Yoder Newsletter Online

Issue Number 6 - - - October 1985
Back to INDEX Back to CONTENTS


With preparations under way for many Americans to travel abroad, some of you Yoders may be planning to include a side-trip to the St. Joder Chapel south of Lucerne in Switzerland. "Rediscovered" by Edith Joder of Basel, and publicized by Rachel Kreider in several articles in Mennonite Life (1968, 1971), it soon began to draw American visitors, especially Yoders, and a planning committee for its refurbishing began in Europe at about the same time.

In the second issue of our YNL we referred to St. Joder, sometimes known as St. Theodore or even Theodulus, who in the fourth century came from Italy up into the southern Alps to bring the Gospel. This missionary monk became the first (and greatly be loved) bishop in the Martigny-Valais district of southern Switzerland. As time went on, special votive offerings at his altars increased, churches were built in his honor, and brotherhoods were established in his name. As people moved to other valleys they took the cult of St. Joder with them, especially into the French sectors and along the Upper Rhone. By the fifteenth century it could be found in inner Switzerland. Tradition says that even today, aside from well-known names like Joderheubel or St. Joderhorn, one can find traces of this veneration of St. Joder--coins in the Zurich Museum, stamps (as shown in our second issue) chips of the bell of his church tower in Sion which have been incorporated into bells of various other churches or monasteries, and images showing St. Joder standing with a devil underfoot to symbolize his triumph over evil.

In 1966 Miss Edith Joder took her vacation time to travel by car through Switzerland in the hope of finding some of these items. She was about to give up the search when she happened to find a dot designated as St. Joder on a very detailed map of St Joder Chapel an area in the Niwald region. It turned out to be a tiny white chapel in a picturesque valley, 1000 meters above sea level, located halfway between Stans and Engelberg, with Grafenort, on the highway below, the nearest village. It stood alone except for the farmhouse nearby, and the people in the surrounding community could tell her very little about it. Her best information came from Dr. Ephrem Omlin from the monastery in Engelberg.

In 1978 when we too visited the chapel, we found in a window-well of the little building an eight-page brochure, protected with plastic, entitled: Die Kapelle St. Joder muss restauriert werden. Dated September 1970. It was a supplement to the Nidwainer Volksblatt and it was apparently a publication to generate enthusiasm for one more attempt to restore the chapel, a project that seems to have been spearheaded by Karl Joder of Germany. A whole series of efforts had preceded this one. In 1601 an earthquake twisted the tower and made new foundations necessary. Further repairs were made in 1727, in 1799, and 1877. In 1963 a heavy southwest wind again blew down the tower. Now in this latest appeal, because the local population could not finance the refurbishing, it was hoped that a wider circle of friends and patrons could raise enough money so that work could begin by 1972.

From this brochure we pass on to you some bits of information you might like to know before you go up the mountain to this romantic spot. This community of Altzellen takes in about fifty farmsteads, with a population of approximately 450, who are still devoutly Roman Catholic although they have not been organized into a particular parish. The earliest document extant about the region comes from 1267. Even by then it had been settled for a long time. However, in reading through the names of the earliest inhabitants known to have cleared the forest and made the fields, we cannot find the name of Joder or any name we know associated with it (with the conceivable exception of Baumgartner). Before this date there were Joders across the mountains in the Canton of Bern, but so far we have found no evidence that Altzellen was ever considered a Joder "heimat". One of Karl Joder's maps shows a Joder farmstead that might have been within twenty miles.

An anonymous writer at the end of the brochure makes an interesting and plausible speculation. There is general agreement that that the chapel was built in 1482, and he notes that on December 22, 1481, a special meeting of the Diet was held in Stans. not far away:

"After the Confederates had thoughly conquered Duke Karl the Brave, they returned as great victors to their homes, but after the victory over the enemy they began to quarrel about the division of the booty and the claim of the tribes that had joined in the fight (Freiburg and Solothurn). The more impossible a peaceful solution seemed, the more both sides put this tangled ball before Brother Klaus..."

(a monk "on the border" of the area). There were those who believe that by the time of the Diet meeting, drafts of a contract had already been made up, but because of their common trust in Brother Klaus, he was able to bring about the signing of the document to the satisfaction of all concerned--no mean feat. "Bells were rung everywhere".

"The mayor and the aldermen from Solothurn wrote to him: 'We have been informed that you through the grace of the Almighty God and His dear Mother have created peace, quiet, and union in the whole confederacy through your good advice and instruction."

The writer continues: "Wouldn't you expect that somewhere the Confederates would have put up a memorial to remember this day...to the peace that had come out of gratitude that they had been saved from a civil war...?" Elsewhere he referred to a tradition that every evening a strip of light would appear on this height "under the Eggiligrat", which was the deciding factor in locating the chapel at that place. Thus in November of 1482 the new chapel was dedicated by the Bishop of Constanz to "St. Joder and the God Mother", and a decision was made by the mountain population to hold a memorial annually.

Brother Klaus was among the most noted of the benefactors. A mass robe he gave is still preserved in the church in nearby Wolfenschiessen. Various relatives of families in Alzellen contributed, foremost among them the Flue family of Saxony, with whom the mother of Brother Klaus seems to have had connections. Their patron saint back in Saxony was St. Theodulus (St. Joder), a logical choice therefore for the patron of the new chapel. In conclusion there is a quotation from the treatise on Brother Klaus by Robert Durrer: "In Nidwalden and beyond, worship of the saint had been unknown so that the influence of the Saxons in the face of such genealogical relations must be almost certain."

We thus have better explanations about the origin of the chapel that the speculations and fun guesses made by our earlier American visitors. The chapel did not come about because of any sacrificial grass-roots effort of a local clan (like Joders:). Probably from the beginning the symbolism may have meant more to the upper echelons of power than to the farmers around it. Support for it probably came from some places rather far away and in spasmodic fashion. It did not fall into periodic neglect because some clan (like Joders) had turned Protestant and moved away; the chapel has always been in Catholic care. Although local people may not have been able to explain much about the chapel twenty years ago, they were willing to put up a sign promptly to tell the fascinated American visitors where to find it.

None of the facts or fancies or errors need to dull our interest in or appreciation of this romantic little chapel in such a beautiful setting, a setting which must be much like that which our Swiss forefathers knew and loved. It is still a house of prayer and the bell can be a call to prayer as far as the sound can reach. Historians can still appreciate its antiquity; artists can still study the style and origins of the altar pieces. Special services are held there several times a year, and Benedictine from Engelberg, spending vacations at Grafenort, "bring the holy sacrifice up here." Some young couples are choosing the chapel for their weddings and the bell still tolls for a death in the valley. Whether our ancestors had anything to do with it or not, a visit to the St. Joder Chapel can be an enjoyable experience. (In a later issue we shall describe the interior of the chapel and show what interesting myths and legends about St. Joder are illustrated in the 17th century paintings on the wall.)


Family History Sheet Summary

We have completed stratifying the family history sheets submitted by our readers. The results are quite interesting, and we thought you'd like to take a look. Input was received from 225 individuals, many of whom had multiple Yoder ancestral lines.As you'll notice in the summary, descendants of the Amish lines account for 83% of the submissions. One individual, "Schweitzer Christian" Yoder was the ancestor of 31% alone.

Quite naturally, we shall try to balance the newsletter to assure specific information is presented of interest to this major family category. On the other hand, however, as the Amish Yoders are generally the best documented, we will likely give a disproportionate weight to other groupings as one of our overall goals remains expanding the horizons of Yoder family knowledge overall.

A booklet is being worked on which will break-down the names and addresses of all submitter cross-related to ancestral tree down to the late 1800s. This will be made available to major genealogical reference libraries to assist others in their family research. Should any of our readers wants specific information before that time about the identity of their closer "cousins", feel free to write YNL Queries, to 203 Lakeshire Rd.,Battle Creek,MI 49015.


AMISH YODERS (328..83%)

YR1- Yoder (c1695- 1742) m."Widow"Barbara

YR12-Christian ((1726)-Jan.1772) m.Barbara--------55

YR14-"Strong" Jacob((1726)-1790) m.Anna----------14

YR15-Anna ((1728)-1790) m.Samuel King-------------5

YR16-Michael ((1730)-1799) m ?------------------------5

YR17-John ((1732) -c1807) m Anna---------------------7

YR19-Veronica ((1736)-1806jm.John Hertzler---------5

YR2-Christian Yoder (c1700-Nov.1775) m. ?

YR23-"Schweitzer" Christian (Feb.1728-Nov.20,

----1816) ml. ? m2. Barbara Hooley--------------------122

YR24-Elizabeth(1729-(cl778)m.Christian Beiler)------1

YR25-John (1732-7/2/1813) m. Anna (Mast?)---------36

YR26-Yost (1734- )ml.? m2--------Mary Siever -------49

YRB-Yost (?-c1770/1) m. ?-------------------------------27

YRC-Samuel (1745-9/22/1806 GY) m. Mary Gingerich---2


OH-Hans Yoder (3/10/1672-c1742)-Rosina LeDee--------2

OY-Yost Yoder (10/5/1679-c1742)--------------------------4

ALSATIAN YODERS-----------------------------------------7

CONRAD YODER of NC------------------------------------11


YB-Hans Joder "Of Great Swamp"(c.1680-cl753) m. Anna

YBl-John Jr.(c1710-c1770) m.Anna ------------------------8

YB2-Casper (c1720-1781) m. Barbara ---------------------6

GREEN CO.,PA Yoders (unlinked) ------------------------5

OTHER (includes unlinked)---------------------------------23

TOTAL ---------------------------------------------------------394

(NOTE: The numbering system is patterned after that used by Amish researchers Gingerich and Kreider as are assumptions about the family relationships in the early Amish Yoder generation....for further discussion see YNL#2 article entitled "Revelations of the Barbara Shirk Will" by Rachel Kreider. The dates for the Amish Yoders are based only in part on their research.



Ben F Yoder, Goshen,IN, Managing Editor

Chris Yoder, Battle Creek,MI, Historical Editor

Contributing Editor--Rachel Kreider, Goshen,IN


WARNINGS In YNL #1, we spoke of German Researcher Karl Joders belief that "Joder Hubel" (Joder Hill) in Switzerland was a point of origin for the Joder clan, This was stated as fact in the reprinted article by Lois Ann Mast (YNL #2) entitled "European Yoder Research", which was based on Karl's records. Readers are advised to take the Joder Hubel story with a grain of salt. Some serious scholars feel it may well be merely romantic speculation.

CORRECTION: In YNL#5, as a header to the will of Henry Yoder,his wife Catherine Detweilers' date of birth was incorrectly shown as 1756 ..it was instead 1765....In the cover article on Christian and Marie Yoder, YNL #5, his code was incorrectly referenced as YR3, it should have read YA3 ...Not an error, but: Reader/scholar John F. Murray of Kouts,IN correctly pointed out that the Tobias Yoder Bible Record (pg 2,YNL #5) did not list all of the known children of that individual... the record was, however, printed as submitted.


In 1886 the Rev. Robert Anderson Yoder, D.D. (1853-1911), a Lutheran clergyman and teacher in the counties of Lincoln and Catawba in NC, surveyed Catawba County by horse and buggy and platted his findings in map form. The Catawba County Historical Asso., Inc. reproduced the map and reduced its original gargantuan proportions to a manageable approximate size of 4' x 3'. The map is printed on a buff heavy paper which is suitable for framing. The document accurately shows the streams, creeks, rivers, mountains and knolls as well as the location of the settlements and towns and the homesites of county residents as of the mid '80s. Churches and schools are indicated as well.

The map is a welcome companion to Fred R. Yoder's History of the Yoder Family in North Carolina.

Those who might wish to order the maps from the Catawba County Historical Museum, P. O. Box 73,

Newton NC 28658 or from Neal Wilfong, RR#2, Box 231A, Cleveland NC 27013. The map sells for $5.00 plus mailing cost ($1.50).



Another item which might be of interest to you and your readers concerns a Noah Yoder, another descendant of Henry Yoder (b. 1756), who presently owns and lives on the original Henry Yoder farm near Meyersdale, Somerset County, PA. He has in his possession the original deeds and patent for this property, which I have seen and photographed. These include a deed dated Oct. 24, 1775 for sale of the land by Michael Beeghely to Yost Yoder. Yost Yoder (b. 1734), the father of Henry Yoder, is stated in the deed as being from Lancaster County, PA, and there is no evidence that he ever lived on the property. A second document is a patent to Yost Yoder, dated Dec. 21, 1785. The third document is the deed for the sale of the land by Yost Yoder to his son Henry, dated Oct. 21, 1790. Henry Yoder did live on this property, which has remained in the hands of his descendants down to the present time.

I wonder if there are any other Yoder homesteads in this country which have been in the hands of the same Yoder family for over 200 years?

This part of a letter was received from Virgil E. Yoder of Irwin PA.


"One clipping in my scrapbook should be of special interest to you and other subscribers to the YNL. The item is from the HICKORY (NC) DAILY RECORD, c. 1962. It is entitled "It Takes a Yoder". Here's what it says:

The Yoders in Colorado--who may have their roots here in Catawba County--have come through with a one in twenty-two million happenstance.

Jack Yoder of Denver was born May 16, 1941. His wife, Sharon, was born May 16, 1943, and their first Child, Todd Allin, was born May 16, 1962. Mathematicians say that the odds against this happening is 21,962,125.

Catawbans, with a lifetime of experiences with the Yoders, aren't surprised that if a triple birthday had to happen, even against such odds, that it happened to a Yoder. They just say, "That's a Yoder for you."

Yoders have been making history here for generations.

This part of his letter was sent by Neal D. Wilfong, Secretary of the NC Yoder Reunion group and a descendant Of Conrad Yoder, 17--/1790.



If you should MOVE or have an address change, be sure to let us know, Otherwise we have no way of getting your YNL delivered !!! This information, as well as any questions regarding your subscription, should be sent to our Goshen Post Office Address P,O,Box 594, Goshen,IN, 46526,


Research offer- Ms. Helen H. Reeve of the Brown County (IN) Historical Society, offers to help any

Yoder family researchers with ancestors in that area (primarily Conrad Yoder line). She asks that

questions submitted be PRECISELY stated. BCHS,Rt.6,Box 25l,Columbus,IN 47201



As a challenge to our readers, and also to assist in expanding the corporate knowledge of various Yoder families, we are presenting the following listing of pre-1870 Yoder marriage records on file, for folks whose ancestry is not known to us. The help of all researchers will be appreciated in linking any of these people to their appropriate line.A $1 reward is offered to anyone who can prove the parentage of the listed Yoders. (Only one winner per name on a first in basis).(Send input to YNL Family Research, 203 Lakeshire Rd. Battle Creek,MI 49015)

Muskingum Co.,OH

11/16/1830-Christopher Yoder to Amanda Maria Haymaker by W. Sedwick Carroll Co.,OH

5/23/1835-James Yoder to Nancy Parr Richland Co.,OH

11/21/1843-Willis Yoder to Elizabeth Plunk

11/5/1858-Christian A. Yoder to Eve Ryder

6/3/1864-Frederick Joder to Berena Beller Wayne Co.,OH

6/10/1845-Abraham Yoder to Anne Reschey by J.Shoemaker

6/27/1852-Jacob Yoder to Anne Schreiner by J.Beal,J.P.

12/3/1863-Joseph A.Yoder to Mary Aschbacker by D.Kammerer, (Reformed)

11/4/1841-Julia Ann Yoder to George Lawrence by A.Stump (Reformed)

4/5/1866-Mary Yoder to Jeremiah Brindle by J.Shoemaker

11/15/1829-Mary Ann Yoder to David Cauffman by W.Barns

8/19/1832-Sarah Yoder to Tobias Fike by G.Weygandt (Reformed)

10/12/1848-Salome Yedder to David Brower by J.Shoemaker ...

(NOTE:J.Shoemaker officiated at other marriages for people known to be of Amish heritage)

Licences issued but no marriage recorded:

2/22/1854-Aaron Yoder and Cath. Traster

9/22/1854-I.W.Yoder and Eliz.Thomas

Bartholomew Co.,IN

7/20/1854-Daniel Yoder to Sarah Ann Stribling

7/21/1853-David Yoder to Mary Coovert

12/5/1850-Jonathan Yoder to Malinda Stribling

12/6/1863-Sarah Ann Yoder to Andrew J. Bond

St.Michael's Church,Philadelphia

10/2/1750-Elizabeth Yoder to Mathias Hollenbach

Lumpkin Co.,Ga

8/1/1838-Ephriam Yoder to Susan Matthews

Henry Co., IN

5/31/1838- Henry F. Yoader to Mary Wishon

Berks Co, PA-Goshenhoppen Reformed Church

7/21/1779- Elizabeth Yoder (dau. of Jacob Yoder) to Ludwig Graber




As noted in the article which summarizes our readers ancestry, "Schweitzer" Christian Yoder (Feb.1728-Nov.20,1816) is an ancestor of a significant share of those submitting Family History Sheets to the YNL. Originally a farmer in Bern Twp,Berks Co (See YNL #5 for plot map), in the spring of 1776 he moved to present day Somerset Co,PA. This photograph of the original homestead farm house was first published in the Aug.4,1949 issue of "The Pennsylvania Dutchman"(then edited by Dr. Don Yoder). The cabin is no longer standing.


HICKORY DAILY RECORD July 11, 1985 by Wake Bridges, Associate Editor

Edwin M. Yoder Sr., now dead at the age of 85, could trace his ancestry directly back to the Palatine migrations to America between 1700 and 1775.

It is generally believed, however, that Conrad Yoder I, the patriarch of the Yoder family in North Carolina, was a Swiss by birth.

Members of the Yoder clan say, moreover, that Conrad the First likely lived for a time in the Palatine of Southeastern Germany before coming to America.

Conrad Yoder I, one of Edwin M Yoder's pioneer foreparents , is believed to have come to the Catawbas Valley section about the time of Henry Weidner (now Whitener) and Adam Sherrill, the first white settlers in what is now Cabwba County.

Col. George M. Yoder, a great grandson of Conrad Yoder I and the paternal grandfather of Edwin M. Yoder Sr., helped organize the government when Cabwba County was formed from Lincoln County in 1842.

In choosing teaching as a career Edward M.Yoder Sr followed in the footsteps of both his grandfather Col.George M. Yoder, and his father, Colon M. Yoder.

Edwin M. Yoder Sr., one of 10 children, was born in the Jacob's Fork section of Catawba County and attended Blackburn High School, then Lenoir-Rhyne College.

He was held in such high regard as a high school teacher and vocational director, that some years back, a High School in Alamance County was named id his honor.

Yoder's namesake, Edwin M.Yoder Jr., has carried the name even farther afield as a nationally syndicated columnist. A Rhodes scholar and a former associate editor of the Greensboro Daily News, Edwin M. Yoder Jr. lives in Alexandria, VA. and is a columnist for the Washington Post.

In 1979, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his editorial writing.

Edwin M. Yoder Sr. was proud of his son, and Edwin M. Yoder Jr was equally proud of his father.


BERKS COUNTY YODERS, CONTINUED: We are pleased to bring another of the excellent homestead maps by John Mark Slabaugh to our readers. This one reflects the properties of two of the believed children of the "Widow Barbara" Yoder. (super- imposed on a US Geological Survey map). Although eventually settling in Lancaster Co.,PA Jacob ("strong Jacob") Yoder (c1726-1790) had property SE of Hamburg in Bern Top adjoining that of his brother Christian Yoder (c1722 -Jan.1772) and Bishop Jacob Hertzler. Also shown is the location of the original cemetery of the Northkill Amish Congregation in which many of our first generation Amish Yoders are believed to rest.None of these older graves are marked today except for that of Bishop Hertzler which has a stone erected by descendants in the early part of this century.


Photograph of William Peter Yoder (Aug. 31, 1866-1934) and his wife -Anna Jane Ross (Oct. 18, 1873-Nov. 23, 1942) taken about the time of their marriage Dec. 4, 1895 at Bonne Terre MO. William Peter was the great-grandson of Conrad Yoder of NC by Conrad's oldest son John and John's son Peter. Peter Yoder: b. Oct. 13, 1805, sold the land he had inherited from his father around 1850 and moved by covered wagon from NC to MO, settling around Farmington. He died about 1870 and is reported buried in the Oakland Cemetery. William Peter was a son by his second wife, Martha Covington. (our thanks to Edward E. Yoder and Darwin Pete Yoder of RR#4, Box 247, Bonne Terre MO 63628 for sharing this family photo with us.



First of a series shows one of the various Yoder coat-of-arms. This is a copy of a photograph taken in the church at Steffisburg, Switzerland. This church was renovated two years ago during the 850th anniversary of Steffisburg.

Jost Joder (1428) was a farmer and landholder in Steffisburg. He was also a counciler and court authority with legislative powers of governor of the free court.


From Mrs. N.N. Miller of Topeka IN comes this picture of the farm of Moses C. Yoder (Mar 16, 1837-Nov. 13, 1916) near Johnstown PA. Moses was the son of Christian Yoder (1787-1866) (son of Jacob Yoder, son of "Schweitzer" Christian Yoder) and his second wife Fannie Kauffman. The old barn on the property was built by Jacob Kauffman in 1808.



Bishop Christian Yoder Jr (1790-1846): As people move across the country and leave ancestors resting behind, cemeteries, particularly rural ones, fall into decay. In YNL #4 (page 3) we were pleased to announce a restoration effort for the Bishop Christian Yoder Jr. cemetery in Somerset County. We are happy to give the status of this effort. Money raised through the efforts of Tom and Charles Yoder of Coraopolis,PA (which included contributions from among our readers) paid for the stone shown in the accompanying photograph. The farmed-over plot has been levelled and readied for seeding and the next goal is a stone wall around the site. (Further contributions welcomed:20 Oxford Dr.,Coraopolis,PA 15108)


The Old Yoder Cemetery, Somerset Co,PA- of the Yoder Cemeteries of Somerset County, the oldest is probably that which rests on the original "Schweitzer" Christian Yoder homestead, north of Brotherton,PA. There are mostly unmarked graves, with only two persons clearly identifiable. These are John Yoder (who bought the original homestead from his father "Schweitzer" Christian in 1796, and his wife Barbara Yoder (daughter of John and Magdalena (Stutzman) Yoder). During a recent visit, one additional individual was identified. This is Judith (Gindelsperger) Yoder who d. Nov. 8,1832---the first wife of Christian Yoder son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Yoder) Yoder, and ancestress of many of our readers. The cemetery is in the midst of a strip mining operation by Zubek Inc.,and has been preserved over the years through the watchful eye of local Yoders and periodic letters of concern from many descendants. This homestead plot is probably the final resting place of "Schweitzer" Christian, his wife and many of the children who remained in the area. Two of the three stones which can be identified to individuals by name are broken and should be cemented. Other restoration/preservation efforts would be appropriate as well. ANYONE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING in a restoration project, please write the newsletter c/o 203 Lakeshire Rd., Battle Creek,MI 49015 and we'll put you in contact with one another.Somerset area folks are particularly needed to coordinate and oversee any efforts initiated. Other Restoration Efforts?- Readers who are aware of other Yoder cemetery restoration efforts in process, of which you'd like to help start, please advise the Yoder Newsletter. We'll announce the effort and can attempt to get you in touch with fellow descendants. There have been a number of highly successful efforts within our family, such as the Conrad Yoder gravest in North Carolina.



The following was received from Emery Shetler of Chesley, Ontario.


One June the 10th 1850 church services were at the home of Christian Schottler's near Davidsville PA in northern Somerset County.

A nice quiet morning to walk to church, as Christina 10, and Lizzie 8 were walking to church Alone. The quiet was shattered by a shot from a high-powered muzzle loader.

The ball of the muzzle loader went right through Christina's head. She fell dead on the road. Lizzie ran to the Christian Schottler home and reported the sad accident.

A group of people hurried to the scene, not far from the Schottler home where Christena lay in a pool of blood. She was carried to the Schottler home where a very sad and solemn church service was held that day.

Someone unknown had fired the shot whether on purpose or by accident is not known.

Why or who was out shooting on a Sunday morning in 1850? Would YNL readers know anything more about the above incident?


The following copy was sent in by John M. Byler of Mercer PA which appeared in the Harrisburg (PA) Chronicle which appeared Sept. 6, 1813.

Died, on Wednesday night last, Mr. Abraham Yoter a respectable German farmer of Kishacoquillas Valley, Mifflin Co. The manner in which he came to his death is truly affecting. It appears that in the evening Mr. Yoter and five or six others had gone to the Kishacoquillas Creek a fishing. A few young men, observing them, agreed that they would go and scare them off. After the fishers had been there for some time, persons unseen commenced throwing stones and firing guns. Mr. Yoter repaired to the spot, whence the assault appeared to be made, accompanied by a large dog, and on seeing a man, he encouraged the dog to attack him. The man called out, that if he did not desist, he would shoot the dogs at once the same time cocking the gun. Yoter caught hold of the muzzle, with the intention of wresting the gun from the other. In the struggle the piece went off, and Yoter received the contents in his bowels, and almost immediately expired. It appeared on examining the corpse there had not been a bullet in the gun, the wad, however, almost perforated through the body.

The coroner's inquest sat yesterday morning on the body, and reported the death 'accidental, by discharge of a gun'.

Mr. Yoter has always maintained the character of an honest and good citizen, and has left a wife and several children. Thus was he in the vigour of life launched into eternity. It is a striking display of the uncertainty of human life! And a solemn call for us all to be prepared for that awful change which must sooner or later take place.



Edward, (Pilgrimage of a Mind), are the journal notes of Edward Yoder (1893-1945) linguist, historian, author, teacher at Hesston and Goshen Colleges, and compiler of Sunday School lessons for the Mennonite Publishing House at Scottdale PA.

Here are the notes candidly written after a day of stress or joyful relaxation of his faithful walks through nature's byways. His thoughts are relished by the reader, and give one new insights for purposeful living in a world molded by mediocre and stereotyped patterns in life.

His religion is certainly based on a true belief in the Saviour and he truly reached the state of "rationalization-interpretation" stage of personal belief. This, from his comments on an article he had read, is a final state in four areas of belief experienced by many who embrace Christianity. His simplicity and enjoyment of all good and simple blessings in life make proof of his faith being a child of God.

He had no extra frills in life that most of us enjoy materially, During the rugged times of the Depression were the long days of want and penury taken in faith and patient endurance. He was human enough to hope for better things to come in life. He made distsetinve contributions of literary work and study materials which he hoped would be for higher interpretative value to those who used them.

'Edward' was pleasurable to read. The simple notes of everyday experiences and going deeper into his philosophical musings made one aware of the precious values that are to be savoured.

'Edward' is respectfully recommended to all, especially for those short moments to be enjoyed without getting involved in extended reading periods. It is a good book to be kept for rereading at other times.

This nearly 500-paged book is available by ordering from the following persons nearest your locality. It is illustrated, indexed and priced at $20.00.

Miss Ida Yoder,180 Hall Drive,Wadsworth OH 44281

Virgi1 E. Yoder ,110 Northumberland,Irwin PA 15642

Mrs. Dorothy Yoder Nyce,1603 South 15th Street,Goshen IN 46526


People of Consciences The Samuel P Yoder Family

... is an excellent compilation by Lissa T. Thompson, 1873 North 775 West, West Bountiful, Utah, 84087. Samuel P. (b.Nov.3,1859) was the son of John and Elizabeth Yoder, and he raised a large and loving family in the American West, This book gives some detail on the later generation with many photos and interesting family stories, Although no extra copies remain, Ms. Thompson indicates that she can have copies reasonably made should anyone be sufficetently interested.



The YNL will publish Yoder-related inquiries or exchanges at no charge.Please limit to 30 words or so plus return address.All inquiries are checked against our records to see if we can help too. Submit to:Yoder Newsletter Queries, 203 Lakeshire Rd,Battle Creek,MI, 49015.


John YODER who married Catherine Levan.What was his ancestry? Oley Twp area,Berks Co. They had a daughter,MARIA who was born Aug.15,1807 and married John Edelman.Reply to: Donna J.G.Hafer,182 Deacon Dr.,Norristown,PA. 19403


CALVIN H.YODER???what ancestry? 1880/1900 census of Willow Rock Twp,Jasper Co, IL.born PA Dec.1832. Married Anna .May have been the 18 yr old Calvin Yoder shown as laborer on Ulrich Rumbaugh farm, Greenwood Twp, Perry Co,PA in 1850 Census. Reply to both:Mark Yoder, 5821 Buck Ct,Westmont,IL 60559: and Mrs. Harold Yoder, Hollow Rock,TN 38342.


Ancestry?? of SARAH YODER,b.9/15/1842 Lehigh Co,PA.,ml William Rice 5/29/1862,Hope, Bartholomew Co,IN,m2 Edwin McHose,5/24/1884, same county. Reported daughter of DAVID YODER and Mary Levan. Was for a time a resident of Easton,PA.Reply to: Florence Gordon, 113 Kendall Rd,Wainut Creek, CA 94595


Who were the parents of ELIZABETH YODER, m. Samuel Pletcher in Lancaster Co.PA cl771.Samuel b.29 Jan.1751,first child b. 1772.Also lived Huntington Co,Pa and OH.Reply to: Mrs.Marion D. Ehrhart, P.O.Box 577, Trumansburg,NY 14886



Some time ago a book, published by Halbert's, Inc. of Bath OH, was received. This book purported to give facts about the source, meaning, etc. about our surname YODER.

A search on which the name YODER was mentioned gave thirteen pages. Any surname could have been used instead of YODER. Several pages were given to allow for specific information pertaining to YODER. The derivation of our name from St. Theodore (Joder) was not mentioned nor was the source of our lineage being from Switzerland.

There was a page showing an attractive coat of arms to be that of YODER. Specific facts as regarding its authenticity were not given. This issue (#6-YNL) offers the first item of the several Known JODER coats-of-arms.

The book does offer good suggestions to the root seeker in regards to tracing one's lineage. We can also give you this help (and probably save you much time) to many of you at little or no cost as has been proven.

There is a directory of over 8000 Yoder households which is worthwhile and interesting. One oversight is the omission of many Amish Yoders, notably in PA and IN where all Yoders listed have telephones.The Amish have no telephones and one wonders how many of them have been overlooked?

The cost of the book is $26.83 ppd, To the interested party this amount would pay for many informative Yoter Newsletters,


Family Record of Bishop Christian Yoder (1758-1838)

Christian Yoder was the first Amish bishop of the Glades congregation in northern Somerset Co,PA. He was married to Magdalena Troyer (1760-1843). He is recorded as having served as Bishop from 1785 until his death 53 years later. Bishop Jacob Mast has been cited in some quarters as the first Amish Bishop ordained in America, but his installation post-dates that of Christian Yoder. After his death on Apr.29,1838 his widow lived with their youngest daughter Anna and her husband John Borntrager. A great grandson of this couple, Noah M. Bontrager of Middlebury,IN had the original of the following family register (apparently in Bishop Yoders own hand) as of 1980. A copy is on file in the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen College, Goshen,IN

To summarize in English: Christian Yoder born "about" Oct.1758 (and died Apr.29,1838); Madlena, his wife b.Oct.20,1760 (and d.Aug.3,1843).Children: Madlena b.Feb.13,1780 ,under the sign (Zodiacal) of the twins; Maria b.Oct.30,1781,sign the Ram; Abraham b.Dec.20 1782,sign the crab; Joseph b. Sep. 7, 1784, sign the twins; Yost b.Aug.17,1786, sign the twins, and d.Oct.26,1805; Jannes b.Nov,13,1788 sign the steer; Christian b.Dec.13,1790, sign the fish; Solomon b.Mar.5,1793, sign the archer; Jacob b.Mar.17, 1795, sign the Waterman, d.Aug.12, 1803; Sara b.Jan.23, 1797, sign the archer, d.Feb.20,1801;Barbara b.Apr.16,1801, sign the twins, d.Aug.4,1803; Jonathan b.May 20,1803, sign the steer; Anna b. Ju1.23, 1808, sign the twin.



Albert F. Yoder, of Conover, president from 1984 convened the 35th annual Yoder Reunion on Sunday, August 11, 1985 following lunch in the fellowship building of the Zion Lutheran Church near Hickory.

Dr. J. Larry Yoder, a professor of religion at Lenoir-Rhyne College opened the festivities with the invocation.

The president read the names of 25 family members who died during the preceding year.

A letter from Charlotte (Yoder) Hilton the last surviving child of Francis A. Yoder and wife was read in part to the group. Reminiscences recalled early birthday celebrations of the writer's grandfather, Col. George E. Yoder.

There will be work needed in removing a persimmon tree destroyed by lightning in the Conrad Yoder cemetery. A proposed sign will mark the location of the historic burying ground will be erected at a later date reported the clan treasurer.

Albert Yoder announced new additions to the Yoder family by way of birth and marriage.

The president acknowledged persons who had assisted him in planning the reunion The individuals include Jimmy and Jane Yoder, Pauline Yoder and Ruby Bolick, as well as "some of my brothers and sisters, ...the kitchen staff and the clean-up committee".

Mrs. Ralph Yoder of Lincoln County commented on the 50th wedding anniversary observance which she and Mr. Yoder recently celebrated.

Mrs. Daisy Yoder Lantz, at 85 years old the oldest person present.

Mr. and Mrs. George Zeigler (Maude Coon) Savannah GA, travelled the greatest distance attend the reunion.

A prayer and benediction was offered by the Rev. L. Clement Hahn. Respectfully submitted-Neal D. Wilfong, Secretary,The Yoder Reunion Association.


Yothers Family Reunion Held

Sixty-two persons attended the annual Yothers reunion on Father s Day, June 16, at the St John s Evangelical Lutheran Picnic Grove Qn Sleepy Hollow Road near Spinqerstown.

The pioneer ancestor of this family was Hans (Jon) Yoder who settled in Lower Milford Township, in 1720 then called "The Great Swamp". Hans and Anna Yoder migrated from Switzerland in about 1719 and bought the above mentioned property from Joseph Growded for 15 pounds current silver money.

Their son, Casper Yoder bought this property from his parents in 1750 for 20 pounds current money.

Jacob Yoder (son of Casper Yoder) ,1742-1826, changed his name to Yothers. He owned a farm of 131 acres in New Britain Township (then known as Vauxtown). Yothers had two wives, the first, Catharine O. Kulp, died in 1773 and is buried at the Deep Run Old Mennonite Cemetery. Yothers and his second wife, Barbara (Fretz) Yothers, are buried in the Doyletown Mennonite Cemetery.

The fraktur-style birth-baptismal certificate of Isaac M Yothers of Doyletown Township, (son of Jacob F and Barbara (Meyer) Yothers, and grandson of the above mentioned Jacob Yothers), who was baptized in 1840 by Bishop Henry Hunsberger, is now on display at the Mennonite Heritage Museum on Main St, Soudertown.

This birth-baptismal certificate is a relatively rare item in the Mennonite Church. Isaac M.Yothers was married to Susanna S Overholt.

At the reunion special recognition was given to Garret and Laura (Yothers) Benner, who were the only family that had four generations present. Their son, Laverne Y Benner, with his daughter Kim B. Green, and his grandson Jon Michel Green, all of Perkasie.

After the PA Dutch smorgasbord meal, John (Yothers) Hunsberger, president, of Perkasie, awarded the following prizes:

The oldest person present: Sara Ann (Yothers) Shelly, 81, of Rockhill Mennonite Community, Sellersville.

The youngest person present, Jon Michael Green, 6 weeks old, son of Jon and Kim (Benner) Green Perkasie.

The traditional guessing games were won by Richard (Yothers) Benner of Soudertown and Connie wife of Gene (Yothers) Benner of Pennsburg.

The officers are President John (Yothers) Hunsberger, Smith School Road, Perkasiee. Robert Lee Yothers, Vice President, Glenside; Secretary-Treasurer, Alverna (Yothers) Hunsberger, Apple Butter Road, Perkasie; and historian, Richard J. Yothers, Jr, of Boston,Mass.

The reunion will be held at the same location June 15,1986.

There was one marriage reported, Jay Douglas Hunsberger to Monica J. Tomcic, October 26, 1984.

The above Yothers Reunion news was kindly sent in by Alverna (Yothers) Hunsberger of Perkasie PA. She repeats the reminder that the date of their next reunion is June 15, 1986 at the St, John's Evangelical Lutheran Picnic Grove on Sleepy Hollow Road near Spinnerstown.


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