45 responses to 10 Common Amish Surnames

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    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 06:09)

    I know several Amish Miller women who marry Millers.

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    Mandy C
    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 06:43)

    I know in Crawford County, PA there are many with the last names of Miller, Byler, Yoder, and Swartzentruber. It’s interesting to see the most (and least) common names in all of the plain folks.

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    Erin
    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 07:25)

    Those all sound familiar as well as Lambright and Stutzman.

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    Robin Miller
    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 08:12)

    Hmmmm … my “estranged” father in law is from Indiana and we really don’t knot much about that side of the family. Wondering if there’s some Amish ancestry? We’re going to start up Ancestry.com so maybe we’ll learn “the rest of the story”? My husband does remember his father saying that the name was “Muller” and changed to “Miller” and that they came from Germany.

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    Fran Handrick
    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 08:16)

    What about the surname ‘Esh’? that seems to be quite prevalent in Pennsylania.

    • The Amish surname Esh/Esch/Eash

      David Luthy writes that the Esh/Esch/Eash surname is supposed to have come from two sources: 1-Esche, which is German for “ash tree”, and 2-a town named Aeschi in Canton Bern in Switzerland.

      And you are right this name is most prominent in the Lancaster County diaspora and is also found in northern Indiana (Eash) and a bit in Kansas (and probably here and there elsewhere).

      Another way of spelling it was Oesch, though I don’t think any Amish bear that version of the name today.

      From “Esch Family History”, Family Life Dec. 1991

      There’s also more info at http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/E758ME.html

      The Amish surname Esh/Esch/Eash

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    Patti
    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 12:54)

    Erik is HORNBERGER an Amish name? My older daughter is
    married to a man with that last name. Just curious. Thanks
    Patti in VA

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    Least Common Amish Name (May 8th, 2013 at 15:48)

    Least Common Amish Name

    If you disregard converts to the Amish, one of the least common Amish names has to be Riegsecker. The Riegsecker Amish originally settled in Fulton County — see David Luthy, “Settlements That Failed.” As far as I know, there is only one Amish family left with the name Riegsecker.

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    common names (May 8th, 2013 at 19:09)

    common names

    I think there are some store owned by Riegsecker in Shipshewanna

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    Alice Mary
    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 20:11)

    One of the first guys I ever dated was Koenig, though I doubt he was of Amish ancestry. There’s a local opthamologist by the name of Albrecht. I don’t doubt it’s rare among the Amish…it’s not too common around here, either.

    It’s interesting to hear how names “evolve.” My Grandma Mary & her family came to America from Germany in 1904…she was about 10 or 11. Her family’s surname was “Szczech”, but was changed to “Shack” by the immigration officials on this side of the pond.

    I’ll keep my eyes open for any “Riegseckers”in Shipshewana when I’m there next week(this is like a treasure hunt!)

    Alice Mary

    10 Common Amish Surnames

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      Carol Sue
      10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 20:37)

      Alice Mary

      Blue Gate is owned by a Riegsecker, who also owns lots of other businesses in Shipshewana. He is not Amish but I am sure he has Amish roots.

      Stop by Yoder’s Meat and Cheese Shoppe if you have time or have never been there.

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        10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 23:09)

        His father was Amish, at least one sister is still Amish, and his brother is the one remaining Amish Riegsecker that I know of.

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    Carol Sue
    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 20:32)

    10 Common Amish Surnames

    I myself was born a Yoder, married a Miller and am now married to a Kauffman. My parents were both from the Amish. Troyer and Yoder on paternal side and Miller and Schrock on maternal side.

    I still have many Amish relatives, especially on my mother’s side. They are 2nd or 3rd cousins. Have a few 1st cousins on my dad’s side that are still Amish.

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    Alice Mary
    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 20:55)

    Thanks, Carol Sue. Yoder’s sounds delicious!

    Alice Mary

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    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 21:43)

    Barkman, Kuhns, Nisley, Hershberger, Weaver, Fehr, Wengerd, Shetler, Petersheim, Hilty, Kline, Burkholder, Kempf, Erb, Coblentz, Eicher, Mullet, Kurtz, Kaufman, Bowman, Yutzy, Chupp, Stutzman, Glick, Wagler, Frey, Detweiler, Kanagy, Garber, Helmuth, Kempf, Kuypfer …

    • How many total surnames among Amish?

      Great additions! I do wonder how many total last names are currently represented within the Old Order Amish. Hostetler’s Amish Society says there are 126 family names, but the last edition is 20 years old (at the time, there were only 144,000 Amish). Hostetler writes that 43 of the names were “American in origin” representing converts, and 18 of those represented single households. The total has certainly expanded with converts, but I’d guess it to be less than 200.

      How many total surnames among Amish?

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        Laura
        Rasler (August 30th, 2013 at 21:51)

        Rasler

        My step-grandfather was a Troyer born and raised in Middlebury, IN.
        I have a grandparent George Rasler 1808-1882 that was from Landcaster County. His father, Daniel spoke dutch. I am wondering if Rasler is an Amish surname. George was married to Margaret Neff 1814-1892. I have a Neff family book. Is Neff Amish? Margaret was born in Somerset Co. PA.

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    stephanie
    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 8th, 2013 at 23:23)

    We always joke that there are only 10the last names here in Holmes county! Many are on the list but at least 3 or 4 are pretty uncommon here. We are converts to the Beachy church. Everyone is from the old or new order so have the same few last names. We are the only people with our last name in the whole county so we mind our P’s and Q’s because everyone knows who we are lol!

    • Common Indiana Amish names

      That’s funny Stephanie, I guess that keeps you in line. I think the Indiana communities of Daviess County and Adams County are probably about the worst (or best, depending how you see it) when it comes to repetitive last names.

      For a sidebar in my Amish business book I tallied up the names in Daviess Co, and found that 6 surnames accounted for nearly 90% of the families there. And I just checked and looks like about 70% of the Adams County people share just 4 surnames (Schwartz, Wickey, Hilty and Eicher).

      Common Indiana Amish names

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    Linda
    Hochstetler/Hostetler/Hochstedler (May 9th, 2013 at 18:17)

    Hochstetler/Hostetler/Hochstedler

    It is often said that most people with Amish or Amish Mennonite connections, west of Lancaster County, Pa., are descendants of the pioneer Jacob Hochstetler family. The name is pronounced in Pennsylvania German as ‘hush-tetler’. http://www.hostetler.jacobhochstetler.com/

    The Sixth Nationwide Gathering of the descendants of all branches and spellings of the 1738 Swiss German Immigrant Jacob Hochstetler will be held on July 19 and 20, 2013, in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. http://www.2013gathering.com/

    Hochstetler/Hostetler/Hochstedler

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    Sadie
    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 9th, 2013 at 21:59)

    Yay!
    #4, #6, and #10 — all in my background! (lol)
    But, of those, only “my” Beilers/Boilers/Bylers and Fishers were Amish.
    I have no idea where my Troyers come from. I know I’ve never had any relatives at all in Indiana, only in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and a few, long ago, in Virginia.

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      Sadie
      10 Common Amish Surnames (May 9th, 2013 at 22:13)

      Oh and yes, Jacob Beiler/Boiler/Byler who you’ve listed up there is my who knows HOW many greats-grandfather lol. Huh, and an uncle (via marriage) by the last name of “Dreyer” — wonder if related to who you mentioned above; all I really know about him, family-wise, was that his background was mostly German, and he was a wonderful guy who left before his time (heart attack in his early 50’s).

      It’s amazing how many people I grew up knowing and/or know now who have traditional Amish surnames, but who aren’t Amish, and if their families ever were, it’d be a long time ago now. I’ve known plenty of Millers, Schwartzes, Schlabachs, Kuhns and Hiltys. I know there are others, they’re just not coming to mind right now.

      10 Common Amish Surnames

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    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 12th, 2013 at 17:40)

    Interesting list. I’m surprised not to see my name on the list. I’ve been doing a lot of genealogy research lately and so far every Amish Shetler I’ve met has been a relative!

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      10 Common Amish Surnames (May 13th, 2013 at 09:14)

      Scott, Shetler would definitely make a list of Amish names. Maybe not the most common name compared to those above, but common enough. You probably know there are quite a few Shetlers in Holmes County, OH for example, with roots back to Somerset County PA.

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    Noah
    Hochstetlers not on list of ten? (May 13th, 2013 at 21:22)

    Hochstetlers not on list of ten?

    I am surprised as there are likely over 500k descendents of immigrant Jacob, prominent as they are in the midwest states.

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      10 Common Amish Surnames (May 14th, 2013 at 07:53)

      Noah this is ten of *the* most common, not *the* ten most common.

      Hochstetler would be in the group of common Amish names and could have been included in this selection of 10. In fact I added it in the bottom bit on additional common names.

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    Susan
    Any Amish with the surname Bright? (May 16th, 2013 at 17:07)

    Any Amish with the surname Bright?

    I’ve seen there are a lot of Brights in Pennsylvania. I’ve also noticed that there are Lambrights and Albrechts among the Amish. Are there any Brights or Albrights?

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    Lindsay
    Koenig (May 20th, 2013 at 19:51)

    Koenig

    The Koenig descendants of the immigrant Samuel Koenig were Amish. I also have Mast (from Bishop Jacob Mast), Yoder, and Kurtz ancestors who were Amish.

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    katherine hughes
    macungie,pa. (September 25th, 2013 at 00:03)

    macungie,pa.

    my mother and grandfather are buried in Macungie in Lancaster county. the name is larose and they spoke Pennsylvania dutch. Is this an amish name and what is Pennsylvania dutch

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    Judy Burroughs
    Hummel (February 25th, 2014 at 19:32)

    Hummel

    I have a great grandfather from Germany with a sir name if “Hummel”. I often wondered if he could have Amish connections?
    He lived in North Western Pennsylvania and until he married there does not seem to be much information on his life. I have been to Holmes Ohio and love it there.

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      Hummel surname (February 27th, 2014 at 11:55)

      Hummel surname

      Judy, hmmm, I don’t recall ever seeing that name historically connected to the Amish, though GAMEO (Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online) does mention Mennonites with that surname: http://www.gameo.org/index.php?title=Special%3ASearch&profile=default&search=hummel&fulltext=Search

      There is also an entry for Mennonite family “Ummel” but looks like that became “Umble” in America: http://www.gameo.org/index.php?title=Ummel_family

      Hummel surname

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    Vidya
    10 Common Amish Surnames (May 24th, 2014 at 01:22)

    Hi Erik!

    What about Storks or Stokes? (WV, PA and Ohio)

    Just curious :)

    If not Amish/ Mennonite or under the Anabaptist umbrella, where would that surname originate from?

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    rebecca Lenore Wagner
    Is "Sible" an Amish or Mennite surname? (August 26th, 2014 at 19:10)

    Is "Sible" an Amish or Mennite surname?

    I was told that my great grandmother was Amish. Her name was Margaret Elizabeth Sible.

    Margaret’s father’s name was Thomas, and her mother’s name was Tilliah (Tillie).

    Thomas’s father’s name was Henry Sible, who came from Byron, Germany.

    Some of Thomas’s siblings’ names were: Mary, Phebe, Elisabeth, John and Lewis.

    Do these names seem Amish to you?

    Thank you,

    Rebecca Lenore Wagner

    Is "Sible" an Amish or Mennite surname?

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      10 Common Amish Surnames (August 26th, 2014 at 19:57)

      Seible (http://www.lmhs.org/Home/Research/Genealogy/Genealogy_Resources/Surname_Files#) is a Mennonite name, so it is very possible that there were some among the Amish as well.
      Spelling variants are quite common, almost the norm, for German names that were anglicized.

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      Mark – Holmes Co.
      10 Common Amish Surnames (August 27th, 2014 at 13:07)

      I checked in the Amish genealogy data-base and the book Amish and Amish-Mennonite genealogies and found no listings. I wonder if she was Old Order River Brethren? That’s a name I would associate with that branch of people.

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        Rebecca Lenore Wagner
        Seible/Sible (August 27th, 2014 at 17:40)

        Seible/Sible

        I will look into the Old Order River Brethen. My Great Grandmother was born in 1879 and lived most of her life in Westmoreland County, Pennnsylvania.

        Thank you for your suggestion.

        Rebecca Lenore Wagner

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    Rebecca Lenore Wagner
    Sible/Seible (August 27th, 2014 at 05:54)

    Sible/Seible

    Just a follow-up to my original question.

    My mother told me that my Great Grandmother Sible married a man who was not Amish, Henry Wynkoop, and then was shunned her entire life by her family. My Great Grandmother had 13 children who loved her very much. My mother told me she was a very strong but gentle woman. Did Mennonites also shun their members?

    Thank you.

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      10 Common Amish Surnames (August 27th, 2014 at 10:57)

      The Mennonites also excommunicate, but tend not to shun socially as strong as the Amish. But that all varies from family to family. A conservative Mennonite will socially shun stronger than a liberal Amish family might.
      By social shunning I am referring to not having social contact with. The issue goes back to the Scripture that says “with such an one, not to eat.”
      The Reist (now called Mennonite) side of the division said that means only to not “eat” the Lord’s Supper with the excommunicated. The Amish side said that means to not eat regular meals with them.
      Both sides would excommunicate for sin after conversion, the difference was in whether to not eat socially with the excommunicated.
      The issue has plagued the Anabaptist movement since its beginning. To be honest, the Scripture is not specific as to whether “not to eat” refers to the Lord’s Supper, or whether it means any eating.
      If your great grandmother was shunned, that means at one time she would have been a member of the church, and then sinned (according to the church’s opinion) and did not show evidence of repentance.
      Marrying someone outside the faith would have been an example of something that would have caused her to be shunned. Of course, I do not know if that was the reason.
      A person cannot be shunned by the church if they were never a member.

      10 Common Amish Surnames

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        Rebecca Lenore Wagner
        Sible/Seible (August 27th, 2014 at 17:46)

        Sible/Seible

        Thank you for your reply. I will be going through old family documents for more insight into our family background. Perhaps I will be able to find something in an old bible.

        Thanks.

        Rebecca Lenore Wagner

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          10 Common Amish Surnames (August 27th, 2014 at 22:14)

          I just did a quick google search on “seible mennonite” and found clear evidence that the Seible family has Mennonite connections.

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    10 Common Amish Surnames (August 27th, 2014 at 22:11)

    Check with the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, at the link I put above. They have genealogical information on most of the Mennonite families. If you are close, you could visit there and browse their archives where they have oodles of genealogical materials. They are on the east edge of Lancaster, PA.
    Muddy Creek Library is not too far from there and they have a huge database of the Old Order Mennonites. They printed me out a 100-page document of my wife’s pedigree (she was a Martin), going back to about 15 generations. But Seible is not a prominent name among the old order Mennonites.
    I used to live in Lancaster County and the Seible name rings a bell as far as being Mennonite, or like Mark mentions, maybe River Brethren. The River Brethren are a branch off the Mennonites, and had many Mennonites and Amish join them in their early days.

    10 Common Amish Surnames

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    Amish Connection (September 18th, 2014 at 14:46)

    Amish Connection

    For some reason I feel a connection to the Amish. I use expressions such as “redd up the table which is an amish term. My decedents are from German, Weinberger, Scotch, and Pennsylvania Dutch. I know that Pa. Dutch is Amish connected. I love reading Amish Fiction Books. I have checked some geneology my mother had done and can’t find any Amish names in that report she gave us. My parents are both deceased but sure would like to know how or why I feel that connection. I am really fascinated with the Plain people. I had an Aunt and Uncle that lived in Pennsylvania but don’t know where as when we visited I was only about 7 or 8.

    Amish Connection

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