first wife, Barbara Kauffman, was mother of the first four children .

A dozen Yoder men led the worship by singing a cappella two old hymns which illustrated that Yoders were singing pioneers.

THE FINAL challenge of the morning came in considering "The Pioneer Spirit Must Not Die", Harold Yoder, professor at Goshen (Ind ) College and a great-grandson of Moses, expressed the desire to transmit that spirit to our children . Retired minister Clarence R. Yoder of Middlebury, Ind, grandson of Moses, appealed to the group to follow the worthy ideals of those who have gone before. Paul Marvin Yoder of Campbell College, Bules Creek, N. C, grandson of Moses, characterized the pioneer spirit: unflagging optimism, perseverance, resourcefulness and work is honorable

The spiritual pioneer spirit was presented by J Otis Yoder, international radio speaker of Heralds of Hope, Breezewood, Pa. He spoke from Hebrews 11: 8-10, showing how pioneer Abraham had an eye to see what others didn't see, an ear to hear what others couldn't hear and a heart to follow where God led.

THE PIONEER spirit was reflected in the menus, especially the bean soup and moon pies, and in the total expense of the weekend being met by freewill offerings which overflowed in a surplus to supply Heralds of Hope with postage to mail 140 Bibles to the third world listeners to Hope For Today.


The above report is a reprint from the Sept. l, 1983 issue of the MENNONITE WEEKLY REVIEW, Newton KS. The clipping was given by Orpha Hershberger of Goshen IN, a descendant of Moses.


Elizabeth Yoder

Private graveside services for Elizabeth Yoder will be Monday at Oaklawn Memorial Park The Rev R. Richard Summer will officiate al the services, which are for family only. Miss Yoder, 411 N. W. 15th St, died Saturday at Corvallis Manor, 160 N. E Conifer Blvd She was 85.

She was born June 22, 1898, in Wolford, N. D, to John and Lydia Yoder. She spent her early childhood in Wolford, and attended high school and college in Jamestown, N.D

After graduating in 1921 from Jamestown College, she came west and taught school in Montana, Idaho and Oregon. She completed her masters degree at the University of Southern California, and later received an honorary doctorate from Jamestown College

For 40 years she owned and operated Parnell School, a private school for girls in Whittier and Pamona Calif. At Parnell she bred and raised Arabian horses and maintained a riding academy, a special attraction for her students

She was listed in Los Angeles County's Who's Who, and her picture hangs in the Jamestown College Hall of Fame. In 1974, because of ill health she deeded Parnell School to Jamestown College and moved to Corvallis to be near her sister.

Survivors include her sisters Doris (Dottie) Humble of Corvallis, and Edna Zilla of Darby, Mont. Her brother Max died in I977.

The family suggests contributions in her memory to the Linn-Benton Diabetes Association. These may be sent in care of McHenry Funeral Home, 206 N. W 5th St.


The above obituary was sent in by Sylvia Martin, author of Poppy's Dozen. Sylvia has been a faithful correspondent to YNL. She also informed us that Poppy's Dozen has lost the second member, Fred P. Yoder, of Wolford ND, on January 3, l984. Jerry Yoder, was the first to pass on in October, l982.

Sylvia also informs us that she should have had more copies of Poppy's Dozen printed since the demand was larger than she'd planned. Maybe she could be convinced to have reprints made if enough requests were made. It is a history of Peter and Nancy Yoder and their twelve children and is interesting reading. A lineage chart proves this clan coming from almost a solid Yoder background from both parents.


Sylvia's address is: 2058 1/2 Pine Grove Ave. Springs CO 80906.


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Yoder Newsletter - © Christopher K. Yoder, 1992, 1994