Millers, Yoders, Schrocks, Stoltzfuses.  These names are a dime a dozen in Amish America.

Meet enough Amish people, and once in a while you’ll come across an unusual name, one that may sound non-Germanic or even a Germanic-sounding name that is simply uncommon.

The Amish have welcomed a fair share of converts to the faith over the years.  Last names such as Jones, Jess, Chupp and Delagrange have entered and remain within the Amish onomatology.

A number of Amish names present during the early years in America no longer exist among the Old Order.  These include Holly, Umble, Conrad, and Blough, all once present in Berks County, Pennsylvania, considered the earliest Amish settlement this side of the Atlantic.

Extinct Ohio names include Kennel, Wyse, and Nafziger.  Among the Iowa Amish were once found Goldsmiths, Klopfensteins, Rogies, and Wereys.

David Luthy continues on the topic in an issue of Family Life from June, 1973:

Many of these names vanished at the time of the church divisions between 1850 and 1880 when it has been estimated that two-thirds of the Amish left the old paths and went with the liberal Amish-Mennonite movement.  By the 1920’s this group had merged with the Mennonites, taking numerous once common Amish names into the Mennonite Church.

Luthy also examines the histories of names which entered the Amish ranks only to disappear again soon thereafter.  These include Smiley, Morrel, Hartz, Briskey, and Schwietert.

All of these names existed among the Amish for a generation or two, and then vanished, either due to an overabundance of daughters, or the general reluctance of male descendants to stick to the more conservative path.

Source:  David Luthy, New Names Among the Amish, Family Life June, 1973.

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