Yoder Newsletter Online

Issue Number 25 - - - April 1995
Back to INDEX Back to CONTENTS







In the 1940's, a reunion was held in the midwest. The booklet published

after the session mentioned that the "Widow Barbara Yoder" family Bible

had been brought across country for the event. Where was this treasure

today? Well, the YNL decided to find out. Using a modern "CD/ROM

Phonelist" and some clues from the reunion booklet, we located the present

owner and learned more details.


The Bible itself is a "Froschauer" Bible, printed in Zurich Switzerland in

1580, over 160 years before the 1742 emigration of the major Amish Yoder

group. The earliest names in it are those of a son of "Widow Barbara" and

his family.


If this Bible had been in Yoder hands since its publication, it would

certainly seem to have been owned by the common progenitor of most

Amish Yoder lines, as well as of the Oley Valley (given the common known

and speculative origins among the Steffisburg Yoder families).




The Mennonite Encyclopedia (1956, Mennonite Publishing House,

Scottsdale, Pa) provides some detail about the Froschauer Bibles and about

the publishers who gave them their name. The original publisher was

Christoph Froschauer, who was born in Neuberg near Oettingen (Bavaria).

He acquired citizenship in Zurich on Nov.9,1519 as "a gift for his art". His

earliest dated books were in 1521. He was a supporter of the Reformation

and in 1522 was recorded as one of the chief transgressors against the

fasting laws. Froschauer published many of the works of Zwingli and his

beautifully executed Bibles won great renown. As there was no printer in

Bern until 1537, most of the Bernese writing were also published by him.


The article on him indicated he had no children, but rather took his brother

and two nephews into his business. He died April 1, 1564, and his nephew

Christophoffel Froschauer carrier on the business until 1590. The 1580

edition of the Bible which we highlight here is listed as the third from the

last of a long series of editions published by the firm.


Cover Page




"The Froschauer Bibles were originally reprints of Luther's

translation, altered in word order and vocabulary, more rarely in the text

itself. Until 1525 they have Swiss vocalisation.... Since the Prophets were

still lacking in Luther's translation, the Zurich preachers in 1529 issued this

part of the Old Testament in a special translation, based on the translation

of Ludwig Haetzer and Hans Denk, which had been published in Worms in

1527 and which the Zurich preachers considered a faithful translation from

the Hebrew. Thus it came about that in 1529 a complete translation of the

entire Bible appeared. From the continual revision of this combined Bible

rose the actual "Zurich Bible" whose text deviated more and more from

Luther's without, however, losing all traces of its original dependence."


The Anabaptists in particular are said to have loved the earlier editions of

this Bible and it was reprinted several times over the years, including in

Basel. The Mennonite Encyclopedia states:


"All of these reprints were forbidden in Bernese territory as Anabaptist

testaments, and wherever they were found they were confiscated. Repeatedly

the Bern council appealed to the Basel authorities to punish the publishers

and printers of these Testaments."




This edition is certainly a treasure whose history is closely related to the

intellectual and theological history of our family and its home region. Was it

was purchased new by our ancestors and did it come with them to America?

Or was it later obtained from the estate of another family in Colonial days?

These are questions which will likely remain unanswered.



Frederick Yoder and Maria Shartle

of Centre Twp, Berks County, Pennsylvania


Around the turn of the century, it was popular to produce county histories

which were full of biographical sketches of prominent local citizens (all of

whom were expected to be customers for the final product). Often these

county histories saved information of great value to the modern genealogist.

In 1909, Morton L Montgomery published his History of Berks County.

This work gives us our first clues to origins of Frederick Yoder, the subject

of this article. In an item about his grandson, Frederick F Yoder, the older

Frederick is introduced as having been a prominent farmer:


"Frederick Yoder... was a native of Berks County, born in Oley,

and he died in Centre township. From a tender age he was reared by his

kinsman, Daniel Yoder, of near Pleasantville. His mother's name was Hill.

Frederick Yoder became the owner of a farm by Belleman's Church, where

he is buried, and at one time owned three farms. He was very active in

church work and was a church official for many years. "


Frederick was born Nov. 13, 1813 and in the mid 1830's married Maria

Shartle, who had been born Apr. 13,1815. By the 1840 census, he and

Maria appear in Upper Bern township, Berks County. The record shows a

boy and girl under five years of age (apparently the couple's first children:

Amelia and Alfred S). Also in the household are an older woman (born

1780-90) and another young male, age 5 to 10.



photo of fred/MARIA



Centre Township was formed out of Upper Bern in 1843. The 1850 Census

of Centre Township shows the same family:











For the last child in this group, the record is hard to make out. The name

appears to be "WM", an abbreviation for William, but the gender seems to

show as female.


In 1860, this last child is gone. The record shows:


------Frederick Yoder------age 47 farmer born PA

------Mary------------------ 45------------------"

------Alfred------------------ 21------------------"

------Mary------------------ 19------------------"

------Jacob------------------ 17------------------"

------Cyrus------------------ 15------------------"

------Whelington------------ 8------------------"

------Vallaveleria------------ 5------------------"

------Sarah------------------ 1------------------"

------Caroline------------ 11------------------"


Cemetery stones at Belleman's church show that Sarah only lived from 1859

to 1862. A son William was born in 1860 and died in 1864. Another son

,James (1847-1849), died before being capyured by the census records. The

eleven year old Caroline Yoder was not a daughter of Frederick and Maria.

She does help link him with an apparent brother, and I'll explain this later

in the article.


Frederick died Mar. 18,1884 and his widow on Dec.26,1891. Both are

buried at Belleman's Church.






Neither the Berks County history or family tradition gives the names of

Frederick's parents. For many years, his ancestry has been pretty much of a

mystery. Frederick is not a common name in the Yoder line, and you would

think that his name might be visible in wills or estate files at the Berks

Courthouse there. It is not. The only mention is when a Frederick is listed as

being issued a Letter of Administration for a Sarah Kauffman in 1838.


So we start with the clues in the County History... that he was reared by his

"kinsman" Daniel Yoder. Daniel Yoder (1748-1820) (OH111) was a

wealthy and prominent citizen of Pleasantville. He lived on the homestead

of his great grandfather, the immigrant Hans Yoder. When Daniel died, in

1820, his large family and widow continued to live on the property. Let's see

what the census record shows us about the residents of this homestead:


























In 1810 and 1820, the homestead is shown in the name of Daniel Yoder.In

1830, Margaret Yoder "widow" is listed as the head of

household.Comparing the known children and grandchildren of this line

with the residents of this homestead, we see that between 1820 and 1830,a

group of children appear in the household. Some of these are the children

of David and his wife Hannah, but others appear out of thin air. This is fully

consistent with the report in the county history, and one of the males

matches the age of Frederick.




So what do we have? We have a Frederick Yoder who was born in 1813,

and who seems confirmed as living at the Daniel Yoder home near

Pleasantville by 1830. To find his parents, we need to look for a male Yoder

who died someplace between 1813 and 1830. Further, this person must be

someone whose family is not well established in the estate and other

relevant records of Berks County. The mother's name was "Hill", according

to the story.


After analyzing the 1810-1830 censuses (and considering what we already

know of Oley Yoder family groups) there is one particular fellow who stands

out as the most likely candidate. Samuel Yoder (OH1321) of Pike Twp.

wrote his will in June of 1828 and it was filed in September of that year. His

wife Elizabeth had apparently died by that time. The court records mention

sons George and John and daughter Elizabeth. A slip of paper in his file

seems to also identify another son as Jesse Yoder. Here is the speculative

family group from census and other records:














When the Yoder biographical sketch was published in 1909, it was less than

100 years since the birth of Frederick. Why wasn't Frederick's father named

in this family write-up? If his father had been this Samuel, this may well be

the answer. Samuel hung himself (Bertolet in Fragments of the Past,. page

72 of the 1980 reprint). Such a tragedy would account for a certain reticence

in ancestral reporting by his heirs. This was true in the case of his oldest son

George of Pike Twp (Hill Church) (whose relationship was not initially

known to present day descendants, but became clear from courthouse and

land records). Samuel was the son of George Yoder (1752-1833). His wife is

not established, but from elimination of other Samuel Yoders, it seems that

the record of a marriage 4/21/1799 between Samuel Yoder and Elizabeth

"Wohl" may be he. If we went back to the source record for this date, would

"Wohl" be a misreading of "Hill"?


We can speculate that all was not well with Samuel for some time. When

his father wrote his will in 1826, Samuel was given the 54 acres of land in

Pike Twp on which he then resided. In a curious phrasing, the bequeath

went on to say that after he and his wife die, the land goes to the children of

Samuel (it actually did pass to their oldest son George).


One link between this family and that of the Daniel Yoder family is

apparent in the marriage of a daughter of Jesse Yoder (above) to the 5 year

old Daniel B who appears in the 1830 census listing with the widow

Margaret's household.




One final link to Frederick Yoder can be found in the Federal pension

records in Washington,DC. A Daniel Yoder of Upper Bern Township, Berks

County, served as a private in K Company, 187th Regiment of Pennsylvania

Volunteers. He died at Crown Point, VA on July 3, 1864. Among the

paperwork submitted by his widow and children to prove their claims for a

pension are the original hand colored German baptismal records for several

of the children. The paper for Amelia (born to Daniel and his first wife

Elizabeth Berger on Aug.15,1858) gives Frederick and Maria Yoder as the

sponsors "die tauf=zeugen" for this child. This function was often

undertaken by aunts or uncles of the child, and it seems likely that Daniel

was a brother of Frederick (the one who is age 5-10 in the 1830 cesus



Another clue which supports this Frederick-Daniel relationship is the

Caroline shown with the Frederick family in 1860. We mentioned her

earlier, and this is where she comes in... Caroline, daughter of Daniel and

apparent neice of Frederick, was born Nov.26,1848. Her mother Elizabeth

had died Aug 20, 1859.

It is interesting to see how similar the baptismal certificats for Fredericks

family are to those used by Daniel.

(Note: I would like to thank Dr Morris Yoder , Mr. Edward Yoder

and John Balthasar Yoder Jr for providing information and photographs

to support this story and the family sheet. Morris and Edward were the

organizing force for the family reunion last year at Belleman's Church.

It will be repeated this year.)


The Yoder Newsletter- Founded 1983 by

Ben F Yoder (1913-1992); Chris Yoder & Rachel Kreider



Chris Yoder, Editor, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; John W. Yoder, Circulation

Manager, Middlebury,IN; Fred C. Yoder, Distribution Manager, Goshen,IN

; Rachel Kreider, Senior Contributing Editor. Other Contributors: Fred C

Yoder; John W. Yoder; Richard H. Yoder, Bechtelsville, PA; Hubert A.

Yoder, Charlotte, NC; Dorothy Yoder Coffman, Malvern, PA; Dr. Don

Yoder, Devon, PA....

And Welcoming Dr. Delbert Gratz, Bluffton, OH



-Dealing with circulation issues such as new or renewed subscriptions,

changes of address, orders for back issues to: Yoder Newsletter, P.O. Box

594, Goshen, IN 46527-0594.

-Dealing with ancestral queries or contributions for future YNLs or

archives (such as reunion notices, letters to the Editor, copies of Bible

records or other historical information) to: Chris Yoder, Unit 61306, Box

56, APO AE 09803-1306 (allow 3-4 weeks for reply) (or by electronic mail

to "75757.3371@compuserve.com").



The YNL subscription is on an annual basis and the rate is $3. BACK

ISSUES of the YNL are $1 per issue ($25 for a complete set of issues 1-25).

These may be ordered from the Goshen YNL address.- (NOTE: We are

considering a hardbound reprint of issues 1-25 and will keep you posted

with the next issue.)


In addition to Iva Yoder Burkhard (YR2337a55), featured in the clipping,

birthday greetings are also due to Nellie Yoder Kuttruff of Blythe,

California. Nellie was born Dec.24, 1893 and is a daughter of the late David

Yoder (YR2511c5) and Armenon Yoder (YRB675) who lived in Ohio.

Nellie's brother, John L., had a high school named after him in West

Liberty, Ohio.




Edward Kintner and Gladys Snyder, Ancestral Genealogy and Tour Guide,

hardback by Elgin Kintner, M.D, 1314 Turnberry Lane, Maryville, TN

37801-6725. 320 pages 8 1/2 by 11". The Ancestral lines of Rudolph Yoder

(YR14647) and wife Elizabeth Detrick are dealt with in this book. $24.50

plus $2 Postage and Handling.

- - - - - - - - -

Classic Reprints Available-

Descendants. of Jacob Hochstetler by Harvey Hostetler, reprint of 1912

edition- $24.95 & $3.50 P&H

Descendants of Barbara Hochstetler, by Harvey Hostetler, reprint of 1938

ed, $30.95 & $3.50 P&H

order from : Dan A Hochstetler, 4185-S 500-W, Topeka, IN 46571


Pleasantville Union Cemetery-A Photgraphic Review from Richard H

Yoder, 47 Bause Road, Bechtelsville, PA 19505. $6 plus $1 for postage and


- - - - - - - - -

Amish and Amish Mennonite Genealogies, by Dr. Hugh Gingerich and

Rachel Kreider. $60 Order from : Mr. Gideon Fisher, AAMG Treasurer,

61B Old Leacock Road, Ronks,Pa 17572.




by Dr Delbert L Gratz


Who is ready for a climb of the Joderhorn? To be sure there is such a

mountain! It forms a segment of the boundary between the countries of

Switzerland and Italy.


Nearby Monte Rosa is the highest peak in Switzerland with an elevation of

15,203 feet. Joderhorn is considered its "little brother" and has an elevation

of 9,960 feet.


Before you imagine that one of your ancestors lived on this peak you must

be reminded that none of the chapels or places having Joder as a part of its

name have any connection to our (or any other) family with the name

J(Y)oder. It is rather the way the name Theodor is spoken in our Bernese

language. Theodor was made a saint by the Roman Catholic church after

his death because of the miracles that he performed. August 16 was set aside

as St. Joderstag (St. Joder day) and has been celebrated especially in a few

remote parts of Switzerland. In certain dominant catholic areas of

Switzerland he was especially honored and it was thought that by praying to

him he would intervene on their behalf and bring them good fortune.


The family name is patronymic. That is, a father was named Theodor and

his son used it as an added name to distinguish him from the other fellows

who may have had such a common name as Jaggi (Jakob), Christen, Hans

(Johannes), Uli (Ulrich), Klay (Niklaus) or Peter. This was likely in the 15th

or early 16th century when surnames came into common use.


But, getting back to the Joderhorn! Who of you is ready to climb it with me

some nice summer day? The climb takes most of a day. Good hiking shoes

are necessary, also a pair of strong legs and lungs- and a ticket to

Switzerland! Climbing from the Swiss side, one needs to drive to Saas-Fe

and on to the end of the road by a dam. Then it must be about 8 miles of

hiking and about 2300 feet elevation gain. From the Italian side on can

drive to Domodossola and then into a little valley clear to the end to a place

called Macugnaga. from there one can take a cable car to the crest- during

certain seasons- and then it should be a walk of about one mile and 700 feet

elevation gain.


Of course, if anyone is serious about this definite information would need to

be obtained before starting out on such an adventure. There are marked

routes and mostly paths so that no special equipment for climbing is



(Note: Dr. Gratz, 8890 Augsburger Rd., Bluffton, OH 45817-9513, is

directing a Swiss Mennonite Heritage Tour to Switzerland, France and the

Palatinate from Jun 12-Jul 3 this summer, and has another tour planned for

September 1996).


Joderhorn map




-------The Coffman Cemetery in Seneca County, Ohio includes graves for

the following YOTTER children:

-------Electa, d/o J. & E., d. Jan, 17, 1854 age 13y 8m 22d

-------Osborn, s/o J. & E., d. Jan. 21, 1855 age 1y 7m 6d

-------Reuben, s/o J. & E., d. Sep. 3, 1854 age 3y 3m 28d

Can any of our readers identify this family? The cemetery is located at

Adams Twp Rd 178 & Co. Rd. 38. Some possible clues: 1840 census in

Adams Twp- Melchior Yeter; Seneca Advertiser-7 Jun 1850 announces

death of A.Y. Yotter- Agua Frio Mines, Ca- killed by a bear, age 22-

formerly of Bellevue (in Sandusky Co, near border with Seneca Co.; Jacob

Yotter, b 1836 m. Amanda Frances Williams in Seneca Co in 1855. Son

Jasper b. Tifflin in 1857




A small country town, with small industries surrounded by farms on

beautiful hillsides, Steffisburg was impressive. On the day of our arrival, we

attended an annual town festival... conversation, food, laughter and native

music. We were obviously "outsiders", but felt a warm, friendly



Several people, some English speaking, inquired about our attendance. We

joined the locals in some of the best beer and knockwurst we ever tasted.

Mrs. Marie Galli, the coordinator of the festival, even enrolled me as a new

member of the Steffisburg Chamber of Commerce....


We ate so much, we decided to skip a formal dinner and drove to the city of

Thun approximately two miles away. We wanted to get a closer look at the

Castle of Thun where Nicklaus Joder, the owner of the Ortbuhl farm, was

imprisoned for religious differences along with many other Joder



After lodging in a Steffisburg hotel that night, we enjoyed a Swiss style

breakfast and started driving northeast in search of "Joder Hubel". (see YNL

11) . The scenes were breathtaking. ... green meadows, beautiful flowered

homes and barns....We drove for approximately a half hour, up and up.

During a stop in Eggiwill, ... my son Rick was able to extract some

information of the location of Joder Hubel from a bearded old man... We

continued to ascend until vehicles were prohibited. Then we walked up a

trail for another 30 minutes until we reached the crest of what we believed

at the time to be Joder Hubel or in the vicinity of Joder Hubel. The

panoramic view was breathtaking


After lunch.. we returned to Steffisburg in search of local residents with the

name of Joder. Following a review of the local phone directory, we went

first to Walter Joder's house, then to two other Joder residents, finding no

one at home. We finally discovered a teenager named Ernst Joder, who

knew nothing of the local Joder history and so we decided to return to the

mansion house situated on the Ortbuhl farm. We were welcomed by Dr.

Michael Stetler, his wife and adult daughter, who was visiting her parents.

What a delightful visit. Dr. Stetler, a scholar and former director of the

Bernese Historical Museum, gave us a great insight of the historical

idiosyncrasies, customs and practices of the region. After a tour of the old

mansion on the Ortbuhl Farm, we departed for Kaiserslautern, as Rick had

PT, 5am, on the next morning.

Richard B Yoder, West Chester, PA (OH-----)




The YNL has joined "The Information Highway".

For genealogical correspondence and queries, the YNL can be

reached at the following electronic mail address:


"Yoder Data On Disk" has also been placed at GENEALOGY ON-

LINE, host address "emcee.com" and can be reached over Internet with an

anonymous ftp or telnet access. for copying. from directory


At the same host, an "upload" directory has been established.You

may load your Yoder files into this directory to be shared with others.


We are also considering establishing a Yoder "list server"- (a

distribution list of email addresses---when anyone sends in correspondence,

copies would go to all other addresses on the list). The focus would be on

Yoder genealogy and family happenings. Queries would be reviewed against

our records and information shared to the extent possible. It would also be a

source of information for future YNLs. If you have "email" and are

interested, please drop a line to Chris Yoder at the CompuServe address


NOTE!!! "Yoder Data on Disk" can still be ordered on floppy disk from

John W Yoder, 57195 County Rd 35, Middlebury,In 46540



We'd like to thank Mrs David (Alpha Yoder) Miller and Pat Yoder, both of

Goshen, for offering to help out with our research project. We have over 400

Yoder family groups in our Amish Yoder update, and will likely expand this

to include Mennonite, Oley, and Conrad lines as well. MORE HELP is

needed! Write Chris Yoder at the APO address. Goshen volunteers can

contact Rachel Kreider at 1320 Greencroft Ave, Goshen,IN 46526.


Business card for S.S. Yoder, M.D. of Bluffton, Ohio

Later Congressman (1887-1891) (see YNL #8 for his story)





(possibly a once in a life-time event)

AUG. 11-13, 1995, Hickory, North Carolina

--hosted by the Yoder family of North Carolina.

You and your family are invited! The reunion will include both social and

historic activities. Slide show of European Yoder locations, local tours,

speakers on different Yoder lines,

a Yoder store stocked with Yoder items (including a special reunion T-

shirt). (Exact schedule is still tentative). Events will culminate with a

Sunday evening pot luck dinner (the North Carolina Yoders will bring all

the food for those attending as guests from outside the local area.) THIS

WILL BE A HISTORY-MAKING EVENT in the course of our family!


We'll see you there (the YNL plans to be in attendance).

Contact: Ted Yoder, P O Box 10281, Mountain View Station, Hickory,

North Carolina, 28603. PHONE (704) 294-0054


The YNL will publish Yoder related inquiries or exchanges at no charge.

Please limit as possible to include a full return address. All inquiries are

checked against our records to see if we can help too. If you receive added

info, please share it with the YNL for our files.

Send to: Chris Yoder, Unit 61306 Box 56, APO AE 09803-1306


Parents wanted for Samuel Yetter, b c1760 m Maria Yocum. Sgt in Phila

militia 1777 and in New Hanover Twp (Philadelphia area) in early to mid

1780s. Found in Berks Co in 1791 and then Columbia County, Pa. Reply to:

Bruce S Yetter, 11 Mitchell Rd, Hackettstown, NJ 07840


Descendants wanted for Henry Yoder (10/31/1832 Bavaria-4/18/1900

Ashland Co.,OH) m Elizabeth Rees (9/26/1832-7/10/1905) buried

Vermillion Cemetery, Hayesville, OH. Reply to: Chris Yoder, Unit 61306,

Box 56, APO AE 09803-1306


"Series By Yoder"-- Can anyone shed some light on this? The term appears

on a identification stick for a flowering plant purchased by a YNL

subscriber in the Bel Air, Maryland area. Reply to: Chris Yoder, Unit

61306, Box 56, so we can give the explanation in a future YNL.


From Hatten S Yoder Jr, comes a listing of the fallen whose names appear

on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, 605 E Street NW,

Washington, DC. One such honored individual is HARVEY A YODER of

the Bay Village, Ohio Police Department, killed in the line of duty on

7/20/1926. Can anyone tell us about this gentleman? Reply to Chris Yoder,

Unit 61306 Box 56 APO AE 09803



write care/of Spruce Forest Artisan Village

Route 2, Box 5

Grantsville, Maryland 21536

Phone & Fax (301) 895-3332



Thanks to Mildred Erb Plumb,Omaha, Neb., for Bible record and photo of

her great-grandmother, Charity Ann Yoder (OY4348) (1839-1919)

daughter of John Yoder and Magdalena Breyfogel, Berks Co.,Pa. See YNL

#9 for article on John's grandfather's family (Jacob m Maria Keim).



Former Shipshewana teacher celebrates 100th birthday

A 30-year resident of Greencroft, Iva Yoder Burkhard was joined by 60 of her relatives and friends for her 100th birthday party Dec. 28 at the Meeting Place in Greencroft Nursing Center.

A graduate Of Goshen College in 1921, Iva taught school in Nebraska, Iowa and a number of schools in the Shipshewana area before her retirement in 1960. She graduated from Shipshewana High School in 1912.

Joining her in the celebration were sons Mahlon Burkhard Of Charles Town, W.Va., and James Burkhard of Fort Worth, Texas. Another son Eldred Burkhard of Fort Worth, Texas, was unable to attend. Also attending were her brother Reuben Yoder (90) Of Chesterton, nieces Anne Dempsey of Fort Wayne, Arlene Holdread of Goshen and Doris Wortinger of Millersburg, and nephews J. Olen Yoder and Ralph O. Yoder, both of Goshen, John M. Yoder of Elkhart, and William Dorsa Yoder of Fort Wayne. Also, several grandchildren, greatgrandehildren, grand-nieees and grandnephews were there to pay tribute to Iva on her 100th birthday.

Daughter of Menno and Carrie Yoder, Iva was born on the farm with the round concrete Brown Swiss dairy barn just west of Shipshewana. She married Noah Burkhard, also a 1921 graduate of Goshen College, and lived in Nebraska until 1952 when she and Noah moved to Shipshewana. She moved to Greencroft in 1964 after Noah's death. When asked it she was looking forward to her 101th birthday, she chuckled and said, "I already have the first day".


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