10 Common Amish Surnames

Certain Amish surnames occur with great frequency. Here are ten of the most common:

1. Miller-the most common of all Amish last names.  Joseph Stoll writes: “The German spelling was Müller, and because there were many Millers in Europe, the name was very common, with no common ancestor for many people of this name. There were a number of Anabaptists of this name in different parts of Switzerland.”  Miller is most common in the Midwest; a few Millers may be found in Lancaster County, however.

2. Stoltzfus– The most common Pennsylvania Amish surname.  Nicholas Stoltzfus (1719-1774) is believed to be the common ancestor of all those with this name among Amish and Mennonites today.   Also occasionally seen spelled as Stoltzfoos.

3. Yoder – A Swiss-origin name apparently derived from the name “Theodore”.  Amish bearing this name spell it Yoder; GAMEO gives the following historical alternatives: Ioder, Joder, Jodter, Jotter, Yoeder, Yother, Yothers, Yotter.  “Strong” Jacob Yoder (c. 1726-1790), known for great physical feats, is one of the most prominent historical carriers of this name, with many descendants among Amish today.

Amish Last Name
Both common in Holmes County, OH

4. Beiler– More commonly spelled Byler in Midwestern communities such as Holmes County, Ohio. Jacob Beiler (1698-1771), ancestor of most Amish Beilers/Bylers, arrived in America on the Charming Polly (not to be confused with the Charming Nancy) in 1737.  Read Beiler’s will here.

5. Schwartz– A Swiss Amish surname.  Nearly half of the Amish in the Adams County settlement bear this name (as of 2007, 529 of 1163 Adams County Amish families were Schwartz  households).  Also seen in Allen County, but not common outside of Swiss communities.

6. Troyer- Hans Treyer or Dreier was one of the first Anabaptists executed (was drowned with two others in Bern in 1529).  John Troyer of the Kokomo, Indiana community, had possibly the largest family ever among Amish, with 31 children (29 of his own by two wives, plus two step-children), though apparently not all survived to adulthood.

7. Bontrager– other forms of this last name include Bontreger, Borntrager, Borntreger.  Most frequently seen in northern Indiana. A Swiss origin name.

8. King-  Along with Fisher and Beiler the most common Lancaster name following Stoltzfus.  A number of individuals bore the name Koenig or König in Europe.  Joseph Stoll notes: “Between 1732 and 1806, 38 persons bearing the name König arrived in Philadelphia.  It is not known  how many of these were Amish or Mennonite.”

9. Graber- Another name common among Swiss Amish, but also seen in non-Swiss communities.

10. Fisher– most Lancaster Amish can trace their descent back to Christian Fisher who very likely arrived in 1749 aboard the Phoenix, along with numerous other Amish passengers.

Other common Amish names include Hershberger, Schlabach, Hochstetler, Zook, Mast, Lapp, Schmucker, Schrock, Gingerich, and Weaver.

Among the least common we find Lee, Bawell, Gascho, Neuenschwander, Jantzi, Ropp, Brandenberger, and Albrecht.

Joseph Stoll, “Amish and Mennonite Family Names” (Parts 1-4), Family Life Dec 1968, Jan 1969, Feb 1969, Mar 1969.
John A. Hostetler, Amish Society.
David Luthy, “Yesterdays and Years: Fisher Family History”, Family Life, October 1995.
Aden B. Raber, Raber’s Almanac (2013).
Various Amish settlement directories

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    1. I know several Amish Miller women who marry Millers.

    2. Mandy C

      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.

      1. anna


        the Swiss name would be: Beyeler

    3. Erin

      Those all sound familiar as well as Lambright and Stutzman.

    4. Robin Miller

      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.

      1. Hello to Robin Miller. Wondered if we were neighborhood friends at one time

        I lived on Harwick Road, down the block from my frien Robin Miller as a child. It is a relatively common name, but it would be interesting indeed if this were that same person… and moreso if the family DID have Amish roots. Loving the stories behind the names, in any event.

    5. Fran Handrick

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

      1. 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

    6. Patti

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

      1. Patti I have never seen that name belonging to any current Amish or in any historical context.

        1. Patti


          Thanks Erik I guess it is a German name
          even tho’ not Amish.

    7. 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.

      1. anna


        the Swiss name would be Rüegsegger

        1. Sanford Slabaugh

          The Riegsecker name

          The American Riegsecker name comes from the Swiss family name of Rügsegger, per Dr Delbert Gratz, in his book, “Was Isch Dini Nahme? What Is Your Name?”

          The name is derived from a place, Rügsegg, which is a hill shaped like a back.

    8. mary

      common names

      I think there are some store owned by Riegsecker in Shipshewanna

    9. Alice Mary

      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

      1. Carol Sue

        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.

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

    10. Carol Sue

      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.

    11. Alice Mary

      Thanks, Carol Sue. Yoder’s sounds delicious!

      Alice Mary

    12. 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 …

      1. 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.

        1. Laura


          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.

        2. Surname

          Roop is my family name. I had someone tell me one time that she knew a Amish family with that name

      2. LeAnna DeVor

        Keim, Beachy, Beechy, Overholt, Helmuth

      3. LeAnna DeVoe

        Keim, Beachy, Beechy, Overholt, Helmuth

      4. anna

        various names

        Kanagy= Gnägi
        Kline= Klein
        Gyssler= Gisler
        Troyer= Dreyer
        Esh= Äschi
        Wagler= Wagner
        Smoker= Schmocker, also Schmucki
        Yutzi =Juzzi
        Scotch= Schoch

        these familynames occur in all the Swiss Places the Amish did leave

        Sible= Schäuble from Beuron in Baden Württemberg Germany

    13. stephanie

      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!

      1. 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).

    14. Linda


      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/

    15. Sadie

      #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.

      1. Sadie

        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.

    16. 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!

      1. 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.

    17. Noah

      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.

      1. 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.

    18. Susan

      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?

    19. Lindsay


      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.

    20. katherine hughes


      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

    21. Judy Burroughs


      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.

      1. 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

    22. Vidya

      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?

      1. Vidya I don’t know the background of those surnames, have never heard of them connected with the Amish.

    23. rebecca Lenore Wagner

      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

      1. 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.

      2. Mark - Holmes Co.

        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.

        1. Rebecca Lenore Wagner


          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

    24. Rebecca Lenore Wagner


      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.

      1. 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.

        1. Rebecca Lenore Wagner


          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.


          Rebecca Lenore Wagner

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

    25. 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.

    26. Susan and Gail Raehn

      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.

    27. Emily Hinkle-Beustring


      Is Beustring an Amish name?

    28. Mark - Holmes Co.

      No, Beustring is not an Amish name.

      Erik, when I click on “recent comments,” the comment I click on disappears and I cannot read it or respond to it. Something is wrong either with our computer in the office or on the server or whatever.

      1. Thanks for letting me know Mark. It’s probably a cache issue, possibly due to settings on this end.

        Do me a favor, try to clear your browser cache, then do the same action again.

        Just in case you or anyone reading this aren’t quite sure how to do so, depending on your browser here are 2-step instructions on how to do that for Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari:


        Does it work after you do that?

    29. Mark - Holmes Co.

      I cleared the browser, but can’t read the rest of your comment because I can’t get to it. It’s been like this for a few days now…

      1. Okay, I think it’s a problem with the caching plugin I’m using. I recently updated to a different one. I think the problem is that it’s not updating the page with the new comment. You are essentially being directed to a saved copy of the page, where the comment does not exist yet. This function makes the site run and load faster but it’s obviously not good for users wanting to engage the comments.

        I’m looking for a solution, thanks for your patience, and thanks for letting me know about this Mark.

        1. Mark - Holmes Co.

          You are welcome. It must be working now, as I could get right to the comment. Thanks!

    30. Erik Wesner
      1. Mark - Holmes Co.

        Got it & could click right on it to reply.

        1. Okay so after some investigation I changed a setting which I hope should do the trick. Do me a favor and if you notice anything similar happening when posting comments in the near future, let me know here or drop an email to . Thanks Mark!

    31. Could u please tell me a little about my last name MAST. I know it is a common name which I read here…I am Pennsylvania Dutch and German..I would love to know how to look up my name. All My family is dead so I can’t find anything from them.. Thank you

      1. Here’s a link that might help Linda:


    32. Ashley

      Jacob Beiler

      Well found out Jacob Beiler who came to the U.S. on the Charming Polly in 1737 was my great-great-great-great-grandfather, and I’d love to read his will, but the link won’t work. Is there any other place you know of that the will might be online? Thank you!

      1. Ashley

        *add many generations*

    33. EMS430

      Among the Southern Maryland plain communities, Swarey was also a common name. Can you confirm where this one came from?

      1. Marcus Yoder

        Christian Swarey was born 1789 in Germany and died 1864 in Pennslyvania.

        1. Swarey name among the Amish

          To add on to Marcus’s comment, it was apparently originally spelled “Schware”, and one source I have says that it is believed that Christian’s grandson, also named Christian (b. 1858), was responsible for the spelling change from Schware to Swarey.

          Other places the surname is or has been found include Pennsylvania counties Mifflin, Juniata, Lancaster and Lebanon. Source – Family Life, “Yesterdays and Years: New Names Among the Amish” Part 3.

          1. Jacob Wengerd

            Middlefield Ohio Amish names

            My name is Wengerd it’s not very common in Middlefield but there’s probably 12-15 families now. I have a sister married to an Eicher which is Amish also there is Bricker, Hershberger, my wife was a Coblentz, there’s Detweiler, Smoker/Shmucker/Schmucker, Mullet, my one grandmother was a Bowman from Holmes county OH, the other was a Raber also from there.

    34. Al in Ky

      There are some Swareys in the New Order settlement in Salem/Rosebud, Indiana, also.

    35. Adam

      Davis Amish Furniture

      In Kentucky there is a Davis Amish Furniture. Does the Davis name have any Anabaptist history?

    36. Andrew France

      The Middlefield, Ohio, Amish settlement (4th largest Amish settlement in the world) seems to have surnames similar to those in Holmes County, including Yoder, Miller, Weaver, and Gingerich. What are other common surnames in the Geauga Amish settlement?

      1. Al in Ky

        I know Amish who moved from Geauga County to Ky. and they say that Byler and Detweiler are also common names in the Geauga settlement. There may be others, also.

        1. Mary


          My ggg grandparents name

    37. Jeremy Edler

      Foraker, Workman, families.


      I took an ancestry test a year ago and it states that I have genetic community links to the Amish areas in Ohio,Illinois, Indiana or South Iowa. I was wondering if any of these surnames can be found in the community.

      Thank you,

      Jeremy Edler

    38. Al in Ky

      I know there is an area southwest of Goshen, Indiana, named Foraker.
      For information about Amish genealogy in that area contact:

      Northern Indiana Amish Library
      4460 W. 100 S.
      Lagrange, Indiana 46761

      For information about southern Iowa Amish contact:

      Iowa Mennonite Museum and Archives
      715 Ave. D
      Kalona, Iowa 52247
      Phone: 319-656-3232

      For information about Ohio Amish contact:

      Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center
      5798 CR 77
      Millersburg, Ohio 44610
      Phone: 330-893-3192

    39. Robert McCartney

      Ancestral names

      The Anabaptist surname in my family is Garver/Garber/Gerber, which offers no problem for an Amish connection. The question is the spousal surnames:

      Moser, Geissbuhler, Danner, Gyssler, Wagler, Knopf, Kline

      I would think that they married in the faith, but did not see these names. They moved from Leacock Twp, Lancaster, PA, to Fulton County PA, to Huntington County, PA, to Adams County IN


      1. Hi Robert, of the names you listed:

        Moser, Geissbuhler, Danner, Gyssler, Wagler, Knopf, Kline

        I can say Wagler and Kline are carried by Amish today. Wagler you’ll find commonly in the Daviess County, Indiana settlement, and in some other places including Ontario.

        Kline you’ll see in Holmes County, Ohio and likely elsewhere.

        They are not among the most common Amish names, but definitely alive among the Amish today.

        Of the other names, I am not sure that I’ve seen any present-day Amish with those surnames.

    40. mark

      ohio names

      kauffman, mast, shrock, miller, hochstetler, swartzentruber, troyer, eash, kline, keim are all popular in Holmes Ashland Wayne & Knox County Ohio

    41. Lisa

      Last name Ek

      Hello I live in California and have met a delightful Amish family with the last name Ek. Short & sweet. But I was just curious about the name. I don’t know the family well enough to feel comfortable asking about the name but I’m simply curious if Ek is short for something or simply a last name in itself. I didn’t see it on the list here. ‘Ek’ would be nice and short to sign lol. On another note I’m getting some homemade Amish jam next week. Yay! Thank you. Best wishes.