History of Amish names: Stoltzfus

Thanks to substantial genealogical records, many Amish can trace their lineage back to the 1700’s and 1800’s, when significant waves of Amish immigration to North America occurred.

One of the most common Amish names is Stoltzfus, found predominantly in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and its offshoot settlements.  The short-version history of the Stoltzfus name, courtesy of Family Life:

“On Oct. 18, 1766 Nicholas Stoltzfus with his two sons and two daughters landed at Philadelphia from Zweibrucken, Germany.  This Nicholas Stoltzfus is believed to be the ancestor of all those bearing the Stoltzfus name among the Amish and Mennonites today.

Nicholas purchased a plantation along the Schuylkill River near Reading, Pennsylvania.  This he divided into five farms.  The oldest daughter, Barbara, married John Schmucker, oldest son of the immigrant Christian Schmucker.

The Stoltzfuses were hard workers and good managers, and prospered financially.  Large families among them was the rule.

Christian Stoltzfus (1748-1832) was born in Germany, the youngest son and fourth child of Nicholas Stoltzfus.  He was a farmer and Amish bishop and in his later years lived near Gordonville, Penna.”

(Source:  Family Life, Yesterdays and Years:  Amish and Mennonite Family Names Part 4, Joseph Stoll, March 1969)

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    10 Comments

    1. Interesting! My daughter’s Amish penpal is a Stoltzfus. I think I’ll print this and let her mail it to her. She probably already knows this, but maybe not…

    2. Erik Wesner

      Hope she finds it interesting!

    3. Adrian Whicker

      I am friends with an Amish family, last name Miller, in Lancaster County & Wayne County, IN. The parents moved to Wayne County in the mid 1990s. Anyway, the mother was a Stoltzfus (as were both of her parents), the father’s mother was a Stoltzfoos. The oldest son married a Stoltzfus, the only daughter married a Stoltzfus, the next oldest son married a Stoltzfus, and another son married a Stoltzfus. Two other sons married Peacheys. There is one son left, so hopefully he throws them a curve ball and marries a Petersheim or a Beiler!

    4. nancy banister

      i am of amish descent from penn.also…my father left the amish when he married my mother, an ‘english’ girl. he raised 5 girls and 5 boys here in ohio(southeast.) his name is jacob miller and mother is rebekka. my husband is also jacob and he is also of amish descent. we have 4 children and we live in a wonderful ‘english’ area called west union, ohio. there are several amish families surrounding us and we are all good friends.
      nancy miller banister

    5. Randal Glick

      I also am from Penn. and of Amish descent, my father being raised amish but choosing not to join. This allows me to still be in contact with my cousins, most who are still amish,but culture diffrecences make it a little awkward to hold a relationship with them. But for my childrens sake and mine, maybe in time,theese obsticals will be traversed. Any way, my last name being Glick, has some interesting history that i could use some help confiming. Supposedly the first Glick was a jewish boy taken in by a swiss family, any info on this would be greatly appreciated. I know for a fact that glick in many forms is a common jewish name.

    6. Hi Randall, thanks for commenting–that is itneresting and I will check what sources I have to see if there is anything on your last name.

      1. Stoltzfus Project this year

        On May 4 Elam Stoltzfus and son Nic will tell of their Florida documentaries (latest The Florida Cattle Drive) and their plans to document the Stoltzfus Story.

        On Saturday May 6 the annual Benefit auction at the House.

    7. Bob Rosier

      I have been doing Genealogy on Stoltzfus. I have never found any information on Nicholas’s other son (or other daughter for that matter). I have lots of data on Christian’s line.

      Somewhere it mentioned that his other son may have died soon after arriving in America, but I have never been able to confirm.

      “Family Life” has always had great information and I always look forward to each issue.

      1. Dave Coleman

        Stoltzfus Info

        There is a Facebook page and a website for the Nicholas Stoltzfus Homestead, the House and Barn have been restored it is close to Reading PA. There are some links on their page that can give you more of the history.

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