Yoder Newsletter Online

Issue Number 30 - - - October 1997
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Hamburg Christian Yoder (Article by Rachel Kreider and Chris Yoder)

For years the story was handed down that one Barbara Yoder, whose husband died at sea, landed in America some time before 1720, with nine small children-- eight sons and a daughter--and that they settled in the Oley Valley, where sons Hans and Yost became well-known. Eventually an alert descendant publicized a discrepancy in the story and family historians began to chip away at this garbled mixing of two lines of Yoder immigrants.

Although there has never been any documentation available about the "Widow Barbara", it is agreed that she did exist. We know that "Widow Barbara" arrived not prior to 1720, but on September 21, 1742, on the Francis and Elizabeth. Three Yoder men signed the ship list upon their docking in Philadelphia. Through the efforts of Dr. Hugh Gingerich, we now know there were eight Amish Yoder men of the first generation, and we know that two of these 1742 signatories (Jacob and Christian Joder) were sons of "Widow Barbara" . We now know that Barbara did indeed have nine children (see YNL 2, Oct. 83), but only four of those sons were hers. The other four belonged to the other Yoder family aboard ship. This second Yoder family was once said to have been that of "Strong Jacob" Yoder, but now we know the head of the second family was the Christian Jotter on the ship list . For some reason a clerk wrote Jacob's name for him and it appears directly above that of his older brother, who wrote his name Christian Joder (See YNL 20). It is interesting to see this mix of spelling---Joder, the spelling used by their Swiss forebears, and Jotter, a spelling adopted by some of the family in Alsace and also in Eppstein, Germany (YNL 10)

The older Christian Jotter located in Berks County on land situated where the present day townships of Upper Bern, Center, and Penn come together, but Barbara's family settled closer to the village of Hamburg, which is no doubt the reason that her son was known as "Hamburg Christian" to distinguish him from the others. As these sons became of age they took farms of their own, Christian "on the twenty-ninth day of the eighth month, 1743" and Jacob on October 28, 1747. One old diagram in the archives at Harrisburg shows Christian's land bounded by the farms of Isaac Kauffman, Stephen Kauffman, Hans Hertzler and vacant land. Soon afterward the map shows that the farms of his brother Jacob, and Christian Fisher (apparently a brother-in-law), adjoining his. The Hertzler property was now in the name of Jacob Hertzler.

By 1767 Jacob Yoder was living farther south, in Lancaster County, but as far as we know, Christian stayed on his original farm as long as he lived.

Hamburg Christian's wife was named Barbara. Dr. Gingerich felt it was probable that Barbara was the daughter of Jacob Beiler and that her sister married his brother Jacob Yoder. There is no proof of this, but it seems possible given the known connections and proximity of the families. Christian and Barbara reared eleven children in this home, but as time went on most of them left the community. The chief reason was probably the lure of more and cheaper land, but the tensions of the American Revolution no doubt exerted an influence as well.

"Hamburg Christian" died in his fifties (probably in 1772, although some records say 1771). His will was dated December 10, 1771. The scribe wrote it out in beautiful English script. From the details in this will, in which Christian reflected his concern that his beloved Barbara be well-cared for after his death, we can get a glimpse of how the pioneers in his time were living.

Berks County Wills, Volume 2, page 110

Will of Christian Joder Decd
May 4th 1772
Ltr Administra____Testaments
_____/granted to Barbara
Joder, Widow &c ___Bond

In the name of the Holy and High Praised Trinity God Father Son and Holy Ghost be our Beginning Mean and End! As I Christian Joder Senior through daily Experience have conceived that as all mortal Men, so I Christian Joder, yet in good and sound Reason have principally to take Care and Concern for myself about the incorruptable Inheritance and native Country when the Almighty God according to his paternal Will shall require me from the Temporal and receive me in his heavenly Kingdom of Honor and Joy, But my inanimated Corps shall become incorporated with the Earth. So of the earthly Estate where with I am blessed and leave behind me, this is my last Testamentary Will. Viz. That my one dear and worthy Wife, Barbara Joder, shall have my said Estate under her Care and manage the same as long as it is agreeable to her and the children shall be obedient according to their Duty, but in case they shall be disobedient and disagree, then my dear Wife Barbara Joder may choose five impartial Men of the Community and by them cause as well the Place as the Moveable Estate to be valued and appraised, and cause the moveable Estate to be divided among the children, But the Road Wagon with four horses and gears, plough and harrow shall be left on the place and the price estimated accordingly and the monies thense arising for like Manner shall be divided among my Children which I leave behind to whom I wish Godís rich blessing if they walk in the Ways of the Lord and lead a life well pleasing to God.

I bequeath to my dear Wife Barbara Joder whom I leave behind all yearly and till this happy Departure according to the Will of God, if it is agreeable to the Mother to remain in the Dwelling Room with the Son that takes the Place to himself, but in Case the contrary shall happen the said son or who has the Place in Hand must build her a separate commodius Dwelling with a Cellar Floor, Kitchen, and Windows, Doors and all necessary Articles to compleat the same on his Costs as also cut and deliver the necessary Firewood before the Dwelling the Keeping and the Benefits of one Cow and in Case of Age or Infirmity of Body she may not be able to milk and fodder the said Cow then the said Son or Son-in-law, or in want of either, the Possessor of the Place shall do and perform the said Service for the Mother, five Bushels of Rye five Bushels of Wheat these the aforesaid must on request cause to be measured and taken to the Mill for my dear Wife Barbara Joder and the Meal and Bran thereof made to be brought to the Place where she shall desire a Horse to ride must be given to her at any Time. Of the present Kitchen Garden a piece must be cut off and enclosed and the necessary Dung must every Year be carried on it. One fat Hog of a hundred Pounds with fifty Pounds of Beef, ten Pounds of good hatchelled Hemp and ten pounds of Tow or Flax. The one third Part of Eggs laid by the Hens on the Plantation The Wool of two Sheep All these above mentioned Articles must all be provided yearly. That which my descended to my Dear Wife Barbara Joder from her happy Fatherís Inheritance is reserved to her free and uninterrupted Disposition. For the Confirmation of this I have with my own hand in the Presence of Witnesses subscribed and I ratify it with my Seal and Death So done and given in Bern Township Berks County the 10th December Ano one thousand seven hundred and seventy one---

_________________ Christian Joder (Seal)

Two rows of apple trees
from which the Owner of the
Place must make the best
apples into Cyder and deli-
ver in the Cellar to the Mother.
Hannes Yoder
Benedict (x) Lehman, his mark
Jacob Gindelsbpreger
Here we have a "Widow Barbara" who is documented, in the tax records of Berks County. She outlived her husband by about nine years-her name appearing on the tax roster through 1781.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -acres horse-cattle
1779 - Bern - Barbara Joder -200 - -2-6 - - - -tax 1,360 w/oYR12
- - - - - - - John Yoder, tory --- - - - ---- tax ---YR17
- - - - - - -(single freemen)
- - - - - - - Jacob Yorder - - - - - - - - - -tax 15 shillings YR121
- - - - - - - Christian Yorder - - - - - - - -tax 15 shillings YR122
- - - - - - - Yost Yorder - - - - - - - - - - tax 15 shillings YR127
- - - - - - - - -
1780 - Bern - Jno Joder - - -100 - -3-6 - - - tax 26.0.0 YR17
- - - - - - -Barb'a Joder - 100 - -1-4 - - - tax 15.0.0 w/o YR12
- - - - - - (single freemen)
- - - - - - - Yost Yorder - - - - - - - - - - tax 15.0.0 YR127
- - - - - - - - -
1781 - Bern - Barbara Joder -100 - -2-4 - - - tax 4.15.0 w/o YR12
- - - - - - - John Joder - - 100 - -3-5 - - - tax 4.19.2 YR17
- - - - - - -(single freemen)
- - - - - - - Jost Joder - - - - - - - - - - -tax 2.5.0 YR127
- - - - - - - Jacob Yoder - - - - - - - - - - tax 2.10.0 YR121
- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - horses
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - cattle
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - sheep - No. people
1784 - Bern - -Jost Joder - -150 - -1-3-4 - - 2 YR127
- - - - - - - -John Joder - -150 - -2-3-3 - - 11 YR17
- - - - - - - - -
1785 - Bern - -Yost Joder - - - - - - - - - - tax 1.10.0 YR127
- - - - - - - -John Joder - - - - - - - - - - tax 2.0.0 YR17
- - - - - - - -Henry Joder - - - - - - - - - -tax 1.10.0 YR128
- - - - - - - - -

The Hertzler genealogy of 1885 says that by 1789 six of Christian's children were living in Somerset County (Bedford then).


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - acres - horses/cattle/sheep - Comments
1779 - Quemahoning - John Yoder - 150 - - -2-2- - - - - - - - -YR125
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1783 - Quemahoning - John Yeother -200 - - 2-2-2 - - tax 2.0.0 - YR125

Brothers Valley -single freemen
- - - - - - - - Christian Yoeder - 200 - - - - - - - tax 2.3.0 - YR122 (?)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - houses whites
1784 - Quemahoning - John Yother - -200 - - - 1 - - -7 - - - - - - YR125

Brothers Valley
- - - - - - - - - - -Christian Toder - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - YR122 (?)
We find that four of the others later moved to Mifflin County. This was much closer, but the land had not been opened for settlement until the 1790's.

YR121- Jacob, the oldest, married Franey Hochstetler and in 1785 he bought 360 acres in Somerset County--land that was situated on both sides of the Casselman River. Three of his children moved on to Holmes County, Ohio. His son Joseph, known as "Axie", was featured in YNL 10, Oct. 87.

YR122- Christian, according to AAMG, is said to possibly have been the fellow who purchased land in Brothers Valley Township of what would later be Somerset County. From the tax records shown above, unmarried "Christian Yorder" vanishes from Berks County after the 1779 tax year. A single Christian Yoder appears in Brothers Valley in 1783. But by the 1790 Census this man has gone. What became of him?

We believe the answer to this question lies in an early will record from Stark County, OH. Stark County Will book Record A p 75, Written on Sep.7, 1824:

"In the name of God Amen I Christian Yotter of Canton township in the County of Stark in the State of Ohio.... I give and bequeath unto John Gerber and Christian Yotter Jr. all and singular my goods and chattels and personnel estate...."

( signature )

For many years, we tried to make an Alsatian Yoder link with this entry, as Stark County was where many of these immigrants settled. It did, however, seem earlier than they were known to be there. By the 1830's one Christian Yotter (YA7) from Alsace was living in the county. The research by Huckel (see YNL28) now establishes the father of this Christian as John (Jean) who married Catherine Klopfenstein and died in France..not a "Christian". So who are the parties in the 1824 will???

In the 1820 census, Christian Yoder (identified by AAMG as YR1256), a nephew, is living in Canton Twp. The John Gerber in Stark County at this time is the husband of Anna Yoder (YR173) who would have been a first cousin of our Christian. It now seems obvious that this is the will of our bachelor Christian leaving his estate to two kinsmen, including nephew Christian Jr (meaning "the younger"-not son).

YR123- Elizabeth was the first wife of Christian Hertzler, son of Jacob, the Bishop. Three of their children married Zooks and three of their daughters married men with the name of Christian Yoder---"Butcher Christ", "Cooper Christ", and "Keifer Christ"! The seven children grew up in Berks County, but scattered into five other countries.

YR124- Barbara married Christian Hertzler's older brother Jacob. They remained in the Hamburg neighborhood and are buried in the original Hertzler burial ground - also known as the cemetery of the original Northkill Amish Congregation- just west of Hamburg. Seven of their twelve children died as infants. The one surviving daughter, Barbara, married John Stuzman and moved to Fairfield Co., Oh.

YR125- John (Han's) married Magdalena Stutzman. He bought land in Somerset County on the same day as did his brother Jacob (Feb. 4, 1785) but in 1812 he moved on to Ohio. They and apparently a son settled about a mile north of Shanesville, on the west side of the present Highway 93. A white fence encloses the well-kept cemetery on the hill behind the house, where it overlooks the farmstead and the road below (see YNL 18 article). This homestead was still in the hands of the family as late as 1957 and still may be. Of Han's eight children, five married Yoders from three distinctly different branches.

YR126- Franey married John Miller, son of "Indian John" or sometimes called "Wounded John". Franey's John was known as "Annas" and their eleven children lived in Holmes County.

YR127- Joseph married Elizabeth Iutzi from a pioneer family, and he died in Mifflin County on about Oct. 28, 1823 (a correction from AAMG date)(see YNL14- page 5).

Five of Joseph's children stayed in Mifflin County (Christian, Hannah, Sarah, Elizabeth, Joseph). John and Catherine, who married Stutzmans, moved to Lagrange Co., Indiana. The 1824 Orphan's Court petition showed eldest sons George (b.c1782) and Jacob (b.c1784) listed as living (See YNL 14, page 5). Neither could be found in Mifflin County, however. Family histories and related genealogies do not show what became of them, and for years we've had to search for clues on where they eventually settled.

George, the oldest, seems likely to be the fellow found in 1820 and 1830 in Wayne Co,OH; in 1840 in Summit Co,OH; and later in Stephenson Co,IL. The whereabouts of the second son, Jacob, has also been in question for may years. Speculation at the YNL has focused on Jacob Yoder (1784-4/11/1864) who is buried in Lewisburg, Union County, Pa. His oldest son Peter was living in Stephenson Co, Il at the settlement of his father's estate in 1864. We hope to eventually produce a major article about these families.

YR128- Henry married Barbara Kauffman. Their six children lived in Mifflin County except for the two who married Riehls... Levina in Chester County and Solomon in Maryland. Solomon, a bishop, was active in "church planting" (YNL 8, Oct.86).

YR129- Anna married Jacob Stutzman, a brother to Jacob's wife Magdalena. They too moved to Holmes County and had five sons. The family burial plot near Walnut Creek was destroyed when Highway 39 was improved and the stone markers were taken away. Son Jost Justus went back to Somerset County, where he was Justice of the Peace for many years and he served for a short time in the Legislature.

YR12a-. David married Jacobina Esh who arrived from Switzerland in 1780. In 1811, they settled in Mifflin County, where he died in 1820. He had financial difficulties and at the time of his death was insolvent. Four of his children married Yoders and the youngest daughters maried three Yoder brothers! Son Jonathan and Joseph settled in Illinois, and Leah, the youngest child, whose children were both born in Juniata County, moved to Kansas.

YR12 b- Catherine also married a John Miller, as did her sister Franey. Catherine's husband was known as "Broad Run John", and the two men are believed to have been cousins. J. Virgil Miller found the location of the two Miller homes, side-by-side, in Holmes County. Leroy Beachy discovered the marker for Catherine's grave, an "unusually large fieldstone slab, which now is used as a cover for an enclosed spring in a ravine....near the center of the farm. The graveyard was destroyed to make room for the plow." All but one of the nine children remained in Holmes County.

Article by Rachel Kreider and Chris Yoder

See chart of Christian (YR12) Yoder family - first 3 generations

The Ortbuhl-a Steffisburg Estate

Steffisburg, a Swiss origin place for the Yoder (Joder) family, is divided into an "Upper Town" and a "Lower Town" by a picturesque stream with a dog-walk along side part of it. The Ortbuhl farm is a major block of land to the west of the "Upper Town". The birth registeries of Steffisburg show Joders connected with this farm over many years. In the 1670s and 1680s Jost Joder "im Ortbuhl" witnessed the birth of children to Anabaptists : Christian Blank and Anna Joder; Jakob Joder and Verena Kaufmann; and Hans Joder and Kathrin Russer. In 1687 Casper Joder "Im Ortbuhl" and his wife Anni Zaug (Zook) record the birth of their son Casper. As late as 1758, a Jakob Joder is marked as "Ortbuhl" in the record of the birth of his daughter Anna.

The records of European Yoder researchers Karl Joder and Ottmar Jotter show the estate of Ortbuhl as being among the "The residences (literally 'dwelling places.') of the Joder Family in Steffisburg". The following families are associated with the holdings (estate) of the Joder family in Ortbuhl:

Caspar Joder I.; Jost Joder, the magistrate of Thun; Caspar Joder & Margret Moser; Peter Joder & Magdalene Zaugg (Zook); Peter Joder & Trini Eymann; Caspar Joder III. & Anni Meyer; Pauli Joder & Francis Hennig; Caspar Joder & Margret Hennig; Hans Joder & Magret Bronnimann; Caspar Joder & Barbly Burky; Niclaus Joder & Anna Trachsel; Jost Joder & Anna Trachsel.

In Dr. Don Yoder's Jan. 1983 Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage article "The Kung- Gnagi Connection", he mentions that Adam Joder (son of Niclaus Joder and Anna Trachsel above) lived on the Ortbuhl farm. The Ortbuhl is therefore a point of origin for all the Oley Yoders, as Adam was the father of immigrants Hans and Jost. The Anabaptist links also tie many of the rest of us back to this estate.

Dr. Michael Stettler, retired director of the Bernese Historical Museum, is the present day owner of the large farm house on the Ortbuhl property. In August, 1995 he wrote that he had no knowledge regarding the Joder family link to the estate, and described its history as follows:

"Our house, Bern patrician style, was built in 1794 around an older house which belonged to Pastor Samuel Yersons (?) who gave it to his nephew Bailit (?)Gottlieb Emanuel Wagner + 1814, he gave our house his beautiful form with 4 huge columns in front. Nextby was a 17th century wooden farmhouse which burnt down and was rebuilt by Wagner in 1825, with the biggest roof of Steffisburg. It may be that the Yoders were living in that older farmhouse before they left (1751?) for the USA for confessional reasons, the Bern government persecuted the Anabaptists. I have a drawing of the older farmhouse of which I join a photograph." (photo on cover of this issue)

"It may also be that your origin is in the farmhouse in "outer Ortbuhl" (while we are in "inner Ortbuhl") built in early 15th century belonging to a Reusser family. Could your family not be as offspring of that outer Ortbuhl? "

Dr. Stettler goes on to speak of his visit many years before from Dr. Don Yoder, and the year before by Richard B. Yoder (see Oley Reunion article). In November he wrote again to mention an August 95 visit by Judith S. and David A. Gurka from Yoder family of Berks County Pennsylvania. We are certainly greatful to Dr. Stettler for sharing this information and interesting photo with us.



The Yoder Newsletter- Founded 1983 by
Ben F Yoder (1913-1992); Chris Yoder & Rachel Kreider

Chris Yoder, Editor, Battle Creek, MI; John W. Yoder, Circulation Manager, Middlebury, IN; Rachel Kreider, Senior Contributing Editor, Goshen, IN; Esther E. Yoder, Mail Manager, Goshen, IN; Donald Kauffman, YNL Homepage Webmaster, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Other Contributors: 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

-FOR CIRCULATION ISSUES ONLY such as new or renewed subscriptions, changes of address, orders for back issues to: Yoder Newsletter, P.O. Box 594, Goshen, IN 46527-0594.
- ALL OTHER- 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, 203 Lakeshire Rd., Battle Creek, MI 49015 (or by electronic mail to "75757.3371@compuserve.com").

-The YNL subscription is on an annual basis-two issues for $3.
-BACK ISSUES of the YNL are $1 per issue.
-Yoder Newsletter Issues 1 Through 25 - bound 240 page volume includes a topical index of major articles, an "every name index". (Price $25 plus $3 postage and handling for each book). Order from: The Yoder Newsletter, P.O.Box 594, Goshen, IN 46527.

To The Editor--Yoder Dairy, Norfolk, VA

It was with interest that I read your article on Yoder Food Mixer in the last YNL. Then I really perked up when I read about the Yoder Dairy Milk Bottles.. My father and uncle, Eli and Elmer Yoder, started a retail route in the city of Norfolk in 1929.

The announcement was on about Jun 19th, 1929- "We propose to establish a Daily Retail Delivery System in Norfolk City Proper for sale of Pure Sweet Grade A Milk, Cream, Butter, Cottage Cheese, Eggs and other products of our farms. Quality will be such as you have been getting from the Mennonite Market Stands Years Past."
Signed by my father, Eli M. Yoder.

They went on to sell on their first day of delivery 12 qt of milk on June 19, 1929. The name is still being used but none of the original owners are living any longer. They are still making Home Deliverys and bottle in glass and paper. The only dairy in the state doing so. The business started small bottling by hand and capping the bottles by hand. It soon outgrew the samll 16 x 20 and they built a larger facility, the later built a larger at another location and still operate there.
There was another dairy selling milk by the name Yoder in Newport News along about the same time, but has long been out of business.

Sincerely- Ernest E. Yoder



Talented area sketch artist Lynn Lorah created a number of original works to commemorate the Oley Valley "Heritage Tour". These beautiful sketches are still available. The following themes and prices apply:

--11x14s prints are $16: Hans Yoder Homestead; Hans Yoder Jr. Homestead; Griesemer's Covered Bridge; Lobachsville Mill.

--8x10 prints:
the 8x10 are $12: Jacob and Marie Yoder Homestead; Sawmill at Hans Yoder Homestead; Pigpen at Hans Yoder Homestead; Hans Yoder Homestead.

--Note Cards (four different designs/ eight cards total) and Lobachsville Mill Note Cards (four different designs/ eight cards total) at $8 for set fo 8 cards plus envelopes. All prints are unframed.

Add $2.50 postage and handling for one print (or card order). Add $1 for each additional. Order from: Lynn Lorah, RD2, Box 144, Oley, Pa 19547. Phone (610) 987-6175.


Thanks to the technical Magic of "YODER Webmaster" Donald Kauffman, our Homepage continues to prosper. Since the last issue of the YNL scores of cousins have come in contact with us for the first time through the wonders of the Internet. Added records incorpoarted include: 1900-OH census (Thanks to Dorothy Coffman), several Iowa Censuses (Thanks to William Johnson); 1900-IN census (Thanks to Keith Yoder); an assortment of smaller state cenusues; and selected other county records. Donald Honeywell, a premier researcher of the "Yoders" line of Southwestern Pa, has also provided an extensive update of descent for that family. The "every name index" from the hardcopy compilation of YNL 1-25 has also been added..with "links"to the text of each issue.

Our Web address is: http://www.genealogy.org/~yoder/

If you have not come and visited yet, please do so!!

Over 80 Members on the YODER LISTSERVER

A "listserver" is an electronic mail discussion group. This one is focused on the Yoder family. If you have "email" you can subscribe by means of a simple process. To SUBSCRIBE to the list, send a message to "yoder-l- request@rootsweb.com" and put "subscribe" on the first line of the body of the message (not the subject line - anything you put in the subject line is ignored). THERE IS NO CHARGE to be on this mail group. Its purpose is to exchange family information of either current or historic interest.
Thanks to "ginseng" for helping setup and administer our listerserver function. Period messages sent have included: Reminders to celebrate St. Joder's Day (August 16); Historical Notes ("On This Day in Yoder History"); and requests for help on family inquiries.

-Submitted by Richard B. Yoder
The Oley Reunion Association is announcing plans to publish a cookbook of "Yoder Family Recipes". The effort will be chaired by Alice Yoder of Soudertown,Pa. Alice and her committee of Nancy Yoder, Rose Yoder, and Mary Jane Gofus are soliciting Yoder Family recipes that have been favorites over the years. So, we are asking "all" Yoder's everywhere to dig up Aunt Nora's, Aunt Ada's and Aunt Sarah's favorite dish and submit for printing, so that we all might enjoy the traditional Yoder Family cuisine. If interested in participating, please send all recipes, with your name, address and origin of the recipe to: Alice Yoder, 433 Manor House Lane, Soudertown, Pa. 18964.
The authors of the submitted published recipes will be properly acknowledges in the text. Upon publishing, the cookbook will be sold as a fundraiser for the Pleasantville Union Cemetary fund. This burial ground of the original family cemetery of Johannas and Yost Yoder, the first Yoders to come to the new Continent and the site of the oldest known tombstone in America. (Daniel Yoder, 1747, designation OH4).

Have you ever found a cemetery record which says something like "Died June 7, 1888 age 81 yr 4 mo 12 days" and wondered how to find the date of birth? There is a mathematical formula which will help you do
this. It works as follows:
1888 06 07 (year-4 digits, month-2 digits, day-2 digits)
- 81 04 12 (age in years, months, days)
1807 01 95 (subtract the 2nd line from the first)
- 88 70 (always the same numbers-"8870")
1806 13 25
+1-12 (13 months = 1 year and 1 month, carry the year)
1807 01 25 Answer= date of birth was Jan. 25, 1807

Oley Yoder Reunion

(Kathy Schlusser, Rich Yoder, Nancy Yoder, & young Paul T. Schlusser)

Pleasantville, Pa. (Yodertville-Yodertown) was the site of the annual Oley Yoder Family Reunion on July 12th. The Oley Reunion Association was host of the day long social/historical event, highlighted by an abundance of socialization, family renewals and a chronicled review of "some of" the latest narrative research, by Richard H. Yoder, noted historian of the Yoder's and their early Oley valley settlements.Nancy Yoder, the association's secretary, reports that 60 clansmen attended the affair. Those in attendance were mostly descendants of brothers Hans and Yost Yoder, the first Yoders known to establish homes in America. The attendees visited the Pleasantville Union Cemetery where the immigrants are believed to be buried.
President Richard B. Yoder introduced officers and committee members, who each introduced themselves and explained their family relationship. All enjoyed a buffet lunch planned by the lunch committee, chaired by Alice Trout. Richard H. Yoder, Vice-President and Historian, presented a slide show which reviewed early maps of Yoder properties and discussed the trials and tribulations of the early settlers. Maps were also distributed for a "drive by" car excusionm to several sites with historic Yoder significance. These included: the Hans Joder Homestead; Cleaver Fulling Mill; the Odd Fellows Hall; Pleasantville Inn; "Common School of Oley Township"; locations of the Yost Joder and Solomon Yoder homestead; and the Hans Yoder Jr Homestead which is next to the covered bridge on Toll House Road. The tour ended at the Pleasantville Union Cemetery where Dick, author of a booklet about this site, discussed its historical significance.
The reunion was enjoyed by all in attendance. The committee solicited reactions to determine future frequency of these events. In 1996, the Association sponsored a national reunion attended by over 300 people from 25 states. Planning meetings are held at the historic Pleasantville Inn.
Anyone interested in particpating in planning and activities are encouraged to attend. Contact the secretary, Nancy Yoder, (610) 323-7737 for further details.
The Oley Yoders are announcing that the 1998 annual family reunion will be held July 18, 1998, somewhere in the Pleasantville area. Put it on your calendar NOW! -Submitted by Richard B. Yoder


2000- The Yoders of North Carolina have asked that the year 2000 be reserved for them to host another National Yoder Reunion (see YNL 26). This year will be in concert with the celebration of their 50th annual reunion.

1999- The Yothers Family of the Bucks/Lehigh County, Pa Mennonite Yoder Line (see Hans of Great Swap) are evaluating whether they have the resources to host a National Reunion in 1999. Members of the Mennonite (or any other) Yoder line who are willing to offer their help are invited to contact: Mrs. Alverna Hunsberger, 4389 Applebutter Rd., Perkasie,PA,18944.

Activities of the "House of Yoder"
-Report by Carl Yoders

Newly Elected Officers & The House of Yoder Executive Committee
(From the left: Doris Ours, Pres.; Harvey L. Yoder, Vice Pres. (not pictured); Phylis Weaver; Kenneth Yoder, Bldg. Supt.; Loonie Yoder, Publicity/Membership; Paul H. Yoder, Secretary; Edgar Yoder, Treasurer; Gerald Yoder. (not pictured- Lowell Bender & Carl M. Yoders).

This photo was taken at the Mar.12, 1997 meeting held in the Great Hall at the Spruce Village, Grantsville, Md.. The Committee requests that all Yoder-Yoders help to make this most worthwhile project a success through financial support or volunteering their labor, materials, etc."Please Give Your Support". The Next Annual Meeting is scheduled to be held Nov. 8, 1997. "You are Encouraged to Attend".

The update of our family group information to add couples with a first child by 1900 is well under way. Work is in process on about 300 assembled family group sheets. Rachel Kreider is reviewing the Amish line against her notes. We hope to have these records typed and incorporated within our Data on Disk and our Homepage Archives by the spring YNL.

Hamilton County Ohio Probate Court Record:

Henry Yoden married Elizabeth Snudee on the 28th day of November 1833 by Silas Andrews.

The John S.Yoder Home Restoration
-Status Report by Blaine Miller, Treas

Progress in revitalizing the Old Yoder Homestead at its new location in rural Sugarcreek is proceeding more slowly than planned, due, for the most part, to the lack of funds (See YNL 26). However, since the house was moved across town in May of '95, the Amish Heritage Foundation has installed a beautiful basement, using the original cut foundation stone, with a solid red brick floor. The house has been painted, a new front porch with a slate roof has been added and landscaping and sidewalk building has been done.
Our next endeavor will be the restoration of the kitchen and "parlor". We hope to make solid strides in those rooms this fall and be ready to open in the spring.
Our spring fund raiser, "The Fussganger Fest" in May, was disappointing. The wind nearly blew our vendors away and attendance was not good.
We currently have for sale: beautiful woodcut replicas with brass inscription for $20.00; 4 x 6 Yoder Home throws for $45.00; wood-framed prints of the Yoder Home, painted by local artists Tom Miller and Mahlon Troyer, are $75.00 and up. Add $5.00 for shipping and handling.
Tax deductible contributions can be made to The Amish Heritage Foundation, Box 704, Sugarcreek, OH 44681. (orehill@mail.tusco.net)

SPECIAL NOTE: Thanks to the continuing support of our readers, the YNL is in good financial condition and has just contributed $500 toward the furtherance of the House of Yoder Project.

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, 203 Lakeshire Rd., Battle Creek,Mi 49015

Adelheid Jauther born in Dussldorf about 1849-1850 and was about 3 when she emmigrated. Her family and her husband's family were Catholic. She settled in New York City at least until my gmother was born because her birth certificate is dated April 4, 1887. By this time she had married CHARLIE MAHN, also said to have emmigrated from Dussldorf. We have lost contact with both the MAHN and the JAUTHER families. Christine Wallace (wallace@wwnet.com)

Have a Yoder with no information or first name. My Yoder married a Pattie Epehimer around 1800 give or take a few years. Pattie was the daugther of William Epehimer and Ann Campbell. If any of this makes a light come on please let me know.Wesley A. Leiser,722 Jura Way, Sunnyvale, Calif. 94087, Wesleiser@aol.com

Looking for William Eli Yoder, born about 1922 around Hartville, OH. Son of David Yoder and Catherine Sommers. Wm. m Ruby Shortridge. William has a sister who lived at one time around Sugar Creek. He and brothers at one point drove trucks out of Detroit area.Donna Leaser, 10516 Burrows Rd, Berlin Heights, OH 44814

Have been searching for info about a Yost Jotter/Yotter, d. Bushkill Twp Northampton Co Pa 1800-1810. Wife's given name Eva Catharine. Had dau Anna Maria m. Henry Werner. Jost warrant 65a Moore Twp 1785. Member Moorestown Reformed Cong. Harry Werner, 940 Cortz Dr, Denver,CO 80221

My Great grandmother Mary Trommeter m. Jacob Faust Neifert. I believe Mary had a sister named Celcia who married a Samuel Yodar. They lived in Liberty, Pa. Ultimately am trying to find Celcia which may lead me to Mary's parents. I would be happy to know more about Samuel as he and his kin are mentioned in my GGrandmother's diaries. Can you help? I don't know Samuel's parents or anything like that. Barbara Lavin, 393 Kent Lane, Perkasie, Pa 18944,

Folks submitting Family Group Information:
Jeff Yoder, Farmington, Pa--David Yoder (YR26119)
Robert Rees, Bertlesville,OK- Abraham D. Yoder (YR2337475)
Karolyn Roberts, Jasper, IN- Noah Yoder (YB134532)
Peggy Yoder Stauffer, Willow Grove, Pa - Reuben Yoder (OH1331b)
D. Handalong, deanneh@post.cis.smu.edu- Saml Yoder (YR235646)
Lloyd M. Kelly, Auburn, WA- Elizabeth Yoders Sharp (M24)
Marge Puka, Twin Falls, Id- John Yoder (YR14234)
Laurie Dyche, lauriedyche@juno.com- Levi John Yoder (YR233335)
Marvin Ogburn, Arlington,VA- (YR15,19,252,1463,YRB1,YRB14)
Julann L Dunn, Bay Village, Oh - Mary Yoder (YR2345151)
Alan Adrianson, AAdrianson@aol.com- Moses Yoder (YR235446)
Rhoda Howard, Eugene, Or- John Yoder (YA4)
Katie Sessler, Mansfield, TX - Frederick and Maria Shartle Yoder (B)

Some Rhoads Descendants of Yost Yoder of Oley, Berks County, Pa.-by Rodney F. Rhoads

Elizabeth Yoder was the granddaughter of Yost Yoder of Steffisburg, Switzerland who settled in Oley, Berks county,PA wa. She was born to his son John Yost Yoder and Catherine Euster (Oyster) in Oley township on December 26, 1751. Elizabeth married Matthias Roth (Rhoads) of Amity Township, Berks County,PA . The exact date of marriage is not currently known. Seven children were born to this union, of whom six are known.

The Rhoads family who became linked to the Yoders arrived in America in 1717 at Philadelphia. In Wuerttemburg, specifically in Bonfeld, the family surname was ROTH. Johann Jacob Roth (Jr) was a first settler in Amity township, Berks county, PA and purchased land there immediately upon arrival in 1717. His second son, Johann Jacob Roth (III), born in Bonfeld in 1711. remained in Amity and married Anna Elizabeth ________ prior to 1738. Their son Matthias, b. 1742 married Elizabeth Yoder and had children: Mary, Esther, Jacob, Joseph, Abraham, John.

It is interesting to note that by this time all parties were using their surname of RHOADS ,although in the church they still continued to be recorded as ROTH. For example, the church records of the German Reformed Church -Schwartzwald -Rev. William Boos - has a burial ...ROTH, Matthias, his wife-December 21,1751-December 6, 1790 39 years,less 20 days... (Elizabeth Yoder Rhoads). and also had a baptism of note: Parent-Matthias Roth- Joseph,born Nov. 12,1785, baptized October 21,1787. Sponsor, the father.Matthias Rhoads served as Lt. Col. in Col. Jacob Weavers's battalion, 5th Battalion Berks County Militia in 1777 and was present at the battle of Brandywine and probably at the route in Paoli, serving on duty in the Great Valley afterwards. Matthias died in 1804, some 14 years after his wife Elizabeth Yoder. The siblings were then scattered to the environs of a neighboring county. Joseph Rhoads, the author's antecedent, was still minor technically, at this time and Jacob Griesemer, his sister's husband was appointed guardian at his request. Joseph had followed, with the death of his father, several of his brothers and sisters to Northumberland county. Note also, that Matthias Rhoads had George Yoder and son John Yoder, "trusty friend" appointed as executors to his will dated 1804.

Joseph Rhoads was known locally as "the German Major" because he served in the War of 1812 and finally achieved the rank of Major with the local militia. Joseph was mentioned in the will of his grandfather John Yost Yoder which was probated April 13,1812 in Reading. The Yoder family history has touched that of the Rhoads family in many ways and we are the better for it with the inspiration of those rugged "Schweizers" and their travails and accomplishments cited lovingly in the Yoder newsletter for the benefit of all of us.


Beginning with a contribution by Gordon Yoder of Dallas, Texas, the YNL is launching a project to restore and mark the "Old Yoder Cemetery" north of Brotherton in Somerset County, Pa. Although most of the headstones are unmarked, the cemetery is believed the likely resting place of "Schweitzer Christian" Yoder (YR23).
Plans call for a weekend clean-up crew sometime in the spring or summer of 1998, and the setting of a brass historical marker. If your would be interested in helping out, contact Chris Yoder, 203 Lakeshire Rd., Battle Creek, MI 49105.

Raymond James Yoder-Sep.6, 1996 (p8, YNL17)(YR233746c line)
Richard Kinsey Yotter- May 26, 1995 (unlinked line A)
Edie Yoder Godfrey- Dec. 19, 1996 (OH145261 line)
Rebecca B. Yoder- Aug. 1996, age 96
Ruthie (Stutzman) Yoder- 9/4/1997 (wdw of Clyde, son of OH133841)

Item from the "Reading Adler"- Peter Yoder of Oley twsp. suicide Oct.24, 1817
Pickway Co.,Oh. Marriage Records through 1820:
Catherine Yoder m. May 20, 1819 Andrew Dill/Deill/Dull (M32?)
Marhta (Martha?)Yoder m. ???? Daniel Somers (?Who was she?)

Marriages Licenses in Seneca Co., Oh-Through 1860
Groom - - - - - Bride - - - - - -date - - - - - - -official
Adam Yoder - - -Mary Hollinger - 1/12/1843+ - - - - ----
- - - - remark--"lady preferring another"
Adam Yoder - - -Ann Icenhart - - 1/22/1843 - - - -Clark, S.B. JP
John Yotter - - Elizabeth Beigh - 1/23/1849 - - - Nicholas Noel JB
Jacob Yotter - -Amanda F. Williams 10/11/1855 - - Michael Long MG
Anthony Huber - Susanah Yotter - -3/20/1856 - - - Wm.Jones,MG
(Adam--" "; John, Jacob and Susanah- belived children of "M31")

Original Land Entries, Adams Twp., Seneca Co.,Oh.
Melchior Yotter, s.w.1/4 s.w.1/4 sec. 21, Jan.25,1833
Melchior Yotter, s.e.1/4 s.e. 1/4 sec. 20, March 25,1833

Montgomery Co., Oh. Marriage Records:
Elizabeth Yoder m. Aug.20,1857 to Charles Kilian

Columbiana Co., Oh. Marriages, 1800-1870
Yoder, Henry & Susannah Wisler m. 15 June 1830 by Jacob Crola?,
Society of the Mennonist (2/394) (YB1323)--formerly unlinked "BL"
Catharine Yoder of Salem Twp m. Samuel Heaton of Fairfield Twp, on 18
Sep 1828 by John Keller MG (?Who was she?)

Xenia Ohio "Torch Light"
Christopher Kepragle m. Abigail Yoder 1/16/1845 both of Fairfield, Oh.
service by Rev. D. Winters

Who can identify:

G.W. Yoder who m. Hannah G. Cearon, res. Eaton, Preble Co., Oh.
(aka? George Yoder m Hannah J. Segar-Warren Co)

Yoder Clan Unites At Historic Area Church

Hickory Daily Record -- Saturday, Aug. 23, 1997

At a family gathering held recently in the Hickory area, plans were given by a prominent educator regarding how one of Catawba County's oldest churches is celebrating throughout 1997 its 200 years of Christian ministry.

Speaking before the 47th annual convention of the N.C. Yoder family at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hickory, Dr. J. Larry Yoder talked at length about the special events that are transpiring this year in Grace Lutheran Church to mark the bicentennial of the Newton area congregation. Established in 1797 as a union church by members of the Lutheran and reformed denominations, the original Grace edifice was a two-story log building situated on property acquired from Samuel Jarrett for $8.

Yoder, a member of the faculty at Lenoir-Rhyne College and pastor of Grace since 1992, mentioned that the anniversary year, dubbed "200 years of Grace" got under way on Jan. 12 with a welcome from the presiding bishop of the Lutheran Church. Five former pastors of the congregation are scheduled this year to return to the area and preach from the Grace pulpit. Yoder commented that in two centuries only 20 pastors had led the Lutheran church. The first minister, the Rev. John Godfrey Arndt, established the congregation together with a Swiss Reformed cleric, the Rev. Andrew Loretz. The Reformed element (now a part of the United Church of Christ) ceased to worship at Grace Church in the early 1970s. At that time, the Reformed interest in the Grace property was turned over to the Lutherans "with a suggestion that the latter take care of it until such time as it (the 1856 brick church) fell down," Yoder said.

Rather than allow the landmark to deteriorate, the structure is marked for restoration or repair. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990, the Grace sanctuary will be rejuvenated partly with private funds. The congregation expects to raise one-half of the estimated costs of repairs. The undoing of a circa-1940 renovation, which involved the alteration of the original double front entrances into a single access, is among changes planned by the congregation to the historic structure.

Rachael Hahn Kennedy of Charlotte presided over the business session. Ms. Kennedy recognised guests with the July and August birthdays, which included Hubert Yount and Dan Yoder, 91, and Louis Baker and Levi Yoder, 90.

Myra Elizabeth Yoder, the daughter of MR. and Mrs. Jeffrey Reed (Rhoda) Yoder of Hickory, was the youngest guest. "Beth" was born on Nov. 25, 1996.

W. Edward Harper, Jr., the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, offered a blessing and invocation. A picnic followed in the parish building. Approximately 126 people attended the reunion, which is on the second Sunday of August.

First time visitors to the Yoder reunion were Nellie P. Settlemyre, Larry Huffman, John Yoder and daughter, Shannon. Also attending their first Yoder reunion were Mr. and Mrs. Ed (Lane) Graves and their daughters Amanda and Alyssa. Residents of Lawrenceville, Ga., Mrs. Graves is a direct descendant of Jacob Yoder, the second son of Swiss immigrant Conrad Yoder.

Mr. and Mrs. W. A. "Bill" (Marilyn) Yoder of Hickory were recognised for cleaning and mowing the old Yoder private cemetery.

Ted M. Yoder delivered a monologue recounting early Yoder history. Portraying a renowned Catawba historian of the 19th century, Col. George Monroe Yoder (1826-1920), he also talked about the founding of Zion Church in 1790 and a union Sunday School at Grace Church over which Col. Yoder acted a superintendent.

Bill Yoder, Vice-president, reported that last October, 17 members of the local family were hosts to Dr. Don Yoder. Affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, Don Yoder was in the area at the invitation of the Weidner (Whitener) clan, which was holding a three-day national reunion. The Yoder family met at a local restaurant for food and fellowship.

Bill Yoder reminded the Yoder clan that Aug. 16 was observed in the Swiss Reformed Church as St. Joder's Day. The patron saint of the early European Yoder family, Theodorus or Theodor, had a devoted following, many of whom adopted his name as their own family name.

A national reunion of the Mennonite Yoders will transpire in 1999 in Bucks and Lehigh counties of Pennsylvania, the vice president announced. The 50th annual reunion of the N.C. Yoder family is slated for the year 2000 as a special feature of a national reunion of the Yoder clan to occur in the Hickory area on the dawn of the 21st century.

A former president of the Catawba County clan, Richard E. Yoder of Hickory, encouraged people to contribute liberally to Yoder-related causes. Rachael Kennedy, president,, asked visitors to share their family photographs. Secretary Neal D. Wilfong of Cleveland promoted the House of Yoder, a planned archives and museum complex now under construction i the Spruce Penn Alps. Individual, family, and life memberships are available.

Fourteen births, 14 marriages, and 37 deaths were announced in the extended Yoder and Reep families since the last homecoming.

The next meeting of the N.C. Yoder clan is set for the second Sunday in August 1998 at Zion Lutheran Church in Hickory.


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