Yoder Newsletter Online

Issue Number 26 - - - April 1995
Back to INDEX Back to CONTENTS

"Southern Hospitality" Greets Yoders at National Reunion


As the Saturday program inside the Catawba County Courthouse

came to an end, the assembled crowd of around 250 people joined in a

heartfelt and moving chorus of "Faith of Our Fathers". They sang as one

voice, with an emotion which was evident and noted by many. Earlier,

Virgil Yoder had presented his slide show of Joder historical sites in the Old

World and America. A panel made up of members of different branches of

the family had given an historical overview of the major Yoder immigrant

lines to America.

This was but one of several events which took place when about

one hundred Yoders from around the country, almost all of them YNL

readers, were welcomed and feated by a couple hundred of the "Yoders of

North Carolina" in Hickory, NC from 11-13 August.

It had all begun the day before. Car by car, Yoders began to check

in to the Econo Lodge in Hickory. Few of these folks knew anyone else

present. Soon people were congregating in the lobby of the motel, getting

acquanited and sharing Yoder lore. Over the space of the next two days,

these strangers shared bus tours, programs, barbeques, and songs. They

worshiped with their North Carolina cousins in the Grace and Zion

Lutheran Churches. They celebrated their families, the love which binds one

generation to the next, and the related blessings they have received in their

own lives. What began as a gathering of strangers moved with surprising

speed to a warm and deeply felt fellowship.

After the pot luck meal on Sunday, there was a tinge of emotion in

the voices of many of the the speakers. When Eva Mae Crist of York, Pa

and her 92 year old mother Eva Yoder Barton paired to sing several

devotional songs, many were moved to tears.

It was a wonderful event, universally appreciated and treasured by

those of us who joined in it. God Bless the leaders of the North Carolina

Yoders for there dedication and efforts which brought the "Gathering of the

Yoder/Joder Clan" to such a successful conclusion. (For more details see

pages 4-5 and 8)


Steffisburg Joder ... Emigre Clues in France!


In the January 95 issue of Mennonite Family Life, J. Virgil Miller

of Sarasota, Florida introduced his translation of a list of early Anabaptists

who were buried in the Alsace at Fortelbach (the German name for the

town)/Fertrupt (the French town name). This listing had been discovered by

Erwin Hochstattler of Cologne, Germany in the Archives du Haut-Rhin in

Colmar, France.

For a student of the Old World Joders, this listing had clues which

begged to be explored. The focus of this community of Swiss Anabaptists

was the village of Ste. Marie-aux-Mines. They settled in this area under the

leadership of Jacob Ammann himself, founder of the Amish sect. Jacob

Amman and his followers left Switzerland in the early 1690s and soon

settled in the Alsace. Joder's from Steffisburg, Switzerland were known to

be followers of Jacob Ammann, but the details of their migrations are not

well established.

The burial records of Fortelbach (Fertrupt) include direct references

to Joders and related Steffisburg families living at the town of

Rappoltsweyler (Ribeauville in French). Over a period of decades, most of

the Amish left this area due to persecution, and the emigrations to America

occurred from these further settlements. This important finding, however,

does help demonstrate a part of the migration pattern for the Steffisburg

Amish (Joders apparently included) as they left their Swiss homeland. In

this article we'll identify some of the most significant of the burial records

and then list some of the related records which are grounds for a

speculative linking Steffisburg Joder family of around 1690.




"Vrena Hochstattlerin, single woman, living with Michael Blank, her

brother-in-law, d. Nov.20,1741, age about 25, after an extended illness of 14

weeks" (b c1716)


"Hans Blank. living at the noble-man's mill at Rappoltsweyler,

d. Dec. 23, 1742, age about 91" (b. c1653)


"Michael Roth of Stephansburg, miller at Hofrath Kroeber's mill at

Rappoltsweyler, d. Apr.11, 1744, age about 72" (b. c1672)


"Johannes Blank, miller at the Herrenmuhl at Rappoltsweyler, b. at

Stephansburg in Canton Bern, d. Dec.18,1744, age about 66"

(b c1678)


"Barbara Stauffer, widow of David Ommel, staying with Nicki Blank, b.

Canton Bern, d. Feb.17,1745, age about 91" (b. c1654)


"Anna Imhofin of Hohenburg in Canton Bern, staying with Michael Blank

(auf der Matten, in the meadow) d. Aug. 4,1747, age about 50" (b. c1697)


"Barbara Jotter, single, from the region of Bern, d. Apr.14,1750, age

between 64 and 65, bu. in Fortelbach" (b c1685-6)


"Nicholas Blank of Rappoltsweyler, formerly a miller, b. in Stephansburg in

Canton Bern, d. Aug. 3, 1753, and was bu. on the 5th of the same month

here in Fortelbach, age about 61" (b. c1692)


"Christian Blank, single, miller at the Schlundenmuhl by Rappoltsweyler,

was buried Aug.12, 1760, age about 69." (b. c1691)


Other names in the Fortelbach records include ones prominent in American

Amish circles or which appear in the birth records of Steffisburg:

Hochstattler, Gerber, Sommer, Rupp, Risser (Russer), Zimmerman,

Gungerich. There is even a Barbara Ammin (?Ammann), wife of Ulrich

Sommers, bookbinder at the landhaus who died in childbirth in 1743 (age





















































Joder).- Gutspachter-in-Oggersheim,-Germany.-Reported-by-Karl-Joder-to-

have- gone-to-US.-YNL-has-no-documentation-of-this)-




















Looking at the Steffisburg records, the Barbara Jotter buried at

Fortelbach would seem to be either the daughter of Jost Joder and Barbara

Rupp, or that of Caspar Joder and Vrena Stauffer. A futher review, however,

apparently eliminated Caspar and Vrena. It shows them having another

daughter Barbara in 1703 (a sign that the first Barbara had died young).

The names of batismal sponsors (Risser, Blank) for the daughter of Jost

relates more directly to the Steffisburg families at Rappoltsweyler, and our

speculation that this was she.






The large Amish Community living in the valley of Ste. Marie aux

Mines is said to have moved southward to the area around Montbeliard.

According to AAMG, John Blank (PK1) was issued a passport at

Montbeliard France on 5/1/1752 and appeared on the ships list dated

9/23/1752 with a Nicholas and Frederick Blank. The names Nicholas,

Michael and Christian (common in Rappoltsweyler) also appear among the

Amish first Blank generations in America.

None of these Blanks in Rappoltsweyler appear to be children of

Christian Blank and Anna Joder. The YNL only has selected Steffisburg

Blank geburtsregister records at hand, but we feel an analysis of the

remaining ones against the Fortelbach data would be productive.


William Yoder of Carroll Co.,Ohio

Identity Established


In YNL #2, Dorothy Yoder Coffman contributed an article about

Melchior Yoder, one of our least documented early Yoders. Dorothy had

become interested in Melchior because the origins of her ancestor William

Yoder (who married Mary Longacre) seemed to lead back in his direction

through Greene County in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Dorothy spent many years of research attempting to find proof of

the ancestry of William. In the process, she made a wonderful contribution

to all Yoders by assembling and publishing Yoder census records from

Pennsylvania and Ohio. It was her assembling of county tax records which

provided the clue (see YNL #24) which seems to establish the identity of

the Jacob Yoders of SW Pa as the son of Melchior. Jacob appears in the

Jefferson Twp., Greene Co., Pa tax records from 1807 onward. Dorothy's

William shows up in these same records from 1814 to 1825... apparently

showing his coming of legal age for listing in 1814 and then his migration

to Ohio before 1827. One might have been able to infer that William was a

son of Jacob, but there was nothing to establish this as fact.

Now, thanks to the continuing efforts of Carl Yoders of Yardville,

NJ, a letter has come to light which clearly identifies William as being a son

of Jacob Yoders. The letter was written by Mrs. Mary Miller Smith of

Washington, Pa in 1927 to Mr. Robert H Yoders, at that time of

Meadville,Pa. It lists the children of her great-grandfather (who was Jacob

Yoders) as follows:


My Dear Cousin; Nov. 6, '27

.... I do not know the name of my great grandfather Yoder. He was

the father of nine children eight boys and one girl. The names of the boys

were as follows: John, Jacob, William , Daniel, Mahlon, Lindsay, Joseph

and George. The daughters name was Elizabeth. She married Zachariah

Sharp. I think I can get the date of her marriage and birth and death. She

was the mother of six boys. One is still living in Washington and is now in

eightys, he is the last of the family also her youngest child...... His son John

went to Ohio. I do not know about them. Daniel, I think, went to Aleppo

township, Greene Co., Jacob married Phebe Gordon she went blind. ....

Lindsay at one time was recorder in Greene Co. He married a Jordan of

Jefferson....My grandfather--your great grandfather--George and Joseph

married sisters. Joseph lived at Rice's Landing. Grandfather- George was

married three times. His first wifes child was Elizabeth - named for his

sister. She married a Clutter and lived in Amity... Grandfathers second wife

as I have already told you was a sister to Joseph's first wife. .... his third wife

was Sally Funk....

.. When I was in Westmoreland Co. about forty-seven years ago I

mentioned the name Yoders. They called them Yathers.. a sounded like in

ah. I think the same as we called Yoders.... I used to hear Aunt Mag Hupp

call some of the Yoders Yethers. Now I think Yoders and Yoder are all the

same. One family here in town used to write the name Yoders now is


Yours truly, Mary Miller Smith


It is significant to note that Ms. Smith sites an grandson of Jacob

who was still living at that time. William and the other children of Jacob

have been this man's aunts and uncles, and would certainly have been know

by him. Another scrap of paper in the material Carl gathered (whose note is

not known) also lists William as being a son of Jacob. Often researchers of

family history will find that certain names "run in the family". William's

children all have names which match the other known sons of Jacob, to wit:

Daniel, Jacob, William Jr., James, and Joseph (refer to the chart on page 5

of YNL 24 and the family group below):


William Yoder b. c1794 m1. ca 1809-1819 Greene Co.,PA Mary


(ca1791- >1860<11/15/1867 Carroll Co.,OH) (daughter of Daniel Longacre

and Eve ?Moredock) m2. ? Elizabeth ______________ Wm. d after


------1)- Daniel Yoder b. 3/25/1820 PA m. 11/13/1845 Carroll

------Co.,OH Sarah Clark (1/3/1820 OH - 10/2/1881 OH)

------d. 5/21/1862 Knox Co., OH both bur. Loudenville, OH.

------2)- Jacob Yoder b. ca 1824 PA/OH m. 11/17/1853 Carroll

------Co.,OH Mary A. Benson enlisted from Richland Co, WI

------d. 11/11/1863 Memphis TN

------3)- William Jr. b. 1827 OH m. 12/21/1848 Carroll Co.,OH ------to

------Mary Jane Huston

------4)- James L. Yoder b. 3/19/1832 OH m. 3/22/1855 Carroll

------Co.,OH to Mary Clark d.6/22/1898 bur. Mech. Pres. Church

------5)- Joseph Yoder b. 3/21/1834 OH m. Elizabeth Hardgrove

------(12/14/1834-7/4/1904) d. 1/21/1914 Carroll Co.,OH both

------bur. Mechanistown Pres. Cem.


These points all taken together make it clear the question of William's

origin has been resolved. We'll continue to present the unravelings of our

Yoder "missing links" as they occur and welcome the support of all readers

in assisting such efforts.



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; Rachel Kreider, Senior Contributing Editor.

Other Contributors: John W. Yoder; Richard H. Yoder, Bechtelsville, PA;

Hubert A. Yoder, Charlotte, NC; Dorothy Yoder Coffman, Malvern, PA;

Dr. Don Yoder, Devon, PA; Neil Wilfong, Cleveland, NC; and 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. A bound set of back issues 1-25 is

available for $25 plus $3 postage and handling). These may be ordered from

the Goshen YNL address.


(CORRECTION TO DATA IN YNL 24 article- Dates of birth for Jacob

and his wife Elizabeth are shown on the chart on page 5 as 1781 for

Elizabeth and 1775/80 for Jacob. These should be 1771 for Elizabeth and

c1770 for Jacob.)



TYPING HELP NEEDED- Do you type and have a computer? We are

continuing to enter data for the next issue of YODER DATA ON DISK. We

expect to double the amount of information with the spring release. If you'd

like to help, contact Chris Yoder !



Victor Yoder is celebrating his 94th birthday on Oct.15. He is the youngest

and only living child of Isaac C. and Hannah (Tee) Yoder, and grandson of

Henry S. and Hannah Yoder. Victor married Elizabeth Townsley of

Reading, Pa. in 1927 and they had six children. Victor moved the family

from Pennsburg, Pa to Phoenix, AZ in the late forties and he now resides

there. He is hale and hardy and enjoys hearing from kin-folk near and far.

His address is: c/o Sweet Magnolia, 1867 W. Butler, Phoenix, AZ, 85021


Thanks to: David Yoder of Evanston, Il for helping with the typing of the

Yoder Data Update; Ruth Miller for helping with mailings in Goshen;

Dorothy Yoder Coffman for offering her Yoder census data for addition to

Yoder Data on Disk; Rich Yoder of West Chester for sending YNL group

sheets with the 95 Oley Yoder Reunion mail-outs.


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


Seeking information on William Yoder born late 1700's or early 1800's.

married Mary Longacre. Son Daniel b. 1819/1820. m Sarah Clark. William

was in Carroll Co, OH in 1840.- Clyde Pinkley, 2063 Springhill Dr.,

Columbus, OH 43221 (see article this issue for answer)


WHERE IS H.A. Yoder Jr? In 1985 we ran a query by H A Yoder Jr of

Washington, D.C. Does anyone know how we may reach him or any

member of his family?? We have Civil War pension information to share

with him which helps anwer his questions.



In August 1995, the YNL published a hardbound compilation of our first

25 issues. This attractively bound 240 page volume includes a topical index

of major articles at the front, and an 18 page "every name index" at the


Copies may be ordered from: The Yoder Newsletter, P.O.Box 594,

Goshen, IN 46527. (Price $25 plus $3 postage and handling for each book).





photo CF & Emma


The descendants of Charles Fisher Yoder and his wife Emma Jane

Yoder suspended holding regularly scheduled Yoder family reunions after

the death of Mrs. Yoder in 1958. Following the completion and distribution

of the booklet "The Ancestors and Family of Charles Fisher Yoder" by Mae

Yoder Moore and Walter E Moore in late 1994, it became apparent the 32

living first cousins were scattered and many did not know each other.

After a period of about 35 years, a reunion of this family was held

Sunday, June 18, 1995, at the Community Park in McEwensville, PA.

Ninety-five people attended, coming from California, Texas, South

Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania.

Following the invocation by Hope Yoder of California, everyone

enjoyed a delicious picnic dinner. This was followed by time for fellowship

and picture taking. Verna Mae Yoder Hartranft was presented with a

corsage in celebration of her 94th birthday which was to take place on July

9th. Verna Mae is the oldest living member of the family and the last

surviving child of Charles and Emma Jane.

The 1996 Charles Fisher Yoder Family reunion will be held June

23, 1996 at the Community Park in McEwensville, Pa.-For information

contact: Mr & Mrs Walter E Moore, 300 Willow Valley Lks Dr, Apt E-

104,Willow Street, PA. 17854




Descendants of Frederick Swartzendruber 1825-1895 and

Sarah Yoder 1829-1867 by Esther S. Glick and Carolyn S. Nafziger. This

nicely done hardback genealogy includes both an ancestral history for the

husband and wife, and their descendant data. Sarah was a daughter of

Bishop Christian Yoder Jr of the Glades in Somerset County, Pa (YR2337).

The book can be ordered from: Esther S. Glick, 1414 Hampton Circle,

Goshen, IN 46526 for $29.95 plus $5 for postage and handling.

Yoder Newsletter Issues 1 Through 25 - bound 240 page volume

includes a topical index of major articles, an "every name index". Order

from: The Yoder Newsletter, P.O.Box 594, Goshen, IN 46527. (Price $25

plus $3 postage and handling for each book).

Pleasantville Union Cemetery-A Photgraphic Review from

Richard H Yoder, 47 Bause Road, Bechtelsville, PA 19505. $6 plus $1 for

postage and handling. (The old cemetery of the Oley Valley Yoders).

Black Spider Over Tiegenhof. A new historical novel by James D.

Yoder, involving the experiences of a Mennonite family living in Hitler's

Germany. (Price $10.95 plus $2.50 P&H. Order from: Herald Press, 616

Walnut Ave., Scottdale, Pa 15683).


Elizabeth B Yoder Celebrates 90th On Sunday, July 16, 1995, family

members attended the 90th birthday party of Elizabeth B. Yoder, of West

Chester, PA. Mrs. Yoder is the wife of Walter Reuben Yoder (1899-1978),

son of Henry Cleaver Yoder and Grandson of Henry S. Yoder of

Pleasentville, PA. In attendance were Mrs. Yoder's 11 of 13 children (2

deceased), 35 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and their spouses.



July 20, 1996

Hans and Yost Joder (Yoder) Family Heritage


Oley Valley-Pleasantville, PA

"We started here" in 1714

Visit and hear the history at the original sites:

-Hans' Joder Homestead (YNL #1, 5, 14, 15, 16)

-Yost Joder Hamestead (YNL #1, 5, 16, 17)

-The Yoder Family Cemetery (YNL #16,19,23)

-Hans Jr's Original Home- Covered Bridge

-Jacob and Maria Keim Yoder House (YNL #9, 16)

-Lobachsville Mill-Last Operated by Clarence Yoder

-Daniel Yoder Papermill

-The Crooked Dam

-Oley Forge Site (YNL #16)

-Hans Jr's/Griesemer's Mill/Covered Bridge (YNL#11, 16)

-Samuel Yoder/ Zook Farm (YNL #14, 16, 17)

Guided Bus Tour, Picnic Lunch, Evening banquet.

Are You Interested?? Complete and return flier with this issue of YNL to:

Yoder Reunion Assoc., 415 State St., Pottstown, PA, 19464



To The Participants of the 1995 Clan Gathering in

Hickory/Newton, NC- Thank you for honoring us with your presence. I

appreciate your patience and kindness. My only regret is that I didn't get to

talk to more of you for longer times. Nonetheless, this event was a highlight

of my life. I'm so glad I'm a Yoder!

Your "vetter"- Ted M. Yoder


Shirts (both forest green). Limited quantity left of National Reunion T-shirt

$13 (Large or XL only). Will take orders for Polo shirt with Jost Joder

Crest. Shirts will be ordered if sufficient demand. Otherwise you check will

be returned. Indicate Size Desired- adult S,M,L,XL,XXL. Polo Shirt $22.

Write to: Yoder Family in NC, P O Box 10281 Mountain View Station,

Hickory, NC 28602


(modelled by Jerusha and Christian Yoder)



YODER HOUSE Ground Breaking Ceremony

Oct. 21, 1995

The Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Yoder House is scheduled

for 2pm Saturday, Oct. 21, 1995 at Penn Alps, Spruce Forest Artisan

Village, Grantsville, Md. Representatives from each Yoder immigrant

family are expected to take part. EVERYONE IS WELCOME at this

exciting, informational and inspiring program.


Neatly stacked and Begging to be Used


Earlier this year, several dozen Yoders met to clean, remove nails,

and in true Yoder fashion stack neatly this beautifully weathered wood to be

used in the project. The National Yoder Reunion in North Carolina

provided the spark for increased fund raising successes. Over $12,000 in

material has been gathered and hopes are to have $30,000 in cash by the

date of the ground breaking.

Spruce Forest is a 501-C-3 organization and will provide a tax

exempt receipt for donations. Memberships are being taken in various

amounts, ranging from $25 (individual for one year) to $1,500 (couple for

life). For a fund-raising and informational brochure, write: Yoder House

Project, Spruce Forest Artisan Village, 177 Casselman Road, Grantsville,

MD 21536. (The project has been incorporated under the title "House of

Yoder, Inc" - Contact Kenneth L Yoder (301) 895-5687 with any questions

you may have about these impressive efforts.




The home of John S Yoder (YR12577), built in 1869, is believed to be the

first built in what is now the village of Sugarcreek. It was moved from its

original site to its new location on May 9, 1995 by the Mast Construction

Co.(assisted by a symbolic team of seven Belgian horses). Efforts by the

Amish Heritage Foundation are underway to restore it as a lasting memorial

to the village of Sugarcreek and its Amish community. Tax deductible gifts

should be sent to: Amish Heritage Foundation, Box 704, Sugarcreek, OH

44681. (A $250 gift entitles donor to a "Yoder Home Scrapbook"

documenting the relocation and restoration. Sponsors: Gold-$1000; Silver-

$750; and Bronze-$350 will receive a plaque and their name will be

included on a plate in the Yoder Home.)


Special Offer for YNL Readers- Amish Immigrants of Waldeck and

Hesse, 231pgs. 263 Amish immigrants-including several Yoders, 52

different surnames. Regular price $22 (inc. P&H)...for YNL readers only

$17.50. (in quantity- 6 for $75-postpaid).Order from John M Byler, 5845-B

CR 80 Rt 3, Frederickstown, OH 43019.



"Series By Yoder"--Thanks to : Helen Sherck of Wooster and Mary

Stutzman of Peebles,OH for identifying "Series by Yoder" as a product of


Is our face red! We outlined this firm in YNL #15.



My Dear Joe: and Dear Alice:, companion volumes edited by

Mabel V and Ivan W Brunk, present the Letters of Alice Yoder Brunk and

her husband J E Brunk regarding his adventures as a Mennonite relief

worker in Turkey in 1920-21. Two thirds of the proceeds go to the

Mennonite Central Committee and the balance to the Historical Committee.

Order from: Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church, 1700 S. Main

St., Goshen, IN 46526. (Price: $10.95 each or both for $19.95)



Descendants of Frederick Swartzendruber 1825-1895 and

Sarah Yoder 1829-1867 by Esther S. Glick and Carolyn S. Nafziger. This

nicely done hardback genealogy includes both an ancestral history for this

early Johnson Co., Ia Mennonite church leader and his wife, and their

descendant data. Sarah was a daughter of Bishop Christian Yoder Jr of the

Glades in Somerset County, Pa (YR2337). 544 pages, indexed. The book

can be ordered from: Esther S. Glick, 1414 Hampton Circle, Goshen, IN

46526 for $29.95 plus $5 for postage and handling.

Yoder Newsletter Issues 1 Through 25 - bound 240 page volume

includes all YNL issues, a topical index of major articles and an "every

name index". Order from: The Yoder Newsletter, P.O.Box 594, Goshen, IN

46527. (Price $25 plus $3 postage and handling for each book).

Pleasantville Union Cemetery-A Photographic Review from

Richard H Yoder, 47 Bause Road, Bechtelsville, PA 19505. $6 plus $1 for

postage and handling. (The old cemetery of the Oley Valley Yoders).

Black Spider Over Tiegenhof. A new historical novel by James D.

Yoder, involving the experiences of a Mennonite family living in Hitler's

Germany. (Price $10.95 plus $2.50 P&H. Order from: Herald Press, 616

Walnut Ave., Scottdale, Pa 15683).




(left to right) Ron Yoder (of YR23975 line), Lt. Rick Yoder (of OH14526

line), Mrs. & Mr. David Yoder (of Frederick Yoder line described in YNL

25), and Chris Yoder (of YR2337a line) get together for an Arabic meal in

Riyadh. Rick, who was in Riyadh to command a Patriot missle battery,

showed a video from his family visit to Switzerland. Missing from this

photo is Tim Yoder from Ft. Wayne, also of Riyadh, who could not attend.



Elizabeth B Yoder Celebrates 90th On Sunday, July 16, 1995, family

members attended the 90th birthday party of Elizabeth B. Yoder, of West

Chester, PA. Mrs. Yoder is the wife of Walter Reuben Yoder (1899-1978),

son of Henry Cleaver Yoder and Grandson of Henry S. Yoder of

Pleasantville, PA. In attendance were 11 of Mrs. Yoder's 13 children (2

deceased), 35 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and their spouses.


Update of Yoder Data in process- expected to nearly double amount of

information contained by spring... adding Yoder Census information from

Dorothy Coffman and 30 years to previous family groups.


"Yoder Archives" on Internet for ftp at GENEALOGY ON-LINE

(emcee.com) in directory /pub/genealogy/surnames/YODER.


Present version of Yoder Data on Disk (1.2 meg)-can be ordered from YNL

for $5.50. (3.5" High Density unless otherwise specified).


Family Has National Reunion----- HICKORY DAILY RECORD --August 29, 1995

Hickory was the site of the first national reunion of the Yoder family during the weekend of Aug. 11-13. Members of the Yoder clan representing major lines of the Swiss family attended.

The North Carolina Yoders were hosts at the event which was based at the Econo Lodge on U.S. 70 West. Attending an orientation meeting were people from 23 states and one foreign country.

Descendants of the main Yoder immigrant lines included the Oley Valley (Berks County Pa.), Hans of the Great Swamp (Mennonites of Lehigh and Bucks counties, Pa.), Widow Barbara Yoder, Christian Yoder , Melchior Yoder , Samuel and Michael Yoder (of Pennsylvania) and Conrad Yoder (the founder of the North Carolina family).

Rachael Hahn Kennedy of Charlotte who is president of the N.C. Yoders, welcomed the group. Ted M. Yoder of Hickory who serves as a special assistant to Ms. Kennedy described the variety of events planned during the three-day festivities. The Rev L. Clement Hahn of Charlotte delivered the invocation.

Approximately 90 people enjoyed hors d'oeuvres prepared and served by the host family. The food committee included Harold M. Yoder, Sarah Yoder Coffey, Regina Yoder Hoyle, and Ellen Yoder Cranford, members of the family of Ralph E. Yoder of Hildebran.

A Capella Fellows, an area barbershop quartet entertained the crowd.

Ms. Kennedy introduced special guest Chris Yoder of Riyadh Saudi Arabia. As editor of the Yoder Newsletter printed in Goshen Ind. Yoder brought greetings from the publication. Copies of the first 25 issues of the newsletter, which have been case bound were unveiled. Dedicated to coeditor Ben F. Yoder who died in 1992, the book as well as subscriptions to the Yoder Newsletter may be ordered by contacting the publication at P.O. Box 594 Goshen Ind. 46527.

On Aug. 12 chartered busses took the group on a tour of historic sites of special importance to the local Yoder family. Guests saw the Weidner-Wilfong Rock House the Conrad Yoder family cemetery, Grace Lutheran Church, and Old St Paul's Church among other landmarks. Tour guides were Neil D. Wllfong, J. Larry Yoder, Richard E. Yoder and Ted Yoder.

Later that afternoon the crowd convened at the Catawba County Museum of History in Newton for a program which focused on family tradition and history. A mercantile store stocked with Yoder wares was set up in the basement of the former Catawba County Courthouse. W.A. "Bill" Yoder of Hickory and Bryan Wascornb, an Amishman from Union Grove operated the general store.

Dr. J. Larry Yoder, professor of religion and philosophy at Lenoir-Rhyne College opened the session with prayer. The meeting was held in the old Superior Courtroom on the second floor of the 1924 structure.

Bill Yoder introduced Robert L. Hibbits, chairman of the Catawba County Board of Commissloners. The Virginia native brought greetings to the Yoder family saying in part that the early clan helped to build Catawba County. A proclamation issued by the commissioners was presented to Ms. Kennedy and Chris Yoder on behalf of the famiig at large on the occasion of its 45th annual reunion.

Maribeth Yoder White of Statesville led the audience in singing the hymn Faith of Our Fathers. Sidney Halma director of the Museum of History extended greetings to the assembly.

A sound and slide program "Pilgrimage of Faith the Journey of an Anabaptist Family" was presented by Virgil E. Yoder of Irwin Pa. The documentary was produced in 1992 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the first Amish Yoders in America.

The Yoder name is derived from Theodorus a fourth-century monk who crossed the Alps to carry the Christian gospel to southern Switzerland. After his death the missionary was canonized and became more familiarly known as St. Joder. The Anabaptist movement begun in 1525 was the spiritual ancestor of the Amish and Mennonites. The Amish derive their name from Jacob Amman and the Mennonites from a Dutch priest Menno Simons.

Ted Yoder commented that the Rev. R. Paul Stroup of Orrville, Ohio a grandson of Dr. Robert Anderson Yoder, a co-founder and first president of Lenolr College (now Lenolr-Rhyne College) has loaned to the Catawba County Museum of History several volumes of the diaries kept by his grandfather.

Announcement was made that a reunion of the decendants of Hans and Jost Yoder will be held in Pleasantville, Pa. next July.

Kenneth L.Yoder of Grantsville, Md., chairman of the Yoder House committee spoke about a project to construct a home typical of early Yoder immigrants in the Penn Alps.

Steve Abee a descendant of McKinley Yoder talked about a limited-edition handmade crock that he had made and donated to the Yoder House Museum.

A genealogy panel offered background information and facts about the various Yoder branches attending the national reunion.

The patriarch of the North Carolina Yoder family Conrad Yoder was played by Dr. J Larry Yoder. A self-described "enigma" the simple Swiss stone mason and farmer promised to reveal more of himself at the Sunday afternoon session. J. Larry Yoder is a lineal descendant of the immigrant who settled in Catawba County in the late 1750's to early 1760's. the pioneer died in the spring of 1790.

A catered barbecue was served on the grounds of the museum after the program. Live music was provided by the Woodies, a Unifour blue grass band. Jamdango, a cultural event sponsored by the Catawba County Council for the Arts continued the entertainment. Etta Baker of Morganton performed as well as the Jazz Trackers and the Interstate Stompers.

A traveling replica of the Vietnam Wall Memorial was displayed on the west side of the courthouse square.

The Yoder family had opportunity to attend one of two worship services in churches dear to the clan. At a worship service held at Grace Lutheran Church southwest of Newton, Dr Larry Yoder offered the Lord's Prayer In both German and English in testimony to the European origins of the Yoder family. A second traditional worship service was available to others at Zion Lutheran Church, where the 45th annual reunion of the Yoder family was scheduled Aug. 13.

Michael Be Huffman vice president welcomed everyone present for the Yoder family homecoming. Huffman introduced Ms. Kennedy. The moderator recapped highlights of the weekend.

After an invocation by Larry Yoder, home folks and guests feasted on a covered dish picnic served in the Zion parish hall. At the business meeting, Larry Yoder continued his monologue about NC Yoder founder Conrad Yoder. The pioneer stressed four points: that the Yoder family should be congratulated on continuing its tradition of assembling together as a family; that thinsg are so different today as compared topioneer times;that long ago the family members read the Bible and attended to their souls; and that a bouquet of flowers was appropriate to honor Ms.Kennedy.

Ms Kennedy read a letter of congratulations from Ryan LaHurd, president of Lenolr-Rhyne College.

Several couples were recognized by Mrs. kennedy. People who had been married for 50 years or longer joined the Yoder family head around the piano while Hugh and Mary Rose Yoder Morris of Houston and Karen Norris of Richmond, Va. serenaded the special duos.

Lorena Shell Eaker of Church Hill, Tenn. who wrote the two-volume "Shoe Cobblers Kin" genealogical tomes, spoke about her latest work, "German Speaking People West of the Catawba River in North Carolina". Copies of the publication were available from the author.

Secretary Neal D. Wilfong cited excerts from the 1994 minutes.

Ted M. Yoder recognized his father, gerald M. Yoder of Hickory, who has served as more than 15 years as treasurer of the N.C. Yoder family reunion. The elder Yoder has been present for all 45 annual reunions. He is also the caretaker for the 18th-century family burial ground. He recalled neighbors Norman S. "Pinkie" and Inez Hamrick James who were benefactors of the Yoder family reunion in the late 1970s and early 1980s. A Hickory businessman, James served several years as president of the N.C. Yoder family reunion, James was instrumental in designing the large family lineage boards which are traditional fixtures at the annual homecomings.

Gerald Yoder revealed the gift of a significant amount of money to Yoder reunion in honor of his three children, three grandchildren, and "soon-to-be" great-grandchild. Further, the retired U.S. Postal employee and cattle dealer announced a donation of $1,000 to the Yoder House project in Grantsville, Md. Kenneth and Esther Yoder and Gerald A. Yoder accepted the contribution on behalf of the Yoder House.

Neal D. Wilfong remarked that 50 known deaths had been noted in the Yoder and allied Reep families during the last year. He said 11 births and 11 weddings were also relevant to the Yoder family.

Chris Yoder commented on the family values common to the Yoder family.

Richard E. Yoder of Hickory, a former family president and chairman of the nominating committee, announced that a slate of officers which include Ms. Kennedy, president; Regina Yoder Hoyle, first vice president; Willie A. "Bill" Yoder, second vice president; Neal D. Wilfong, secretary; and Gerald M.Yoder, treasurer. Officers will serve a term of three years. Michael B. Huffman was named by Yoder as a lifetime consultant in genealogy for the Yoder family. Ted M. Yoder will continue as special assistant to the president.

Chris Yoder said much Yoder family data is now available on computer disk. He donated the disks with all proceeds earmarked for the N.C. treasury.

Ms. Kennedy described limited edition T-shirts monogrammed with the crest of Swiss official Jost Yoder. Staff members wore the official shirt during the three day national convention. Because of popularity and demand, orders were taken for additional shirts.

Eldest members of the Yoder family attending the 45th annual reunion included Eva Yoder Barton, 92, of Pinto, Md., and Louie Baker, 88, and Hubert Yount, 89, both of Hickory.

Ruth Lall of Hickory displayed the Bible of her ancestor John Abel Yoder, who died in the Civil War at the Battle of Bristow Springs. Other exhibitors included Helen Yoder Hahn, Michael B. Huffman and Neal D. Wilfong. The bedstead of 19th century historian Col. George M. Yoder and a chest of drawers and a rocker attributed to Mary Ann Yoder Yount were showcased by Ms. Kennedy.


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