Yoder Newsletter Online

Issue Number 12 - - - October, 1988
Back to INDEX Back to CONTENTS

Index to main articles:

  • Speculations on Earliest Amish Ties to European Joder (Part II)
  • National Doctor of the Year- 1951
  • Casper Yoder of Upper Saucon- by Ken Hottle
  • First Flatboat to New Orleans-Capt. Jacob Yoder
  • The Pennsylvania Yoder Reunion- by H. Harold Hartzler
  • View Part 1 - YNL # 11



    Caspar Joder Y6b had two older brothers whose lines show possibilities for connection. Hans Y61, born 1644, had two sons we might consider and so did his brother Jakob, whichever of the two Jakobs is Y65 in the conflicting data. There are arguments for and against each theory, some stronger than others, but none of them have been clearly proved.

    J. Virgil Miller has speculated that the father of our immigrants might have been Jost Joder Y613, a theory that has also appealed to Dr. H. F. Gingerich. Karl Joder stated that this Jost, who dropped out of his records, emigrated to America. Miller thinks it is more likely that this was the Jost of 1717 in Lachen and that his children would have been the emigrants. The Chorgerichtsmanual (Judicial Proceedings) of Canton Bern in 1691 noted that "the oldest son of Hans Joder of the Bernestrasse, named Jost, is never at home and the always reports 'Ersein jetz nit daheim sondernzu Kaserts in der Arbeit'." Miller says this being away at work was a typical excuse for hunted Anabapists. Miller points out that no other Jost can fit into this incident as well as Yost, the Amish minister who lived for a time at Lachen. The footnotes in AAMG discuss the possibility of Yost's coming to America (p. 573) but the probability that his sons came instead is just as great or greater and the dates fit well.

    We notice a small detail, however. The oldest son in both immigrant families was named Christian. There is no Jost in the first family and in the second one they got around to the name only by son number three. This could be quite coincidental, but remembering how the Amish so often used the paternal grandfather's name, we looked around for a Christian Yoder that could qualify and there is one. Yost Y613 had a brother Christian Y615, born in 1680. The dates do not fit as well; the fathers of the two generations would have had to be as young as 21 or 22 when their first child was born.

    This is possible and we notice two such young fathers in Samuel's line, but it may have been uncommon.

    One more item to note is that Christian Joder Y682 a cousin to Yost and Christian above, married a sister of Yost's wife and they lived at Eppstein. This branch began to spell their name Jotter and it is interesting to see that Christian, the immigrant of 1742, spelled his name the same way.

    This may, or may not!, have some significance.

    Another possibility has been noted in the line of Jakob Joder Y65.(see diagram in April YNL#ll issue). A good case for this has been made by Leroy Beachy, but it is necessary to decide first which Jakob belongs here, the one who married Verena (Francy) Kauffman or the one who married Margaret Staehli. Both have been named for this spot in the Karl Joder records but they were definitely two different men. They were married seven months apart at Steffisburg and their children are in the same age bracket. The brother just older that Jacob Y65 (Peter Y64) married a Staehli, and in one of Karl Joder's books he says she was a sister to the wife of Jacob he indicates as Y65. This kind of sibling connection was common--Did Karl jump to conclusions? This couple is said to have remained in Switzerland. This does not exactly rule them out as ancestors, for the nickname of "Christ der Schweisz" or "Schweitzer Christ" given to Christian YR23 may show a close association to the homeland. On the other hand, other reasons can serve just as well. Jakob and Margreth had a son Jacob, born 1689, who would have been about thirty years old when the first child of the Widow Barbara was born. His younger brother Christian would have been 28 when Barbara YR21 was born (1725). We see that Dr. Gingerich decided that this couple was more likely to belong to another family, (AMMG-p. 574) but the dates actually fit better than for Jacob and Verena.

    The familiar Amish name of Kauffman makes one feel comfortable with this latter theory, as do the names of the three children on the baptismal record at Steffisburg---Hans, 1685, Christian, 1687, and Anna, 1688. That the entries for this family stop right at a point when there was a general exodus of the Amish out of Switzerland leads one to think this is when the family moved north.

    Hans would have been about 35 when his first child was born, if he was the immigrant who died at sea, and Christian would have been 38 in 1725. This could be true but it would not be a common age for two brothers to start their large families. On the other hand, Jost Y6 and Nicholas Y7 show an example of men who did.

    Leroy Beachy noticed that in Samuel's letter he referred to a Jacob Meyer as one "of your men", suggesting an Amish connection, and on the ship list he noted a Fredri Meyer next to the Yoders, the only Meyer on that ship with the Amish. And he wondered--"Could Anna of 1688' have married Fredri Meyer?"

    So, hop to it, you younger researchers coming on! Some of us oldies hope we are still around when you will be finding a clear answer to the puzzle. But be cautious. Use question marks until you have direct evidence and do not close the door too quickly on competing theories. Even Karl Joder, whose data we have used so freely, had to say in various places, "soweit bis jetzt bekannt" (as far as is known) and "soweit bis jetzt erforacht."

    --Rachel Kreider

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    One of our highly respected Yoders was named by the American Medical Association as the National Family Doctor of the year in 1951. Dr. Albert Christian Yoder (Nov. 11, 1867-Oct. 3, 1962) descended from the long line of Christian Yoders, beginning with the immigrant (1700-1775). Dr. Yoder's father, Noah C. Yoder (1844-1897), was the only break in the line of those named Christian in this branch.

    The doctor was born in LaGrange Co., IN and died in Goshen, Elkhart Co., IN. He started teaching at the age of sixteen in country schools. He graduated from Indiana State Normal School in 1893. He served as principal of Vincennes (IN) High school. While there he met his wife, who was a student, Alice Brookie, and they were married on Christmas Day, 1895. He attended Indiana University and graduated in 1899.

    After attending and graduating from Rush Medical College in 1902 he began practice as a physician and surgeon. His early house calls were made on a bicycle and later by horse and buggy. He bought his first automobile in 1910, a Jackson touring car. It cost $1000.00 plus $200.00 for side curtains.

    I later years he was honored at an Indiana State award, where he was probably appointed as a national candidate for the medical award. Here he said, "I have done nothing outstanding unless this be the exception. I have interested myself in the grass roots of medicine, the County Medical Society."

    National honors were later given him at Los Angeles CA when he received the meritorious award. On his return to Goshen he was greeted at the New York Central depot by the high school band and was carried through Goshen on a city fire truck where, at Main and Lincoln, large "WELCOME HOME" banners were displayed. He was further honored by the city to receive a large diamond ring and a television set. This was quite an honor for the 84-year-old faithful doctor who had said on his 80th birthday, "Retire! I've never given it serious thought. I'd rather wear out than rust out." A local fellow-physician said of him, "He has never quit studying medicine. He has kept as close to modern medicine as any practicing physician I know."

    Dr. Yoder was an active and faithful member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Goshen. He also served two terms as city health officer under Democratic mayors and was for many years the house physician of the Elkhart County Home.

    Both he and his wife enjoyed life and passed on just before each of their 95th birth anniversaries.

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    Ben F. Yoder, Goshen IN Managing Editor Chris Yoder, Saudi Arabia, Historical Editor RachelKreider, Goshen IN, Contributing Ed.

    CHANGE OF ADDRESS FOR QUERIES: The new address for historical and genealogical editor Chris Yoder and for "YODER QUERIES" is: Chris Yoder, US REP JECOR (CENPRO), Box 33, APO NY 09038-7001

    Chris has taken a two-year assignment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but will be continuing his full involvement with the YNL. Use U. S. postage and allow two to four weeks for a reply.


    The profits acquired from the YNL subscriptions are being shared with you by issuing bonus issues. When data are gathered from various sources by way of original documents or copying, such expenses are being paid from our YNL funds. No personal fees or compensation are taken by any one of us.

    We do hope to establish a Yoder repository for the future generations. We are interested in establishing a safe place for the storage of any such property and books. If you have any old letters, documents, material, objects from the past that would be of Yoder origin we would be glad to receive the same for the future. DO NOT throw away any old papers, letters etc. that you might be calling "junk".

    If you have moved be sure we are so informed. Quite a number of readers have received no issues and if we are not informed we assume all is well (when it ain't). Mention your old address, too .


    During their first year of marriage my niece and her husband spent their first year in Argentina. He served as pastor in the American church and she as an elementary teacher.

    A young girl from California entered the school after regular sessions had started. While entering the girl's name on the class roll the girl reluctantly paused after being asked her name and said, "I would not care to say. It is funny and you would laugh." The girl was finally persuaded and said it was Yoder. In surprise my niece explained, "Why that was my mother's name before she wasmarried. I don't think it is a funny name."

    A big smile crossed the girl's face.- Ben


    Chris Yoder and his family got a short leave and did get to visit his parents in Michigan. They also attend the annual Reuben Yoder descendants' reunion held in Shipshewana, IN. He called and we had a good talk on the phone. They were making a stop in England before returning to Saudi Arabia.

    All is well with them.


    Serving God is doing good to man, but praying is thought an easier service, and therefore more generally chosen.


    Here in Goshen the newspaper, which prints our YNL, has each Saturday a page-length column written by Jim Naile entitled "STRAY TACKLES" by Tack. Following is an item in his column:

    Hard to Believe

    "This week I met a Yoder arrived from Denver, Colo., and after teasing her about the spelling of her name, I had to tell my favorite true story about the clan. To make my story, I must repeat myself. Some years ago a man visiting our courthouse announced that he was from New York, and was doing some research on his family. "The name is Yoder" he said, carefully spelling it out:

    "Y-o-d-e-r." Of course there was material aplenty.

    The woman listened attentively, with a smile, and said, "In Denver I did have to spell my name. And sometimes it was pronounced as if it was spelled with an extra 'd' as in Yodder."




    Can YOU please help me locate Fountain Dale, PA cemetery (maybe in Berks Co., PA) ? I was told that is where my 3rd GGmother, Barbara YODER Oyster/Eyster, i s bur i ed . She died before 1803. Any help appreciated and I will pay YOU for your help. Thank you. Mrs. Ann E. Hilles, 191 West Bayton St., Alliance OH 44601.


    What is the ancestry of GIDEON YODER who m. Mamie Mailer and died in Steam Valley PA?

    Known children included: Theodore Roosevelt Yoder b 3/10/ 1902 in either Steam Valley or Trout Run PA; Mildred Yoder, late of Bellefonte PA; and possibly another son, Harold Yoder. Reply to:

    Patricia Hooper, RD1 Box 322, Newark Valley NY 13811.


    The following information was on a paper sent by Patricia (Boddy) Tharp, now living in Saudi Arabia. Family records and other pertinent data also offered with the following; A History and Biographical Cyclopedia of Butler County, Ohio, Western Biog. Pub. Co., Cincinatti OH, 1882, Reproduction by Butler County Hist. Soc., reproduced by Unigraphic, Inc., 4400 Jackson Ave., Evansville IN 47715, 1973. 666 pages.

    Page 640, "Among the Manufacturers of Monroe was Peter Jotter, who was here as early as 1840, and made wagons. This business was carried on by him for many years, and subsequently by William Jotter, his son, now the oldest citizen in Monroe, who took his place about 1872. He employs from three to five hands, and manufactures the Edgar patent gate, and also a furrowing sled or corn-maker. The Paragon Double Plow Works, owned by Charles Warner, have been in operation six years. The blacksmith's shop was sold as early as 1859 by Peter Jotter, who built it and it was afterwards sold-----.

    Combination Atlas, Map of Butler Counts, Ohio, L. H. Everts, Hunter Press, Phila. 1875.

    "Peter Jotter was a resident of Lemon Township, was born in Germany, and settled in Butler County in 1841. His post office address was Monroe and his occupation was wagon-maker and farmer,"


    Letter from Mr. Karl Joder, D-6700 Ludwigshafen/Rh. Oggersheim, FriedBessemir-Str. 5, West Germany, 1984, before Karl Joder died, quote,"Peter Jotter born at Munsterhof, Gemeinde, Dreissen in der Pfalz, born 24 Oktober 1819." I do not know where or what his sources were. (Ed. note: Karl had made a considerable search of all Joder connections in Germany)

    (a family sheet of Peter Jotter's descending children was also included with the above data.) Many thanks to Mrs Tharp.


    By Ken Hottle

    (Editor's note: Through the years Yoder historians have read that one John Yoder and wife Ann "settled in Penns Woods, Bucks County" in about 1720. One could presume that the Yoders and Yothers in the area were descendants, but there were many gaps in information and nothing definite seems to have been traced. Eventually there was someone who began to examine the records in the spirit of true research. The YNL got permission to print in the April, 1984 issue an article by Ken Hottle of Allentown, PA, in which he states what he had been able to find about this Hans Yoder and why he could feel confident that Hans had at least two sons--John Jr. and Casper--and possibly a daughter Magdalena. Now he is sharing with our readers what he has found out about Casper the son. Don't let the footnotes scare you away! We are printing all 37 of them! Those who are willing to take his word for it will not check them carefully, perhaps not at all, but some day a historian may find some conflicting data. Fortunately here is a researcher who shows clearly why he says what he does and those who come after him can have a chance to weigh the evidence whenever necessary.

    Descendants of Casper Yoder can be grateful to him. If only more genealogists would have on hand somewhere among their papers such a clear record of their conclusions. --RK)



    CASPER YODER, son of John and Anna Yoder (l) was born in Upper Twp., Berks Co., PA., c. 1745 (2). About 1763 (3) he married FRONICA SELL (4) [23 Oct. 1743-22 Aug. 1831] (5) the eldest child and daughter of Henry and Mary (Schell) Sell. (6) They were Mennonites, farmers, and lifelong residents of Upper Saucon Twp. In 1762 he was listed among the single men in the Tax List of Upper Saucon Twp.(7) On 13 Apr. 1768 he purchased from his father, for L 175, three tracts or parcels of land in Upper Saucon Twp., totalling 202 acres, 5 perches. (8) This property was bounded by and near the Mennonite Meetinghouse. In 1772 he paid the PA Proprietary Tax of L 11.3.4 on his land in Upper Saucon.(9) On 27 July 1772 he signed as a witness to the sale of land by his father in-law to John Newcomer (10). In June of 1778 he was among those imprisoned at Easton for refusing to swear an oath required by the recently passed Test-Act.(ll) On 5 July 1778 he was one of the twelve non-associators named in an unsuccessful petition to the Supreme Executive Council of PA., presented by his friends and neighbors.(l2)

    On 24 Aug. 1778 his movable property was sold at public auction, realising L 869.9.10.(13) On 9 Sep. 1778 he was named in the petition of Eva Yoder and Esther Bachman to the Supreme Executive Council of PA.(14) which met with some degree of success.(15) After an inquiry (16) restitution was ordered, (17) but no record of this restitution is extant.(18). In 1780 he appeared as a taxable in Upper Saucon Twp. In 1782 and 1783 he was included in the general muster rolls of the fourth and second Battalions, respectively, of the Northampton County Militia. His position was class fourth, in company two, under Capt. Christopher Johnson.(20) In 1785 Casper was one of the six members that contributed to new shutters for the Saucon Mennonite Meetinghouse.(2l)

    In 1785 he paid the Federal Tax of L 2.5.4 on 200 acres, 4 horses, and 5 cattle.(22) In 1786 he paid the Federal Tax of L 2.4.0. on 200 acres, 2 horses, and 6 cattle.(23) On Mar. 1787 he and Veronica signed a release from his father-in-law's estate, from which they jointly in 1788 he paid the Federal Tax of L 1.6.3 on 200 acres, 4 horses, and 4 cattle.(25) On May 1788 he bought 40 acres of land located in Springfield Twp., Bucks Co.(26) In 1790 the Federal Census listed, besides Casper and Veronica; one male over 16, (John)- one male under 16, (Jacob); and three females, (Susanna, Fronica, and Barbara); Anna and Maria being married at that time.(27) He died in Sep. 1798,(28) his estate was settled by 18 Nov. 1799, being valued at L1022.3.9.(29) He conveyed his plantation of 200 acres in Upper Saucon Twp., Northampton Co., and a tract of 40 acres in Springfield Twp., Bucks Co. to his eldest son John, who at that time was without issue. John was required to pay the estate L 1000, which was to be divided among his five sisters over a period of time. John was also responsible for the support of Veronica, his mother, who received an outright legacy of L100. She was also to have choice of Casper's books and could choose to live "in either of our dwelling houses". Jacob received an outright legacy of L400. The below listed seven children are mentioned in his will: (30)

    ANNA YODER 1764 (31)

    MARIA YODER 13____ 1769 (32)

    JOHN YODER 16 Oct. 1771 (33)

    SUSANNA YODER 13 Oct.1774 (34)

    FRONICA YODER 12 Feb. 1778 (35)

    BARBARA YODER 29 Sep. 1780 (36)

    JACOB YODER 29 Mar. 1784 (37)



    1"Deed of Sale,John Yoder to Casper Yoder" (dtd. 13 Apr. 1768; rec. 15 Oct. 1799). Northampton Co., PA., Deed Book F. v. 2, p. 96. "Casper Yoder-----son of the said John Yoder."

    2. Approximated on the basis of the birth dates of his brothers and his wife.

    3.He was single in 1762 and Anna was born in 1764.

    4."Deed of Release, Henry Sell to peter Sell" (dtd.) 12 Mar. 1787; rec. 26 Oct. 1787), Northampton Co., Pa., Deed Book F. v.1, p. 215. Veronica intermarried with the aforesaid Casper Yoder."

    5. Charles F. Seng, Saucon Mennonite Church Cemetery, Upper Saucon Twp., Lehigh Co., PA. (2 July 1969), p.23. Typescript list of burials at Lehigh Co. Historical Society. "Hereinafter cited as Seng, Saucon Burials."

    6. Sell Bible Record" at the Genealogical Society of PA., Mss. entries recorded on the fly leaves of a 1743 edition of a Christopher Sauer Bible. The first entry, which is partly obliterated, can be distinguished as "Fronica". Her tombstone, along with Henry Sell's Deed of Release, confirms her identity and vital statistics, An English translation of this Bible record is available.

    7. Charles Rhoads Roberts, comp. "Anniversary History of Lehigh County, PA." v. 3 (Allentown, PA: Lehigh Valley Pub. Co., 1914), p. 1464.

    8. N. l, supra. These three tracts were a composite of purchases made by his father from William Allen in 1735, and from the Proprietaries in 1743.

    9. PA Archives, 3rd Series, v. 19, p. 37. His occupation is designated as "farmer"

    10. "Deed of Sale, Henry Sell to John Newcomer" (dtd. 27 May 1772; rec. 23 Apr. 1773), Northampton Co., PA., Deed Book B. v. 1, p. 411. The original document is at the Schwenkfelder Library, Document Collection #73/2. In this deed he signs his first name as "Capsber", the signature being labored.

    ll. Kenneth Gardiner Hamilton "John Ettwein and the Moravian Church During the Revolutionary Period- in Moravian Historical Society Trans.v. 12 (Bethlehem, PA: Times Pub. Co., 1940), pp. 296-297. The Moravians were repeatedly reminded that they would be harshly dealt with, as the Saucon Mennonites had been. Justices Frederick Limback and Jacob Morey of Upper Saucon and Upper Milford, as well as, John Sigfried, the county sheriff, taunted the gains they would personally obtain from further confiscations.

    12. "Petition of George Bachman, et al" (dtc. 4 July 1778), PA. Historical and Museum Commission, Records of the Supreme Executive Council of PA., Clemency File RG-27.

    "Hereinafter cited as PHMC Supreme Executive Council Records." "Freedom of conscience", and

    "except going into military service" was their objection. The opinion of friends and neighbors was,

    "their present blindness to their own essential interests, proceeds from an unhappy bias in their education".

    13. PA ARCHIVES, 6th Series, v. 12, pp. 430-432. This list reveals the price of each item as well as the purchaser's name. At this sale John Bare (Baer), purchased a Bible for }.6.7.6. If this Bible could be located today, its importance would an obvious contribution to Yoder genealogy.

    14. "Petition of Eva Yoder and Esther Bachman" (dtd. 9 Sep. 1778), PHMC Supreme Executive Council Records, Clemency File RG-27.

    15. Ibid. The real success of this~~petition is that it t was instrumental in the modification of the Test Act.

    16. ''Resolution to refer to Council the Petition of Eva Yoder and Esther Bachman" (Undated), PHMC Supreme Council Records, Clemency File RG-27. This document is actually an "Extract from the Minutes".

    17. ''Instruction to John Ralston concerning the Petition of Eva Yoder and Esther Bachman" (dated 17 Sep. 1778), PHMC Supreme Council Records, Clemency File RG-27. This document is also printed in full in the PA ARCHIVES, 1st Series, v. 6, p. 772. The petitioners claimed L 40,000 in damages, an inquiry estimated the damages at about L9000, auction receipts totalled L-6453. of John L. Ruth "Twas Seeding Time" (Scottsdale PA: Herald Press, 1976), pp. 171-173.

    This account engenders sympathy toward the Mennonites, rather than presenting the facts.

    18. Anne M. Ousterhout "Controlling the Opposition in PA. During the American Revolution" in PA Magazine of History and Biography v. 105, No . 1 (Jan. 1981), p. 17. These records were, "discarded after plastic tape used on them by WPA workers in the thirties disintegrated and stuck all the pages together".

    19. John D. and E. Diane Stemmons, "Pennsylvania in 1780, A Statewide Index of Circa 1780 PA. Tax lists",Salt Lake City: 1978), p. 200. The source of this list is the (Mormon) Genealogical Society, Microfilm No . 5228, pt. 1.

    20. PA ARCHIVES, 5th Series, v. 8, pp. 82, 351, 355. These were general muster rolls, reflecting the able-bodied men of each township. They do not infer that Casper Yoder, or any other Saucon Mennonite served in military service. There generally were fines for not attending muster or practice, although none specifically levied against him have been found.

    21. Cathy Link "Churches of Upper Saucon Township" Upper Saucon-A Bicentennial Tribune 1743-1976 (Center Valley, PA: 1977), p. 29. This name is translated erroneously as "Casper Young".

    22. PA ARCHIVES, 3rd. Series, v. 19, p. 95.

    23. Ibid., p. 192.

    24. N. 4 supra. They relinquished any further claim on her father's estate.

    25. PA ARCHIVES, 3rd. Series, v. 19, p. 303.

    26. "Deed of Sale, Caster Yoder, estate to John Yoder" (dtd. 21 Dec. 1798; rec. 3 Dec. 1811), Bucks Co., PA., Deed Book v. 40, t pp. 275-277. This was originally part of 169 acres bought from the Proprietaries by Michael Bishop in 1767, 40 acres of which he sold to Henry and Elizabeth Johnson of Rockhill Twp., Bucks Co. in 1781.

    27. U. S. Census, Heads of Families at the First Census of the h U. S., Taken in the Year 1790: Pennsylvania. (Baltimore: | Genealogical Pub. Co., Inc., 1977), p. 181.

    28. "Will of Casper Yoder" (dtd. 17 Apr. 1798; pro. 5 Oct 1798;), Northampton Co., PA., Will Book g ~~ , v. 3, p. 183, File #1884. of "Hereinafter cited as, Will of Casper Yoder." An inventory of his goods was taken on 22 Sep. 1798 by Samuel Bachman and John Geissinger.

    Although there is neither tombstone nor record, he is probably buried at the Saucon Mennonite Meetinghouse cemetery. P 29 Ibid. The account is presented by the executors, Abraham I Yoder, his brother, and John Yoder, his son.

    30. Ibid. The witnesses were Peter Meyer and "Semmuel" Meyer. At this time his will was written, Anna was married to Jacob P Moyer, and Maria "Molly" was married to Christian Shimel.

    31. Marvin C. Rosenberger, Springfield Mennonite Cemetery (c. 1980) Row K. Typescript list of burials at Bucks Co., Historical Society. Anna Meyer is buried beside of Jacob Meyer.

    33. Seng, Saucon Burials, p. 20.

    34. IBID. P. 18. Buried aside of Jacob Wersch.

    35. N. 31 supra. Buried aside of Daniel Geissinger.

    36. Seng, Saucon Burials, p. 23. Buried beside of her mother, Veronica She was an unmarried daughter. w 37Ibid. p. 16.

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    (picture here)


    Photograph of the late Lynn Yoder of Fairmont, West Virginia, a dedicated researcher of Yoder family history. Lynn was a descendant of the Oley Valley Yoders who settled in Schuylkill County, PA. Thanks to Mrs.B.Stalder, Fairmont, W.VA. for sending in this photo.

    ****************************************** *************************

    Andreas, Maja and Fabian Joder are in the States for the next three years. They've purchased a home in the Minneapolis area. They are former residents of Steffisburg, Switzerland and had been living in the canton of Zug. Several years ago they had lived in LaFayette IN. He is employed by a Swiss firm. We enjoyed them as guests several years ago.



    During August Neal Wilfong and his wife, Miriam, spent a couple of days visiting this part of Indiana. Neal has been a faithful correspondent (being a descendant of Conrad Yoder the early NC pioneer) for the NC clan for the years we've been publishing the YNL. Neal keeps scrapbooks for the Yoder, Wilfong, Coulter and Blackburn families, being all his relatives representing the early western Catawba County pioneers. He especially showed an interest and appreciation in the Amish lifestyle and historical background.

    He recently published a book Hayfields and Plowshares' which is a history of the Blackburn family in that part of Catawba County. Samuel Blackburn, Neil's g-g-grandfather married Catherine Hoffman, a great-granddaughter of Conrad Yoder. Thus many of the Blackburn clan are descendants carrying Yoder blood. I have read the book and can highly recommend it to an interested person. The book could be of interest to many of the NC Yoders.

    The book is 6" x 9", casebound in washable blue cover with gold imprinting, fully indexed, with eight original pen and ink drawings and around 30 photos. About 200 pages with index. The price is $18.90 + $1.00 for shipping. Neal's address follows:

    Neal Wilfong

    Rt. 2-Box 231A

    Cleveland NC 27013


    The following translation from a book The Crest and Plaques of the Swiss made by Greg Yoder of

    Grand Rapids MI.


    "Hans Joder from Muri and Anna Gfeller his wife." (description of crest)


    "Square shield or plaque. An oval crest with a lined or ruled border with a banner carrier standing to the left. The inscription is below. In red, a white cross bandwith sword. Helmet ornament: A growing youthful figure holding a star in his right hand."

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    In a small family graveyard near Taylorsville, Spencer County, Kentucky, rests an iron tablet with the following inscription:

    "Jacob Yoder, Was born in Reading (sic), Pennsylvania, Aug. 11, 1758; And was a soldier in the Revolutionary Army in 1777 and 1778; He emigrated to the West in 1780, and in May 1782, from Fort Redstone, on the Monongahela river in the FIRST FLAT BOAT That ever descended the Mississippi River, he landed in New Orleans, with a cargo of produce. He died April 7, 1832, at his farm in Spence County, Kentucky, and lies here interred beneath this tablet."

    So is summed up the life of the most unique of our early Yoder forebears. The tablet itself is unique. It was cast by Hanks and Niles of Cincinnati in 1834, one of the first cast west of the Alleghenies, and was erected by Capt. Joseph Pierce, an old friend of Capt. Jacob from Cincinnati.

    Jacob Yoder was a son of John Yoder of Oley Township, Berks County, PA and his wife Sarah Shankle. (John, son of John, son of the immigrant Hans (Hance) Yoder (1672-1741). Jacob served in the Revolution and reportedly spent the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge with Washington and his troops. After the war, Jacob went west to claim government lands coming due him from his military service. In the west he also became engaged in commerce. One historical sketch of Spencer County, Kentucky describes the results of his river trip chronicled on the memorial table:

    "This cargo Capt. Yoder sold to the Spanish commandant at New Orleans for a draft on the Captain-general of Cuba. Havanna was then entrepot of the furs received from the Mississippi River--large quantities which had accumulated there, in consequence of the then existing war between Great Britain and Spain. Yoder invested the proceeds of his draft in furs and hides, which he took to Baltimore, making a profitable venture. He repeated the trip to New Orleans, and the adventure in furs and hides, but this time was unsuccessful. In 1784 and 1785 he visited Vincennes and St. Louis, and settled in 1785 in Bardstown, but removed in 1804 to Spencer County. He was engaged in several Indian campaigns; and in 1794, furnished to each of the several regiments bound for Gen. Wayne's army, 50 horses loaded with provisions."

    Jacob was prominent in the affairs of this frontier community, then a part of Virginia. A list of Nelson County (Bardstown) Military officers which can be found in the Executive papers at the Virginia State Library includes Jacob Yoder. He appears in this 1879 document as a Captain, appointed by the County Court. It is hard for us to realize today how wild these lands were at the time of Jacob's travels. The last buffalo killed in this area of Kentucky was recorded as being in 1739.

    Jacob's move to Spencer County from neighboring Nelson came after his purchase at a courthouse auction of 4.000 acres of lands in 1804. On this property near Taylorsville, Jacob built a thirteen room plantation home. The house was built in 1806 from bricks made of native clay through the labor of slaves.




    In research to date, Capt. Jacob is the only member of the family confirmed to have owned slaves. A document which was in the possession of his family addressed the sale on Oct. 31, 1785 from one Edward Tyler to Jacob Yoder of a family of negroes. "Judah and her son Harry and an infant daughter unnamed.". This family was reportedly originally brought to Kentucky from North Carolina by Squire Boone, father of the pioneer Daniel Boone, and like Jacob, also originally a resident of Berks County, Pennsylvania. The boy Harry was still living with the family of Capt. Jacob's daughter Mrs. David Poignand, on the homestead near Taylorsville in 1871 at the age of 89.

    Harry is quoted as describing visits to Capt. Jacob by Mr. John Fitch (1743-1798), well known pioneer of steamboat navigation. He described him as "short and stout, speaking with a foreign accent, and always conversing with said Capt. Yoder in Dutch or German".

    A list of open accounts, bond and note holders due the estate of Col. Andrew Hynes in Bardstown, 1801, includes Jacob Yoder and also one "Dick Yoder (Negro)". The third census, taken in 1810, shows in Jacob's household more than 20 slaves and one "free colored". Jacob was certainly one of the wealthier slaveholders in the county at that time. Whether the descendants of any of these slaves took the "slave-name" Yoder (as "Dick Yoder" apparently did in the 1801 record cited above) is not known. If any YNL reader has ever run into any black Yoders, please let us know.


    SLAVE CABIN...single remaining structure as of 1974. Originally held house slaves.

    When the Oley Valley, PA historian, Peter G.Bartolet, M.D. gathered his information of the area during his professional visits of the 1840s and 1850s, he met with John and David Yoder, children of Jacob's brother Daniel. They recalled the visit of their uncle (who was born there on the homestead ...not Reading as the tablet stated) which had occurred over 50 years before. (Fragments of the Past, published by the Women's Club of the Oley Valley, 1980). Capt. Jacob is reported to have been l-of a lively disposition and had imbibed considerably of the liquor". He told how he raised hemp and tobacco in Kentucky,and Basso told them many of the Revolutionary incidents, as well as those of the Indian wars in which he had engaged. He had travelled all the way from Kentucky and back again on horseback. He stayed there for some time."

    Capt. Jacob married Mary Mossman (Feb. 1, 1773Aug. 21, 1830). They had two daughters known to lived to adulthood. Eliza, born in 1795 in Bardstown, married at Taylorsville about Aug. 25, 1824 David Rozel Poignand. Mary (1810-1881) was married on Dec. 8, 1835 to Mason Brown of Frankfort. Mrs. Poignand originally received the homestead, but when all her heirs had died, it subsequently went to the family of her sister, Mrs. Brown.




    The family cemetery , located on the property, identifies the following members:

    Jacob Yoder (Aug. 11, 1758-Apr. 7, 1832) Rev. soldier,

    his wife Mary Mossman (Feb. 1, 1773-Aug. 21, 1830)

    David Rozel Poignand-(June 29,1793 - Jan. 13, 1883) b. Boston

    His wife Eliza Yoder (Aug. 2, 1795 Oct. 30, 1883).

    Eliza Yoder Poignand (June 16, 1825 Aug. 31, 1896) d. in Louisville, wife of Geo. W. Weissinger.

    Rozel Weissinger b. Aug. 8, 1848 Louisville d. Mar. 9, 1896 Frankfort.

    Mary Mossman Poignand(Dec. 30, 1828-Jul. 24,1854).

    Yoder Poignand (June l, 1834-Aug. 28, 1906).

    Rozel Poignand (Dec. 23, 1837-Feb. 28, 1842).

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    In previous editions of the YNL we have run a " series entitled "TOWNS NAMED YODER", reproduced ' from "Family Life". The August-September 1973 issue covered "Yoder", Kentucky. This "town" is not on present-day maps, but appeared in the 1918 Rand McNally Atlas two miles north of Taylorsville, marking the spot of Capt. Jacob's home. To quote from David

    Luthy's article:

    "Yoder , Kentucky never had a post office nor any stores. never existed as a town. The name "Yoder" appeared on the map of Kentucky because it was a stop on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The passenger trains stopped at the Yoder plantation for passengers, but especially for cans of milk which the plantation and surrounding farms shipped by train to the city.

    The stop was known as a "milk stop" and was called "Yoder" because it stopped at that particular plantation. At one time there were six trains a day using the track. But when trucks replaced the hauling once done by train, the railroad was discontinued. me last train passed "Yoder" in 1952."

    Mr. and Mrs. Rufus (Betty) Christner, of Goshen, IN, were inspired by the Luthy article to stop by the Yoder plantation during a 1974 trip south. Betty wrote that evidence of the railroad tracks could still be seen at that time.

    We are greatly indebted to the Christners for the excellent photographs of this property.

    The mansion was featured in the "Louisville Courier Journal" in 1952 and appears in the book Colonial Houses of Kentucky by Coleman.


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    HICKORY DAILY RECORD-- August 23. 1988


    Yoder Clan Reunites

    Approximately 200 people were on hand recently to examine a priceless German Bible that formerly belonged to Catawba County pioneer Conrad Yoder.

    Displayed at the family's 38th annual reunion, the tome uniquely bound in wooden covers, was once the cherished possession of the Swiss immigrant, who died in 1790. The heirloom is owned by Helen Yoder Hahn of Arden, a lineal descendant of the Jacob's Fork area settler.

    A number of other interesting exhibits were also featured at the recent affair held at Zion Lutheran Church near Hickory. A small bell and a sweater owned by the late Col. George M. Yoder, a well-known farmer, surveyor and respected historian of the lad century were displayed, as well as a shoe list and shoe pegs from the effects of the 19th century cobbler David Yoder of the Plateau community.

    Several articles personalized with the Yoder name, including a few limited copies of Dr. Fred R. Yoder's genealogy were sold to family members curious about their roots. "Yoder Popcorn" from Topeka, Ind., was also distributed. The corn was obtained by secretary Neal D. Wilfong, who was a recent house guest of Ben F. Yoder, the editor of "The Yoder Newsletter", who lives in Goshen, Ind.

    Ted M. Yoder of Rt. 12, Hickory, convened a business meeting at which time the group recognized eight births, five marriages and 37 deaths in the various Yoder and Reep families.

    A former family president, Hubert A. Yoder, was the featured speaker. He offered a detailed account of how he had recently located a trove of valuable data about Jacob Yoder and his descendants. Born in 1767, Yoder was the second son of Conrad Yoder. About 1815, Jacob and his wife left Catawba Count on a wagon train bound for Indiana. The couple first lived in Clark County and later in Monroe Count, where Yoder died in 1834.

    The Charlotte florist explained the reasons behind the omission of Jacob Yoder's line from Fred Yoder's "History of the Yoder Family in North Carolina." According to the speaker the author was unaware that a distant cousin, Albert Henry Yoder, had reportedly researched his ancestor's line; however the onset of the second world war and other matters intervened to temporarily curtail Fred Yoder's plans to gather the elusive material.

    Circumstances which have only lately come to light reveal that Albert Henry Yoder had died and that his notes and records were passed down to a son, who eventually donated his father's family information to the University of North Dakota.

    Dr. Yoder had served 20 years as director of education at the university.

    In the meantime, weary from many years of collecting facts for his specialized study of the Yoder family, Fred Yoder conceded that the history must be printed without further delay. Futile efforts to get cooperation from Albert H. Yoder's descendants regarding the Jacob Yoder research generated no success. Therefore, the genealogy went to press in 1970 with research limited to two branches of Conrad Yoder's family. His oldest son, John Yoder, we the "father" of the Catawba County Yoders, whereas David Yoder was the progenitor of the Lincoln County Yoder clan.

    The lecturer also spoke about his recent trip to Switzerland., where he toured a number of areas linked to the European Yoder family. Hubert Yoder visited St. Joder's Church, a chapel having elaborate wooden carvings.

    In Steffisburg, Yoder saw the Swiss Reformed Church which dates to 1100 A.D. The historian described the church as the "home church of all European Yoders". Nine families from that congregation left to start the Anabaptist movement, the speaker affirmed.

    President Ted Yoder initiated a discussion about how to properly celebrate the forthcoming bicentennial of the death of Conrad Yoder.

    Daisy Yoder Lantz, 88, and Russell Weaver, 92, were the oldest guests. Matthew Johnson, who was born on April 28, was the youngest visitor. The baby accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Yoder of San Jose, Calif., to the reunion.

    The Rev. L. Clement Hahn, a retired Lutheran pastor now living in Arden, dismissed the homecoming.

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    Forty-one descendants of Tobias and Mary (Hochstetler) Coder gathered at Crooked Creek Christian camp in Wayland, Iowa, April 23-24 for the third reunion of this family.

    Tobias and Mary moved from Pennsylvania to Iowa where they raised a family: Henry, Noah, Lewis and Mahlon. Most of those in attendance were from Mahlon's family. Also present were a few grandchildren of Noah. The youngest child of Mahlon, who had five children, was Ida Yoder of Wadsworth Ohio. Ida is the author of the book, Edward, which is a collection of the writings and journal of Edward, her brother.

    The reunion attenders came from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa Indiana, Ohio and Ontario. Highlights of the week-end were worshipping together Sunday morning, sharing family memories, playing garnes, sharing meals, and viewing three slide presentations made by various family members. One was a historical presentation of the Yoder family from Switzerland, first to Pennsylvania and then to Iowa. Another was a look at the strength of women in non-western countries A third was a devotional scenic slide collection with music.

    The next reunion of this family is planned for the fall of l990 at the sable location. The family will be celebrating Ida Yoder's 85th birthday.

    ---By Cindy Yoder Shafik

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    NEWS-HERALD, Perkasie, Pa., Wednesday, July 6, 1988 15

    Yothers Family Holds Reunion

    The With Annual Yothers Reunion was held Sunday June 19, at St John's EvangelicalLutheran Church with 47 family members present.

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

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

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

    Jacob and Barbara Yothers are the ancestors of all the Bucks County Yothers families.

    The fraktur-style birth baptismal certificate of Isaac M Yothers of Doylestown Township, (son of Jacob F. and Barbara (Meyer) Yothers and the grandson of the above Jacob and Barbara Yothers, who was baptized in 1840 by Bishop Henry Hunsberger, is still in the possession of the Yothers Family Isaac M Yothers was married to Susanna S. Overholt.

    After the Pa Dutch smorgasbord meal, the president, John Meryl Hunsberger awarded the following prizes:

    Naomi Yothers, 83 of Souderton was the oldest person present and the youngest person was Matthew Richard Benner, 8, of Souderton, son of Richard (Yothers) and Sue Benner.

    The traditional guessing game winners were Betty ( Yothers ) Moyer from Lansdale and Miriam Yothers from Souderton.

    Dan Hunsberger was elected as vice president for a four year term.

    The officers are President Bob Yothers, Glenside; vice president Dan Hunsberger, R R. 1, Perkasie, secretary-treasurer, Alverna ( Yothers ) Hunsberger, Apple Butter Road, Perkasie, and historian, Richard J. Yolhers Jr, Boston Mass.

    The next family reunion will be held at the same place on the third Sunday in June 1989

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    By H. Harold Hartzler


    One of my pleasant memories is that of attending the Yoder reunion. This was held annually beginning August 7, 1920, Near Ashland PA with 151 persons present. A. L. Yoder of Ashland served as president and continued in that office until 1925.

    Although my name is Hartzler, I find that a number of my ancestors were members of the Yoder family. My great-great grandfather Jacob Hartzler was the son of Veronica Yoder, daughter of the widow Barbara Yoder. He married Anna Yodev daughter of Yost Yoder and Mary Seiver. Her sister Elizabeth Yoder married John King, son of Jacob King and Barbara Zug, again my ancestor.

    Nancy Yoder, daughter of Christian Yoder and Magdalena Yoder, was my mother's great-grandmother. Her sister Mattie Yoder married Abraham Zook. They were also my great grandparents of my mother. Thus at least four of my ancestors were members of the Yoder family.

    Levi K. Yoder of Reedsville PA served as president of the Yoder reunion from l925 to 1928. He was a member of the Maple Grove Mennonite Church near Belleville PA. Paul B. Yoder of Palmyra served as president from 1928 to 1930, followed by Henry B. Yoder of Manatawney, 1930-31, then Kensie Yoder of Reading, 1931-32, Leonard Yoder of Reading, 1932-33, and Robert F. Yoder of Shillington, 1933-34, Joseph W. Yoder of Huntington was elected president and was reselected every year until 1954. It was during those years that my family attended the Yoder reunion.

    J. W. Yoder, author of Rosanna of the Amish was a very enthusiastic leader and promoter of the Yoder reunions. Soon after his election as president it was decided to hold the reunions at Mt. Lebanon near Lebanon every other year. It was to be held at Kishacquillas Park , near Lewiston on alternate years. This plan was followed since 1944. J. W. Yoder was a great song leader. He composed a number of Yoder reunion songs which were sung at the reunions. The first verse and chorus by J. W. Yoder follows:

    We're gathered friends from near and far,

    For fellowship and praise;

    May this reunion be a star

    To brighten all our days.


    Then let us sing the Yoder name,

    Let's lift its virtues high;

    Defend it e'er from wrong and shame

    When sore temptations nigh.

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    Yoders To Indonesia

    Two children of the Ben Yoders of Goshen have been "coming and going." Mr. and Mrs. Marlin Van Elderen, right, who have been in Geneva, Switzerland, the past eight years, have arrived for a visit with the family. Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Yoder, left, departed Sunday for Indonesia where they will spend a year of service for the Christian Reformed World Relief Society. They are shown with their parent Mr. and Mrs. Ben Yoder of Goshen. The Gregory Yoders and their two children will be stationed on the island of Java and will live in Jakarta. He has been teaching special education in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Van Elderens and their four daughters will be visiting in the area six weeks. They have been in Switzerland where he is the editor of the World Council of Churches magazine. They have exchanged their apartment with former neighbors in Grand Rapids, Mich., for the six-week period. The Van Elderens and the Yoders attended the first reunion this weekend of the children of Harvey M. and Laura Yoder. About 75 family members attended. Harvey and Laura Yoder had nine children and six are still living. The reunion was held at the Holiday Inn. Sunday worship services were held at the Inn for the family by the Rev. Mark Meckstroth and Ned Heeter. Family members attending were from Ohio, Michigan Pennsylvania, Maryland, Minnesota, Florida,Illinois and Indiana.(Goshen News Photo)


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