Yoder Newsletter Online

Issue Number 14 - - - October, 1989
Back to INDEX Back to CONTENTS


By Don Yoder


The Pennsylvania Dutch area in Eastern Pennsylvania known as Mahantongo, renowned

for its decorated furniture which now commands major attention in the world of antique collecting

and museum curatorship, centers about the valley of the Mahantongo Creek. This historic stream

with its Indian name meaning "where we had plenty of meat to eat," rises in the mountains of

Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, and joins the Susquehanna River twenty-five miles west near the

towns of Malta and Dalmatia. The Mahantongo culture area is much more extensive than the

creek valley itself. It straddles Schuylkill, Northumberland, and Dauphin Counties, including

several adjoining valleys, among them the Lykens or Hegins Valley to the South, and the Swabian

Creek and Mahanoy Valleys to the North. The part of this area that is now included in Schuylkill

County was in the first decade of the nineteenth century a huge township called Mahantongo

Township. Until 1811, when Schuylkill County was set off, it was part of Berks County, and was

later divided into Upper and Lower Mahantongo Townships, which in turn were divided into

smaller subdivisions.


After 1800 the Mahantongo area in Schuylkill and Northumberland Counties became an

important settlement point and distribution center for Yoder families. Some of these have stayed in

the area to the present day, others moved further west, especially to Armstrong, Clarion, and

Jefferson Counties in Western Pennsylvania, where dozens of Mahantongo families, including

Yoders settled before the Civil War. A second movement from Mahantongo took many Yoder

families into the new industrial towns that were growing up in the anthracite coal region to the

north - including Shamokin, Mt. Carmel, and other centers.


The Yoders who settled in the Mahantongo area were all from the Oley Valley clan, hence

were all related. The Mahantongo Yoders were descendants of two brothers, George and Peter

Yoder. These were sons of Samuel Yoder, who was in turn the son of Hans Yoder, Jr., and

grandson of the emigrant, Hans Yoder, Sr. (1672-1742).


George Yoder, Sr. (1752-1833) of Oley Valley, lived and died on the Samuel Yoder farm

between Pleasantville and the Oley churches, on part of the original Yoder tract. There are lengthy

deeds in the Berks County Courthouse at Reading going into the transfers of this land to Hans, Jr.

and Samuel, and eventually to George Yoder. George's large stone house is still standing, as

enlarged by his oldest son, William Yoder (1783-1858), who inherited the home farm. However,

the older buildings, including a three-room stone cabin from the pre-revolutionary era that I

photographed about forty years ago, have been torn down by the present owners.


After serving in the Revolution and establishing himself as a well-to-do farmer and

township official in Oley Township, George Yoder, Sr., invested in lands in Upper Bern

Township, Berks County, and in Mahantongo Township, north of the Blue Mountain in what is

now Schuylkill County. I have several huge parchment deeds to the Mahantongo land that he

bought for two of his sons, Abraham Yoder (1785-1868) and George Yoder, Jr. (1787-1827),

both of whom moved to Mahantongo. George Yoder, Jr., my grandfather's grandfather, was a

farmer and wheelwright, and died in Mahantongo, but his brother Abraham, after operating the

Yoder Gristmill and Sawmill (still standing) for at least two decades, eventually moved back to

Oley, settling in Pike Towhship on land he got from his father-in-law, Soloman Yerger. Abraham

and his wife, Elizabeth Yerger, are buried at the St. Joseph's or Oley Hills Church. Abraham's

great grandson, Guldin Yoder, whom I knew, was historian of that branch of the family, and I

have copies of some of his family charts. His letters to me always began with the words, "Dear

Kinsman," which I liked, and in one of them he made the statement, only too true, that our

Yoder history is a "chic saw puzzle".


George Yoder, Sr., also provided farms for three of his daughters. Two of these, Elizabeth

Yoder (1784-1852), wife of Samuel Moyer, and Esther Yoder, wife of Henry Schreckengast, got

Mahantongo Valley farms. The third daughter, Mary Yoder, wife of Abraham Ritter, by codicil

dated December 14, 1833, received a farm in Upper Bern Township, Berks County.


In addition to these George Yoder family members, other Yoders, closely related--first

cousins in fact--came from Oley to settle in Mahantongo at about the same time. These were the

children of Peter Yoder (born 1763), brother of George, Sr. Peter is said to have married

Catherine Trout and himself to have settled in Mahantongo Valley. (I have never located

his grave; possibly he moved on further west.) At any rate his children--Solomon, Anthony,

George, David, Jeremiah, Charles, and two daughters--appear in the following list of Yoder

baptisms and baptismal sponsors.


The oldest church in the Mahantongo Valley, at least in the upper end where the Yoders

settled, was the St. Jacob's or Howerter's Lutheran and Reformed Union Church. Until 1943,

when the second church building burned and the union arrangement broke up with the two

congregations erecting separate churches elsewhere, the church was located at Line Mountain, in

Upper Mahanoy Township, Northumberland County, immediately across the SchuylkillCounty

border. The huge cemetery, its oldest stone bearing the date 1802, marks the site of the church,

and contains many early Yoder graves with fine carved tombstones bearing Pennsylvania Dutch



All the old Mahantongo families, including the Yoders, originally belonged to this church,

which was operated jointly by the Lutherans and the Reformed. There were Yoders in both wings

of the church, although the majority of them appear to have been Lutheran. In 1984 the

Northumberland County Historical Society, in its Proceedings, Volume XXIX, published my

translation of the records of this church, 1803-1869, with a detailed history of the congregation, its

people, pastors, and traditions. It is from this record that I offer the readers of the Yoder

Newsletter the following Yoder baptisms. The names are spelled exactly as they were in the

original German record book. Hence do not be disturbed when "Georg" has no final "e" and that

"Yoder' was spelled seven different ways in addition to our present spelling. These forms include


including the last one, reflect the way in which "Yoder" was pronouced in Pennsylvania Dutch



Will readers please note that we need information on many of these persons, especially

those from the Peter Yoder line--where they lived, whom they married, names of their children,

etc., and where they died and are buried. A Mahantongo cousin of mine, Avice Hepler Morgan,

who is also a descendant of the Yoders, will be joining me in preparing a history and genealogy of

the Oley and Mahantongo Yoders. This project should develop into a book that may match Cousin

Avice's Hepler Book of a thousand pages that she published in 1986, and her even larger Morgan

Book of 1989. It is our hope, therefore, that with the help of the Yoder Newsletter we will be able

at last to assemble all the pieces of the Oley-Mahantongo Yoder "chic saw puzzle".


Will Yoders descended from these Yoder families, Oley or Mahantongo or both, please get

in touch either with AVICE HEPLER MORGAN, Box 164, Pitman PA 17964, or myself, DON

YODER, Box 515, Devon PA 19333?





1. ABRAHAM JODER and ELISABET: Daughter SUSANNA JODER, b. January 25,

1811, [bp. March 17, 1811]; sponsors: Jacob Reynerd and wife Eliesabet.



19, 1812, bp. February 7, 1813; sponsors: Jakob Reinhard and wife Elisabeth.


3. ABRAHAM JODER and wife ELISABETH: Daughter MARIA JODER, b. July 28,

1813, bp. September 5, 1813; sponsors: Peter Glock [Klock] and wife Elisabeth.


4. GEORG JOTTER and wife ELISABETH: Son GEORG JOTTER, b.May 18, 1815,

bp. July 30, 1815; sponsors: David Jotter and Lydia Reinert.


5. ABRAH[AM] JOTTER and wife ELISABETH: Son ADAM JOTTER, b.December 31,

[1815], bp. May 5,1816; sponsors: Peter Hepler and wife Maria.


6. GEORG JOTTER and wife ELISABETH: Daughter MARIA JOTTER, b. June 6,

1816, bp. July 28, 1816; sponsors: Jacob Reinert and wife Elisabe[th] Catharina Ox.


7. Abraham Yotter and wife ELISABETH: Son SALOMON YOTTER, b. March 12,

1818, bp. May 31, 1818; sponsors: Jacob Bensinger and wife Catharina.


8. GEORG JOTTER and wife ELISABETH: Daughter ESTHER JOTTER, b. May 31,

[1818] , bp. June 28, [1818]; sponsors: Benjamin Reinerd and wife Esther.



1818, bp. November 15, 1818; sponsors: Charles Reinert and wife Maria Jotter.



b. November 17, 1820, bp. December 24, 1820; sponsors: Wilhelm Stitser and wife Lythia.



March 12, 1822, bp. May 25, 1822; sponsors: John Wolfgang and.wife Hanna.



January 15, 1823, bp. May 8, 1823; sponsors: Wilhelm Stitzer and wife Lythia.



25, 1823, bp. August 17, 1823; sponsors: Johann Wolffgang and wife Hanna.


14. GEORG JOTTER and wife ELISABETH: Daughter SARAH JOTTER, b. April 29,

1824, bp. June 20, 1824; sponsors: Carl Reinert and wife Peggy.



July 15, 1824, bp. September 12, 1824; sponsors: Georg Jotter and wife Elisabeth.


16. DAVID JOTTER and wife MARIA: Son WILLIAM JOTTER, b. November 19,

1824, bp. January 30, 1825; sponsors: Carl Schanckweiler and wife Catharina Jotter.


17. DAVID JOTTER and Wife MARIA: Son AMOS JOTTER, b. November 19, 1824,

bp. January 30, 1825; sponsors: Jacob Reinert and wife Maria Maser [Masser] .



1825, bp. June 19, 1825; sponsors: Georg Shermann and Salome Yotter.



August 29, 1826, bp. October 7, 1826; sponsors: Christopher Hepler and wife Catharina.



August 3, 1841, bp. September 5, 1841; sponsors John Beisel and wife Marie.



September 4, 1841, bp. October 21, 1841; sponsors: Charles Yotter and Sarah Herring.



26, 1843, bp. September 24, 1843; sponsors: Benjamin Yotter and Catherina Wolffgang.



b. May 12, [1852] , bp. July 18, [1852] ; sponsors: the parents.



January 31, 1856, bp. March 23, 1856; sponsors: Charl[es] Klock and Edith [Judith] Maurer.


25. PETER YODER and wife MARIET: Son LEWIS ADAM YODER, b. February 28,

1856, bp. April 20, 1856; sponsors: the parents.




Baptismal Certificate of William Yoder (18121854), son of George and Elizabeth (Reiner) Yoder

of Mahantongo Valley. Great-grandfather of Don Yoder.





[YODER], b. November 20, 1819, bp. March 19, 1820; sponsors: Simon Schermer [Schermann]

and Margarethe Elisabeth.



JORDER [YODER], b. June 25, 1820, bp. August 6, 1820; sponsors: Peter Glock [Klock]

(single), Maria Jorder [Yoder] (single).


28. SALOMON ZERTER (sic) [JORDER = YODER] and second wife Elisabetha; son

SALOMON JORDER (sic)[YODER], b. April 30, 1820, bp. June l0,1821; sponsors: Johannes

Klinger and Maria Jorder [Yoder].



August 27, 1823, bp. September 28, 1823; sponsors: Jacob Henninger and wife Katharina.


30. DAVID YODER and wife MARIA: Son ELIAS YODER, b. October 13, 1826, bp.

November 19, 1826; sponsors: Daniel Herb and wife Sophia


31. PETER JOTTER and wife HARRIETTE: Daughter SARAH JOTTER b. April 11,

1854, bp. July 2, 1854; sponsors: the parents.


32. HARRISON JOTTER and wife HANNAH: Daughter ALMEIA JOTTER, b. January

7, 1854, bp. July 2, 1854; sponsors: Josef Wagner and wife Sarah.




1. HANNA JOTER, with GEORG KREMER, sponsor of HANNA KREMER, January

12, 1810, daughter of Jonadan and Ester Kremer.


2. ELISABETH JOTHER, sponsor of ANNA BEISEL, b. April 3,1812, daughter of Daniel

and Lisabeth Beisel.


3. JOHANN KNERR and wife MARIA JOTTER, sponsors of JOSUA KRAMER, b.

December 26, 1818, bp. September 19, 1819, son of Jonathan and Esther Kramer.


4. GEORG JOTTER and wife ELISABETH, sponsors to GEORG STITZER, b.

November 9, 1822, bp. February 2, 1823, son of William and Lythia Stitzer.



January 31, 1827, bp. May 17, 1827, son of Wilhelm and Lythia Stitser.


6. SARAH YOTTER, with DAVID STEIN, sponsors to JOSEPH BROSIUS, b. March 23,

1830, bp. July 18, 1830, son of Gottfried and Barbara Brosius.



WOLFGANG, b. July 17, 1834, bp. November 2, 1834, son of Johann and Sarah Wolfgang.


8. ELISABETH YOTTER, sponsor to ESTHER REINERT, b. May 14, 1836, bp. June

12, 1836, daughter of Carl and Rebecca Reinert.



FEDDERROLFF, b. September 19, 1837, bp. October 29, 1837; daughter of Peter and Sarah



10. ELISABETH YOTTER, sponsor to LYTHIA REINERT, b. October 20, 1837, bp.

November 26, 1837, daughter of Georg and Rebecca Reinert.



GROW, b. March 10, 1838, bp. April 15, 1838, son of Abraham and Dina Grow.


12. ELISABETH YOTTER, sponsor to SARAH FEDDERROLFF, b. August 24, 1839,

bp. September 29, 1839, daughter of Peter and Sarah Fedderrolff.



REINERT, b. March 13, 1840, bp. May 10, 1840, son of Georg and Peggy Reinert.


14. ELISABETH YOTTER, sponsor to ESTHER REINERT, b. May 9,1840, bp. June 6,

1840, daughter of Johann and Elisabeth Reinert.



September 9, 1842, bp. November 20, 1842, son of John and Catharina Herdline.



February 10, 1844, bp. March 5, 1844, daughter of John and Sara Reinert.


17. MARIA JORDER [YODER] (single), with JOHANNES KUPER (single), sponsor to

MARIA MAYER, b. December 13, 1821, bp. January 27, 1822, daughter of Johannes and

Katharina Mayer.


18. MARIA JORDER [YODER] (single), with SAMUEL FEDEROLF, sponsor to

ELISABETHA GEIST, b. February 22, 1825, bp. April 10, 1825, daughter of Iesaias Geist and

wife Elisabeth.


19. RUBEN JOTTER (single), with CHRISTINE BROSIUS (single), sponsors to SIMON

NEUGART, b. May 24, 1843, bp. July 9, 1843, son of Jacob and Appollonie Neugart.


The following was written by the Rev. Dr. John Hall, son-in-law of Robert Anderson

Yoder, D. D. and was taken from the History of the Yoder Family ; n, North Carolina by Dr .

Fred Roy Yoder .




By Rev. Dr. John Hall


Robert Anderson Yoder, son of Solomon and Sarah (Seagle) Yoder, was born in Lincoln

County, North Carolina, August 16, 1854. He was baptized in infancy by the Rev. P. C. Henkel

in Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. He was confirmed in Daniel's Evangelical Lutheran

Church by the Reverend A. J. Fox, in 1869. He was the youngest of twelve children. His first

school used the German language exclusively but he acquired a good knowledge of English early

in life. At the age of eighteen he entered an academy at Hickory Tavern, North Carolina, taught by

Mr. George Hahn and the Rev. M. L. Little. He became at this time the first beneficiary student of

the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod. In recommending that he receive aid the president of

the synod, the Rev. A. J. Fox says: "Mr. Robert A. Yoder from my own pastorai charge, whom I

have known personally from his early childhood, made application for beneficiary aid from us, in

prosecuting a course of studies, preparatory to entering the Christian ministry. This young man

expressed a willingness to submit to all the requirements of our regulations in regard to

beneficiaries. He has a good, strong constitution; and is of a very healthy family. His moral

character is most excellent; as a devoted member of our congregation at Daniels, his piety is

commendable. He has great aptness to learn, and has superior talents for public speaking.'


In 1872 he entered North Carolina College at Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina, and pursued his

studies through the freshman and sophomore years. He then went to Illinois, taught school some

months and attended Lincoln University for a year. Returning to North Carolina College, he was

graduated in 1877. He then taught a private school at Conover, North Carolina, and when the

public school opened, taught it. He was the first teacher and principal of Concordia High School,

later Concordia College. While in Conover, he studied theology privately with the Reverend P. C.

Henkel and J. M. Smith. He was ordained by the North Carolina Conference of the Evangelical

Lutheran Tennessee Synod in Concordia Chapel, Conover, North Carolina, on November 30,

1879, upon petition of Concordia and St.James Evangelical Lutheran churches. In 1878 he

married Miss Rosa Elizabeth Fisher, the daughter of Captain Jacob Allison and Mary Caroline

(Barnhardt) Fisher of Rowan County, North Carolina. In 1883 he entered the Lutheran

Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he studied for one year. He did this

under considerable criticism from some persons who thought he should have been satisfied with

the training commonly received by other local Lutheran pastors. He then returned to Catawba

County as pastor of St. James Church. In 1884 he was elected County Superintendent of Public

Instruction of Catawba County and held this office for ten years. During this service he gave

private instruction to several Negroes to enable them to qualify to teach in the public schools. In

1886 he surveyed Catawba County, devising an odometer which he attached to his buggy wheel to

facilitate his work, and published a map of the county in both wall and folder editions. In 1887 the

Board of Trustees of North Carolina College elected him president but he did not accept. A few

years later he was asked to accept the presidency of Marion Female College but he declined the

call. In 1888 he became president of Concordia College, Conover, North Carolina, and held this

office until 1891.


In that year he and some of his co-laborers became interested in property at Hickory,

North Carolina, offered by the will of Colonel Walter Lenoir for a school. When the group

decided to accept the property under the terms of Lenoir's will, he accepted the presidency of the

institution, bought some lots from the school property and moved his house, newly built in

Conover, to these lots. He took the lead in defending the transfer of the school and in enlisting the

interest of the Tennessee Synod in the new institution. He served as president of Lenoir College

from 1891 to 1901.


In 1901, weary of controversy and weary from the strenuous labor of teaching and

administration while he served as pastor of several congregations, he resigned the presidency and

went back to St. James church as its pastor. Shortly after coming to Hickory he was elected to

membership on the City Council and held this office for a number of years. In 1900 he was elected

vice-president of the United Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the South. In 1902 and

again in 1904 he was elected President of the United Synod. He came to the end of his life as

pastor of Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lincolnton, North Carolina, entering into rest

May 16, 1911.


He was eminently gifted as a teacher and at various times taught mathematics, botany,

English, philosophy and systematic and pastoral theology. His ready wit, sympathetic

understanding of moral and spiritual problems, and his genuine interest in his parishoners made

him an excellent pastor. He was a popular preacher, preaching doctrinal sermons in such fashion

that they edified and interested his hearers .


His principal interest throughout his busy active years was in Christian education. He was

reared in a time when schools were inadequate to the needs of the people and the acquiring of an

education required great effort and he bent his greatest efforts toward improving this condition. To

this end he made considerable material contribution and so overworked himself that he died a

comparatively young man. Until he resigned the presidency of Lenoir College, he always did more

than the work of two men. I remember his coming to class, after wearisome trips over primitive

roads to preach and catechise, almost too weary to get to the class room but with a teaching vigor

which effectively led his pupils in search of knowledge. His diaries reveal that for many years his

health was not robust but he spoke so little of it that no one, except possibly his wife, knew it.


He despised sham and pretense. He was a devout Christian and a staunch believer in the

faith confessed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church. I think he would never have referred to a

school with which he was connected as a Church related school." To him education was worth

while only when it was Christian in content and purpose and that was of the Church and by the

Church. His public declaration of his faith was positive and forceful.


He did not like controversy but disliked compromise on matters of principle more. He was

formidable in debate because he did not enter debate from a love of dialectic but only in defense

of principles or opinions which he considered worthy to be discussed. Also because of his

command of language and a mind which was well informed and which easily presented thought

clearly and logically gave weight to his argument. He served during a time of much controversy

and was, by reason of his place among the leaders, thrust into the midst of it. His fairness and lack

of personal animus forbade his making enemies of his opponents.


He was the author of a pamphlet, "The Situation in North Carolina" a controversial

argument in re the entry of the Missouri Synod into this territory and their assumption of the

control of Concordia College, and of many articles published in Our Church Paper and elsewhere.


Five daughters and two sons were born to him and his wife. The first born daughter died in





Coincidence again! On May 5, 1989 while opening several resubscription envelopes I

noticed three-in-a-row Daniel J. Yoder of Blackwell OK, Daniel J. Yoder of Accident MD, and

Dan R. Yoder of Sugarcreek OH. We have eight Daniel Yoders on our list. This is some of the

fun that erupts occasionally at this end!


Another oddity--My son Greg Yoder (and family) just returned from Indonesia after a year

of service for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. His address is in Grand Rapids MI

SE while another Greg Yoder who lives in Grand Rapids NW returned last spring from Haiti as a

missionary in . Already there has been a confusion on the phone up there!-Ben




"As a Joder growing up in Steffisburg I never really recognized the significance of the fact

that Joders are living there for many centuries.

My parents really enjoy "Joder/Yoder etc."--visitors from all over the world. A few years

back my father was the mayor of Steffisburg and since then he knows the village and its history

Quite well. Here is a suggestion for your Newsletter:

Whoever of you readers has a chance to go to Europe with an interest in Steffisburg may

contact me at my U.S. address and I will bring you in contact with my parents (Hans Joder).

Here is my address:

Phone: (612) 4251088

Bus.Phone: (612) 5530787

Andreas B. Joder

10518 Monticello Lane

Maple Grove MN 55441

We will be here in Minneapolis until the summer of 1991. My company is a subsidiary of a

Swiss company and I am the manager of Research and Development.




(the following letter as received from Anne Joder of Poissons, France describing the family origin

in France and their annual reunion)


First I thought it was a good idea to tell you the "Joder family's storying so I asked my

grandmother for this story and I translate.

Emil Joder (10.10.1866-4.6.1939) issued from an anabaptist German family, he came from

Eschweiler. He married Maria Ettienne who came from a farm which was settled in Andelot

in Haute-Narne (this is about 50 km far from where I live. Emil Joder was a baillif in a farm in

Attigny in Lorraine where Maria Ettienne and her mother lived.

Emil and his wife decided to leave the farm and they settled in Rohrbach. Emil was very

enterprising and after many different experiences he opened a cafe. The couple lived with the

mother of Maria who was a widow but she was still young and pretty. A man whose name was

Pierre Lemmer used to come to the cafe. He was rich because he owned a big house and a few

repair shops but he was ill. He married the mother of Maria. The couple had had no child so

Maria and Emil inherit the house and few repair shops. Emil built a new repair shop at the end of

the town. He had nine children.

The eldest son was my grandfather. He was the manager of the repair shop and he

negotiated with the customers, but he was not able to speak French fluently because in Lorrainne

there is a dialect which is between the German and French languages and until 1918 Lorrainne

was a German area. So he has been living in a French family in Noncourt (Haute-Marne) in order

to learn French. He married my grandmother and they came back to Rohrbach but a few years

later they returned to Noncourt.

The wars and the different religion influenced a lot the Joder family's story. Emil Joder

was an anabaptist and Maria was a catholic, in order to have a catholic wedding Emil promised

that his children would have a catholic education.

In Lorraine former the cemeteries were separate into two parts, the catholic side and the

protestant side. So the grave of Emil and Maria is on the "border", Maria is in the catholic side and

Emil in the other side, but they are together.

From 1870 to 1918 Lorrainne was a German area. That's why my grandfather Lucien

made the first world war in the German army. He fought in Russia. He was able to drive a car so

he was privileged.

The French (meaning the Joders) family reunion gathered the son and descent of Emil and

Maria. It took place in the repair shop that Emil had built. We were about 80 people there. The

most part of the family still live in Lorrainne.

One member of the family who is fond of genealogy has discovered that the Joder family

owned a blazon. He gave it to us but I don't know what it means. (armorial or heraldic bearings)

This month I'm very busy because I work in an ice cream factory. I haven't got a lot of time

to enjoy the summer.


My best regards to you and your wife,






While at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Science, I had an opportunity to visit the

Vietnam Veterans Memorial that is across Constitution Avenue. I was dismayed to learn that three

Yoders and four Yosts are listed. I only had time to get the information on the Yoders:


Bruce Allen Yoder PFC Marine Corps b. 04 Dec 1947 d. 2 July 1967, Kokomo IN Panel No.

22E, line 119.


James Strong Yoder SP4 Army b. 11 Feb 1949 d. 22 Nov 1967 Knoxville TN. Panel No 30E,

line 68.


Larry Eugene Yoder HM3 Navy b. 30 April 1944 d. 02 May 1967 Latrobe PA Panel No. l9E,

line 20.


You may wish to make mention of their sacrifice in keeping this country free for each of us to

maintain our family traditions.


With special thanks to you for your efforts in perpetuating the Yoder traditions.







Wanted for future articles: We would like reliable information on YODER homesteads, being

from a patent deed. Pictures, if possible.



ANCIENT INSCRIPTION---Probably by "Schweitzer Christian" Yoder



Thanks to David E. Yoder and the translation skills of Leroy Beachy (Historian and columnist

for "The Budget") we are pleased to present the following inscription which seems likely to have

been written by "Schweitzer Christian" Yoder (Amish immigrant to Berks County, Pennsylvania in

1742, and 1776 settler in "Glades" congregation of Somerset County, PA).


German Text:



English translation by Leroy Beachy:


"Our brother Menno Simons died in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ 1561 on the 31st of

January in Westenfelde and is buried there. So it is from that - time to the present 1809, the 31st

of January, 248 years. But according to the old time, I think.

--------------------------------------------------------------------Christian Yoder Sr."


This writing was found on a small scrap of paper in an old Martyrs Mirror which was in Amish

hands. The Glades congregation was founded by two men, one named Yoder and one named

Hooley. This Christian was the probable Yoder in that equation. There is also some speculation

that he may have been an Amish Bishop, although the first Bishop known to have been

confirmed in America (erroneously reported in some histories as being Bishop Mast) was this

Christian's son, Bishop Christian Yoder Sr. (1758-1838) who was installed in that office in 1785

as the Bishop of the Glades.


"Schweitzer Christian" ("Swiss Christian") (a nickname which appears for this gentleman in the

work Two Centuries of Struggle and Growth, by Stanford G. Shelter, Herald Press, Scottsdale,

PA) has been identified as the probable purchaser of the Almsbook used in the Northkill Amish

congregation of Berks county. This booklet will be the subject of a future article on the newsletter.

It is obvious that "Schweitzer Christian" was a leader of his communities, both in East and West

Pennsylvania. Having been born in Europe in the early part of the 18th century, he was certain to

have been well steeped in the traditions of his Anabaptist heritage. This heritage was particularly

meaningful because of the persecutions and ill treatment which was accorded to many Anababtists

of those times.

The followers of Jacob Amman were a minority, And the Yoders of Steffisburg, Switzerland

appear likely to have been tied closely to Amman by personal and family as well as theological ties.

Leading adherents Christian Blank and Hans Gerber were married to Yoder girls. They

participated in the church schism and they and their families lived with Amman in Alsace. One of

the Amish bishops mentioned in Germany was a Yost Yoder of Lachem. "Schweitzer Christian"

certainly heard the tales of persecution and the flight from Switzerland and the conflicts between

the Anabaptist leaders.

Leroy Beachy, however, finds the wording of this brief paragraph a highly revealing reflection

of the attitudes of the early Amish church leaders. " I Liked the expression 'our brother Menno' by

Christian Yoder... For an Amishman to regard Menno as a brother reinforces the fact that the

Amish regarded themselves as 'being Mennonites' rather than as so many Mennonite historians

have 'erroneously told us had 'torn away from the Mennonites'.''




Thanks to input received from Mrs. Walter E. Moore of New Columbia PA, we have an

adjustment to make to the date of death shown in the Amish and Amish Mennonite Genealogies,

by Gingerich and Kreider for Joseph Yoder (YR127) of Mifflin County, PA who married

Elizabeth Jutzi.


According to AAMG, Joseph (b. circa 1757) died Oct. 28, 1833. From the Orphans Court petition

by Joseph's son John which was held on 18 Nov. 1824 at Lewistown, the petitioner indicated that

his father died "on or about the twenty-eighth day of October, One Thousand eight hundred &

twenty three, leaving a widow named Elizabeth, and issue nine children to-wit: John, your

petitioner, George, Jacob, Christian, Jos-eph, Hannah who married Michael Stootzman, and since

deceased...Catherine who lS marrled to Abraham Stootzman, Sarah and Elizabeth"... Mrs. Moore

is investigating the possible destinations of Joseph's "missing" oldest sons, George and Jacob.





This is the story of the Menno S. and Carrie (Hostetler) Yoder family of Shipshewana, Indiana.

Information was taken from the diaries kept by Menno from the time he was 21 years of age in

1884 until he died in 1952 at the age of 88.


Menno's diaries served many purposes. They were his business records, records of births, deaths

and marriages in the family and in the community, social activities of the family, education,

illnesses, religious involvement, accounts of his homesteading and looking for land with other

Mennonites, and many other things documenting the everyday life of a Mennonite family of this

time period.


345 pages, paperback, spiral binding, pictures, maps and illustrations. One copy is $27.00,

postpaid. Order from the Editor, Mrs. Margaret K. Yoder, 14620 Timberedge Lane, Colorado

Springs CO 80921.



This 1809 fraktur was "found" in Kansas in the year 1984. Knowing the family's line of

descent from Esther Yoder, the fraktur's travels can be quite well documented.


Esther Yoder (1780-1871) was the fourteenth child of Christian Yoder (1728-1816) and

Barbara Hooley. (Esther's twin Jeptha was the thirteenth child). Esther was born a first generation

American in Somerset Co., PA in the middle of the Amish settlement.


Esther and Peter Baumgardner were married about 1810. Their farm was in the north

Amish settlement in Conemaugh Twp., Somerset Co., PA. There they raised their family. Their

third child along with three other Amish couples with young children pioneered in Elkhart and

LaGrange Counties, IN in 1841. Elizabeth and Christian had two daughters. Their farm was in

Newberry Twp., LaGrange Co., IN.


About 1844 Peter and Esther sold their farm in PA and came Indiana and made their home

with Elizabeth and Christian. Esther and Peter are buried in the LaGrange Bontrager Cemetery.

The fraktur was left with the daughter Elizabeth.


After the ten Borntrager children were married and in homes of their own, the youngest

child Maggie Borntrager (1859-1940) and husband Reuben ChristopherYoder (1858-1917) and

infant daughter Viola went to Kansas to live. The year was 1882. They rented a place near

Window KS.


About four years later Elizabeth and Christian Borntrager sold their LaGrange county farm

and went to Kansas to make their home with daughter Maggie and Reuben C. Yoder A few years

later the Yoders purchased a farm nearer to Inman KS where a new house was built and a small

house in the yard for the Borntragers. Later Elizabeth and Christian moved into a large room in the

big house. Elizabeth and Christian are both buried in the McPherson Co. Amish cemetery a few

miles east of where they were living. The fraktur became Maggie's responsibility to care for, along

with many other papers the Borntragers had kept. Among the papers are cancelled notes (notes not

paid), the receipt given by the Goshen station master when Christian sent his horse and "cart" to

Kansas by train, etc.


Reuben C. Yoder died in 1917 and Maggie moved to Hesston, KS with the three younger

children to give them high school and college privileges. Of course the fraktur went along. When

Maggie died in 1940 the family keepsakes were divided among the eight children. The fraktur

came to the eldest child, Viola Yoder Cooprider (1881-1953). At Viola"s death she was making

her home with daughter Eva E.Cooprider (1907-1987), a schoolteacher for 45 years. Eva did not

find time to look through the papers left to her until 1984 when she was making plans to move to a

retirement home. Eva gave the fraktur to her sister. Now it is properly framed and on display for



A reproduction was made in full size and color which was made available to cousins. One

is in the Amish Heritage Library at Aylmer, Ontario, another is in the Goshen College Historical

Library, and it will also appear in John Hostetler's Amish Roots from Johns Hopkins University

Press due for release in the fall of 1989.




Translations from old German Bible now owned by Paul Schlabaugh, Goshen IN. It was

printed in Frankfort, Germany in 1598. It is a very large book with metal corners on the cover. Ot

is complete with apocrypha and contains many pictures.

The following portion was signed by Samuel Yoder: In August 7, 1767, I married Maria Guner.

On April 24, 1803, at 8 o'clock Maria died.

Below the above portion in another handwriting is written: On September 22, 1806, our father


Probably refers to Samuel Yoder.

On one page is found the following:

Born on July 11, 1769 - - Jacob

Born on May 14, 1772 - - Anna

Born on October 16, 1774 - - Helen

Born on July 12, 1777 - - Katherine

Born on January 31, 1780 - - Maria

Born on July 15, 1783 - - Barbara

Born on March 11, 1786 - Christian

Born on November 4, 1788 - Michael

On one page is found these words: In the year 1805 on July 7, John Schlabbach married Katherine


One one page as found the following:

This Bible belongs to John Schlabbach in Datzebrod

and I bought it from Jacob Yoder in 1821.

"Lust und Liebe zum schreiben

Damit Mann man die Zeit vertreiben.

"Lust und Leibe zum dinged

Macht alle Muh und arbeit geringen."

March 19, 1821


One one page is found the following: This Bible belongs to John Schlabbach in Datzebrot in the

year 1825 on August 21. Born on April 23, 1806--John Schlabbach in Grebs Born on January 6,

1808--Barbara On October 15, 1822, our father died at 7:00 A.M. and was 48 years old. On

December 8, 1846, Mother died between 4-5 P. M. and was 69 years, 4 months, and 26 days old.

In the year 1825 my Godfather Michael left Germany on July 7. Helen died on October 22, 1825.




Really want lineage of Gideon N. Yoder (1872-19--) , m . Mamie Mailer (1873-1923), both bur.

Steam Valley PA. Sons were Theodore Roosevelt Yoder, b. 3-10-1902, d. 1966 and twin(?),

Charles W. Yoder (1902-1918) and possibly Harold Yoder. Stones marked in Steam Valley

cemetery are Gideon, Marie, Charles W. Yoder, Clyde E. Yoder and Ruth E. Yoder. Want to

know of any children still alive or descendants to respond to me. Great aunt Mildred, polio victim,

11-26-1904/4-6-1987. Would deeply appreciate help from anyone! Pattii Yoder Hooper, RDl-Box

322 Settle Road, Newark Valley NY 13811.


CHARITY YODER (or Yoter), m. Abraham Hart, March 28, 1847 in Ashland Co., OH. Both b.

in PA. Charirty Yoder b. about 1830. Who was her father? No record of any Yoders in 1850 in

Ashland County. Perhaps in nearby Wayne Co.? She was 17 when married, thus probably lived

with her parents in nearby Wayne Co., OH. In 1860 U.S. Census they showed in DeKalb Co.,

IN., the Newville area. Most of Abraham and Charity (Yoder) Hart's children remained in the

Newville, Hicksville, OH area. I do not have a deathdate nor location of burial of either Abraham

or Charity. Help please: Gerald L. Kisabeth, 45621 Holmes Drive, Canton OH 48187.


YODER'S COUNTRY MARKET, Route 669 N-Box 249, Grantsville, MD 21356, offers for sale

on any book about Mennonite or Amish (in print). Send want list or order to above.

Attn. Judy (Book Dept.)


Concerning the above notice reminds me to mention when one requests something from someone

else by mail it is at all times proper to include with your request a SASE (Self-addressed stamped

envelope). The recipient will be most appreciative and it is a pleasing act.-Ben.


Dear Yoders:

Having retired early in 1988 my wife and I have moved to central Mexico to enjoy the

excellent climate and the low cost of living.

We spent most of the summer of 88 traveling via motor home S W across the U.S. and

Canada to visit our children and friends and revisiting points of interest along the way.

In November, having sold our motor home and purchasing a van, we headed south to

Mexico. We arrived in mid-November at the town of Chapala located about 30 miles south of

Guadaljara. The town of Chapala is located in the central highlands (about 5000 feet above seal

level) on a lake 60 miles long and 12 miles wide.

There are many thousands of Americans and Canadians living here, either year round or for

the winter season.

The weather is great--warm sunny days (in the 80s) and cool nights (in the 50s). No need

for air-conditioning or heat. This makes for an ideal retirement area. I am not sure if I gave you my

address for mail: Robert C. Yoder 3035 Directors Row, Suite 202 Memphis TN 38131


Formerly we were in Albany, GA. Sincerely, Robert Yoder

P.S. Am enclosing a check for continued subscription. Will welcome hearing from anyone

interested in retiring to or visiting Mexico.

P.P.S. for mail directly to Mexico my address is: Robert C. Yoder Apartado #414 45900, Chapala

Jalisco, MEXICO


Yoder Family Tradition

Continues At Gathering


Aug 18, 1989 Hickory Daily Record


A family tradition that is now in its 39th season was repeated on Sunday when the Yoder

family met for its annual reunion at Zion Lutheran Church south of Hickory.


Clan president Ted M. Yoder of Rt. 12, Hickory, extended greetings as the 175 guests

assembled for a covered-dish meal in the church parish hall. The invocation was expressed by the

Rev. Frank Yoder of Decatur, Tenn.


At 87, Florence Yoder was the oldest person present. The youngest visitor at 19 months

was A.J. Baker Pierce.


Terry and Arlene Evans and their daughter, Tammy Hostetter of Raleigh, attended their

first Yoder reunion. The family represented the Elias Yoder line. Elias Yoder was one of the

younger sons of family patriarch Conrad Yoder and his third wife Catharine Hoffman.


Jerry Yoder of San Jose, Calif. had journeyed the greatest distance to attend the yearly



Statistics contained in a report offered by the president revealed that nine births and 11

marriages had occurred in the Yoder and Reep families since the previous gathering. President

Yoder also shared that 34 people in the Yoder and Reep connertions had died during the last year.


Special recognition was given to Mr. and Mrs. L. Clement Hahn Jr., who recently

celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Also, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald M. Yoder had noted a

golden wedding anniversary.


Hahn is vice president and Yoder is treasurer of the group.


Helen Yoder Hahn of Arden returned again this year to exhibit an 18th century German

Bible that formerly belonged to pioneer Conrad Yoder. A Swiss immigrant, the early settler

established the North Carolina branch of the Yoder family in present day Catawba County during

the mid-1750s. Yoder died in 1 790 .


Secretary Neal D. Wilfong of Cleveland shared his collection of Yoder family scrapbooks.

Containing principally human interest stories, news items, and birth, marriage and death clippings,

the albums concentrate on the North Carolina Yoders, but also feature articles about others who

share the surname. The name Yoder or Joder is derived from the fourth century Swiss saint,

Theodore, who was a bishop of Sion.


A new history titled "The Family of David and Ruth Wilson Yoder of Catawba County,"

by Hildebran resident Michael B. Huffman, was on sale at the meethlg. The booklet describes the

pioneer Plateau area couple and their descendants. David Yoder worked as a cooper and was a

grandson of Conrad Yoder. The author also displayed artifacts from the old Yoder log house

constructed around 1830.


President Yoder said next year will mark the bicentennial of the organization of Zion

Lutheran Church as well as the 200th anniversary of the death of Conrad Yoder. A Revolutionary

War patriot, Yoder furnished goods and money to aid the War of Independence, the president

declared. The centennial of the founding of Lenoir-Rhyne College will transpire in 1991. Dr.

Robert A. Yoder, who served as the first president of Lenoir-Rhyne, was a coorganizer of the

Hickory school.


Ted Yoder described several ideas that might possible be incorporated in the special

observance set to occur next year, including the planned booking of a featured guest speaker.

Donations were then collected to offset printing and mailing costs. Contributions to several area

churches where Yoders have typically held membership are supported by the Yoder family.

After a parting blessing, by the Rev. L. Clement Hahn, a retired Lutheran minister who now

lives in Arden, the meeting was adjourned until the second Sunday in in August 1990.

Following the meeting several people, including president Yoder and secretray Wilfong,

Miriam C. Wilfong and Michael B. Huffman toured the site of the old David Yoder farm in the

Plateau community.

The landmark, which is now in ruins, until recently was the oldest extant domicile of a

Yoder in the Catawba Valley.

The entourage also visited the nearby Thessalonica Baptist Church cemetery, which dates

to the late 1820s. In that graveyard are buried David and Ruth Yoder and several of their children.

Catharine Yoder Baker the only daughter of pioneer Conrad Yoder to reach adulthood, is also

interred in the cemetery.



Alvin J. Yoder


BERTHA. Minn.-Alvin J. Yoder, 90, who had 548 descendants died Dec. 3,1987, at

Bertha.He was born May 8, 1897, in Hubbard, Ore.He had lived in the Burr Oak, Mich., and

Colon, Mich., area for many years before moving to Homer, Mich. He also had lived in

Wisconsin, Missouri and Canada. On Nov. 20, 1921, he married Lydia V. Hochstetler at

Morocco, Ind. He was a lifelong farmer and had served as an Amish bishop for several years.


Surviving are his wife; 13 sons, Joseph A. Yoder, Burr Oak Mlch., Amos Yoder and Ervin

Yoder, both of Bertha, Levi Yoder Amherst, Wis., William Yoder, Wadena, Mlnn., Alvin Yoder

Jr Kenton, Ohio, Jesse Yoder, Kendallville, Ind. Henry Yoder, Wilton Wls., David Yoder,

Jamesport, Mo., Harvey Yoder, Cuero, Texas, Edwm Yoder, Melvin Yoder and Elven Yoder, all

of Glasgow, Ky.six daughters, Mrs. William J. (Lydia Mae) Bontrager, Centreville, Mich., Mrs.

LeRoy A. (Fannie) Eicher, Berne, Ind., Mrs. Chester P. (Mary) Gingerich, Medford, Wis., Mrs.

Enos J. (Clara) Bontrager, Colon, Mich. Mrs. Edward J. (Edna) Stutzman Blair Wis., and Wilma

Yoder, Norfolk, N.Y., one brother, Sylvanus J. Yoder, Plain City, Ohio; 137 grandchildren- 340

greatgrandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; 10 'step-grandchildren and 35

step-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by one daughter, Sylvia; two grandchildren;

one daughter-in-law; and one step-great-grandchild.


Bunal was Dec. 7 in Bertha.


NEWS-HERALD, Perkasie, Pa., Wednesday, June 28. 1989


Yothers Family Holds Reunion


St. John's Evangelical Lutheran picnic grove, Spinnerstown was the gathering place June

18 for the 66th annual Yothers Reunion, with 42 people present.


Hans (John) Yoder was the pioneer ancestor, he probably was born in Germany about 1680.

He died in Lower Milford Township. He purchased a tract of 99 acres in Lower Milford

Township (then know as "The Great Swamp") from Joseph Krowden of Trevose in 1720 for 15



The Yoders were Mennonites and John Yoder and his wife, Anna, and son John Jr. donated the

land to the Saucon Mennonite Meeting House, which was erected in about 1738. It was a log

building, and was located a short distance north of Coopersburg. This building was replaced in

1847, by a stone meeting house that is still used today. Many of Hans Yoder's decendants are

buried there.


Hans Yoder's son, Casper, moved to Doylestown township. Casper sold his farm to his

son, Jacob Yoder who changed his name to Yothers. All the Bucks County Yothers families are

his descendants.


Prizes were awarded to the four daughters of the late Harvey and Ida t (Kratz) Yothers, who all

had perfect attendance for the past five years: Mildred Yothers, Souderton, Laura (Yothers)

Benner, Sellersville, Kathryn (Yothers) Atkinson, Quakertown and Edna (Yothers) Meyers,



The couple coming the greatest distance was Charles (Yothers) Johnson and wife, Virginia,

from Annadale, VA. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Cronce from Ringoes, NJ were also present.


There was one birth: Kyle Ray, born Nov. 19, 1988 to Jay D. (Yothers) and Monica (T.)

Hunsberger, Apple Butter Road, R. 1,Perkasie.


Two deaths were noted: Miriam (Rush) Yothers, 76, daughter of the late Erwin Yothers

and Nora (Rush) Yothers Oct. 10,1988.


Dale (Yothers ) ) Bucher, 32, son of Harold M. and Florence (Yothers) Butcher, April 29,



The next family reunion will be held in June 1990.


The officers are President: Bob Yothers, Sellersville, vice president Dan Hunsberger

Perkasie; secretary-treasurer, Alverna (Yothers) Hunsberger, Perkasie, and historian: Richard J

Yothers, Jr, Boston, Mass.


Yoder, Kan., Plans Centennial Events For Aug. 18-19


Yoder, Kan--This tiny unincorporated town in Kansas Amish country is celebrating its

centennial Aug 16, 18 and 19.

The dates for the centennial celebration are somewhat arbitrary. Town founder Eli Yoder

settled in the area in 1872, but the boundaries of the town weren't platted until 1906. Most of the

original Amish settlers arrived soon afterward.

Today the town includes a gas station, a grocery store, an animal hospital, a cafe, a blacksmith's

shop, a buggy shop, two harness shops, a bank and a lumberyard. The town is also well-known for

its Dutch Mill Bakery and YB Meats.

The Amish settlement included four districts in 1918, by 1955 only two districts survived.

Yoder Mennonite Church was organized April 18, 1919, with 65 charter members most of whom

had left the Old Order Amish.

The establishment of a four-section-square naval air base a mile east of the town in 1943

also caused a number of Amish and Mennonite families to leave the area.



Reported by Sylvia Martin, 807 Hickory Homes, Heston KS 67062


90 descendants of Peter and Nancy Yoder met at Cross Winds Camp, Hesston KS, July

22-25 for a family reunion which meets every three years.

In 1895 Peter arrived in North Dakota at the age of 21 years and took a homestead near

Mylo ND. Nancy Yoder came from Bertrand Nebraska in 1896 by covered wagon with three of

her sisters and Uncle Jonas Yoder.

Peter and Nancy were married in 1897 at Mylo ND. They had twelve children and stayed in

ND all of their lives. They celebrated their 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries with all twelve

children present. Peter died July 14, 1961 and Nancy died August 5, 1963.

Attendants to the reunion were from Kansas, Arizona, Montana, Iowa, Indiana, Florida,

Texas, Minnesota, California and North Dakota .

Activities of the reunion were golf, swimming, boating, baseball, eating, visiting, getting

acquainted and Olympiads. Thursday evening was the traditional auction sale of heirlooms and

craft items, a highlight of the reunion.

The Unruh family sponsored this reunion and the next one will be held in MN in three

years with Ottis Yoder and family as sponsors.


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