About the author


Hi, my name is Kevin Williams and I am owner of Oasis Newsfeatures and editor of The Amish Cook newspaper column.

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  1. Trixie

    There’s a sizeable Mennonite community in Plain City, OH, near to my hometown. Yutzy is another super-common name there, along with Yoder, Troyer, and Milller.

  2. Susan

    I grew up in Berne IN and Wickey was a common Amish name there.

  3. Paul Fox

    Jason Wanner’s grandparents were Old Order Mennonite. Jason’s father, Harry Wanner, also originally Old Order Mennonite, converted to the Amish in the 1970’s. Harry Wanner is a rather well-known individual in the Old Order Amish and Mennonite world. Google him, if you like.

    1. Kevin

      Paul, thanks a ton for flagging that…you are absolutely correct, I was writing too fast this morning and skimming over my notes. I corrected that!

      1. Linda

        Jason’s father, Harry Wanner, just recently moved to Athens, Tennessee, and passed away there at age 77. Harry’s funeral was today.

      2. Paul Fox

        Thanks for the info, Linda. Our family hadn’t gotten the notice. Harry’s brother, Willy, died suddenly just three weeks ago. http://dailyitem.com/obituaries/x691737484/William-M-Wanner-70-Port-Trevorton/print

  4. Paul Fox

    The German Baptist Wanner great-grandparents converted to Old Order Mennonitism apparently then, as the Wanner surname is sprinkled through several different Old Order Mennonite churches.

  5. Lowell

    Although I don’t know much about the surnames of the Amish and Mennonites, I am descended from people who were Mennonites from Berne, Switzerland. The names were Shantz (Tschanz in Switzerland), Amacher and Erb. Do you know of anyone by those names presently?

  6. Krista

    I live Porter Co In. I grew up by a Mennonite church and our neighbors were Apostolics Christians.The names that were (are) Good (change from Gut) Birky, Feller, Heinold, Martin and Miller.They came from a small town in Illinois.

  7. Carol Hudson

    I am in northern Indiana and a common name around here is Hochstetler. There are different spellings of that name.

  8. Jo Whitman

    The area I live in in East Central Illinois is heavily populated with Apostolic Christians. Common surnames are Zimmerman, Steidinger, Zehr, Wenger, Slagel, Meister and Stork.

  9. Pat Whorl

    Here in the Ethridge, Tennessee settlement we have 13 family surnames for the 215 households – Gingerich, Hostetler, Schrock, Byler, Troyer, Zook and Swartzentruber are ones not on your list. We have Yoder, Mast, Hershberger, Stutzman, Miller and Wengerd as well.

    1. Kevin

      Thanks, Pat…I have Gingerich friends in Etheridge, so that fits:) I love Ethridge, you live there?

      1. Pat Whorl

        Good morning Kevin. Yes, I live in Ethridge. My sister and I have a quilting business here. I am aware that you NOAH Gingerich. Let me know when you and Rachel will be back this way, we would love to meet you and share more of our settlement with you.

  10. Jasmine Carlson

    I have a Mennonite friend who used to live in Plain City who is an Erb.

  11. Jane

    I am trying to do genealogical research which has been extremely difficult for me. The last name I am searching for is “Benson” who were Amish supposedly up in Pennsylvania but converted to Mennonite around 1972. I have come across records stating Pennsylvania as their home origin, while at the same time, they are listed as originating in Arkansas. I have already been told “Benson” is a very “un-Amish” name, so, I do not know if they converted to Amish, then converted to Mennonite.

    The names are John and June Benson and they had {what is ascertained} four children {David, James, Daniel, and Stephen). Any information concerning John and June Benson including any other children they may have had will be appreciated.

    Thank you very kindly for your time and patience with me. I do appreciate it. Thank you.


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