Mathias Yoder (Joder)

Male Abt 1684 - 1751  (~ 66 years)
Person ID: I43620 

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  • Name Mathias Yoder (Joder)  [1
    Relationshipwith Jeffrey Scott Vitter
    Born Abt 20 Jul 1684  Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 17 Jan 1750/51  Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Anna Yoder (Joder) (ID:I47144),   b. Abt 21 Nov 1672, Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Christina Yoder (Joder) (ID:I47145),   b. Abt 15 Mar 1672/73, Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Margret Yoder (Joder) (ID:I47146),   b. Abt 6 Feb 1675/76, Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Hans Yoder (Joder) (ID:I47147),   b. Abt 7 Oct 1677, Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Barbara Yoder (Joder) (ID:I47133),   b. Abt 7 Dec 1679, Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Christina Yoder (Joder) (ID:I47134),   b. Abt 28 Jan 1681/82, Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Feb 1766  (Age ~ 84 years)
     7. Casper Yoder (Joder) (ID:I47135),   b. Abt 6 Feb 1686/87, Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Aug 1762  (Age ~ 75 years)
     8. Verena Yoder (Joder) (ID:I47149),   b. Abt 20 Oct 1689, Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location


    Family ID: F32469 Group Sheet  |  Family Chart  
    Father Caspar Yoder (Joder) (ID:I43618),   b. 4 Jun 1648, Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1712, Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years) 
    Mother Anni Zaugg (ID:I43619),   b. Abt 1650, Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 7 Jan 1669/70  Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2


    Family ID: F32470 Group Sheet  |  Family Chart 30 Mar 2021   
    Wife Barbara Meyer (ID:I43621),   b. Abt 1685 
    Married 1 Oct 1706  [1

    Other Personal Events

    Baptism 20 Jul 1684  Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
  • Event Map

    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 20 Jul 1684 - Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBaptism - 20 Jul 1684 - Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 17 Jan 1750/51 - Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
  • Source Citations

    1. [S1199] Yoder Newsletter, (Location: Goshen, Indiana, USA;), "Have We Found 'Han of Great Swamp'?", issue no. 55, April 2010.

      Over 20 years ago, Rachel Kreider told me that she thought the next Yoder immigrant likely to be linked to their Steffisburg roots would be the Mennonite line of “Hans of Great Swamp.” Among the newly reviewed estate settlements of Steffisburg is one which hints at who this Hans might have been! We know that by presenting a speculated identification, some will soon claim it to be fact and it will appear as gospel on the internet, but the information is just too significant to suppress.

      We know that Hans of Great Swamp (see YNL3) was born approximately 1680. He purchased a tract of 99 acres in Lower Milford Township, Bucks Co., PA (then known as "The Great Swamp") from Joseph Growden of Trevose, PA on January 17, 1720 for fifteen pounds in silver. He was the only early immigrant to have the name Caspar among his children and grandchildren (unless you count the reputed Casper Yoder of the Indian massacre - see YNL 31). Based on common naming practices at the time, it is logical to consider a father for Hans in Switzerland named Caspar.

      The same research which has allowed us to correct the identification of Caspar Joder who married Verena Stauffer, does not contradict that Caspar, son of Jost, moved to Weiler in the Pfalz and sired at least a part of the Amish Yoder immigrants to America. But there was another Caspar in Steffisburg of the proper generation. This was the son of Niclaus Joder, brother of Jost. That Caspar was born in 1648 and married to Anni Zaugg in 1670. The baptismal listings, now supplemented by estate/contract records, allow us to define his family as follows (b. = baptized):

      Y73- Caspar Joder m 1/7/1670 Anni Zaugg
      Y731- Anna b 11/2/1672- the miller’s wife from Wiler
      Y732- Christina b 3/15/1674
      Y733- Margret b 2/6/1676 --- m. 6/24/1070 Michel Braun, lowlands
      Y734- Hans b 10/7/1677 --whereabouts unknown- 1724-1735 (“in a foreign land”)
      Y735- Barbara b 12/7/1679
      Y736- Verena b 1/28/1683 -died young
      Y737- Eva b. 1/28/1683 – twin – died?
      Y738- Christina b 1/28/1683 - smithy's wife of Mettenwil
      Y739- Mathias b 7/20/1684 -- (m 10/1/1706 Barbara Meyer)
      Y73a- Caspar b 2/6/1687 (?m 2/13/1711--Anna-Meyer) (d? 8/12/1762)
      Y73b- Verena b 10/20/1689 ----wife of Peter Blanck
      Y73c- Kathrin b 7/30/1693 ----wife of Peter Meyer, lowlands
      Y73d- Niclaus b 2/23/1696 -- not mentioned 1735

      Details from the contract archive “Kontraktenmanualen” of Steffisburg which begins in 1712 shows as follows:

      Kontract File A276

      88-94 Renunciation explanation: the late Caspar Joder (Y73) in the Scheidgasse. The heirs are the widow named Anna Zaugg, represented through Jakob Joder, legal representative, her cousin, and the children Anna Joder, the miller wife from Wiler, Christina Joder, the smithy's wife of Mettenwil, Margreth Baum-Joder and Barbara, Verena, Christina and Catharina Joder with their trustee. 4 March 1713. There are many debts. [No sons named!]

      132 Obligation: Mathys Joder (Y739) of Steffisburg primary guarantor with Peter Meyer, Kirchmeier, his brother-in-law. 1713.

      181 Sale. Anna Zaugg the late Caspar Joder's (Y73) widow in the Scheidgasse along with her trustee Jakob Joder in the Pfaffenhalten, district treasurer and of the court at Steffisburg, along with the children mentioned here, sold a piece of pasture. [No children mentioned!]

      A281- 63 Sale. Anna Zaugg Caspar Joder's (Y73) widow sold a piece of farmland. 1717.

      29-33 Sales Contract. Caspar Joder (Y73a) in the Scheidgasse at Steffisburg sold the house and household that he inherited from his father. 1717

      85-87 Sale. Caspar Joder (Y73a) in the Schmiedgasse bought together with his father-in-law Daniel Blank and his brother a house and household by the new mill. 1717.

      A297 - .201 Acknowledgment of obligation

      Hans Joder (Y734), the late Caspar Joder's son, in the Scheidgasse, about 40 years old, is in some foreign country; moreover it is not known whether he is still alive. (In German "Hans Joder, Caspars sel. Sohn in der Scheidgasse ca. 40 Jahre alt, befindet sich ausser Landes, es ist ungewiss, ob er überhaupt noch am Leben ist.") His heirs: Matthys and Caspar Joder, Verena Joder, wife of Peter Blanck, Margareth Joder, widow of the late Michel Braun, at this time in the lowlands (Pfalz or Alsace) … for all of them, and also in the name of their sister Catharina Joder, wife of Peter Meier, also staying in the lowlands, with the permission of their brothers and brothers-in-law, and all the brothers and sisters of Hans Joder, who has been due 48 Kroner since 15 April 1724. Executed 16 May 1735.

      Bruce Stahly comments on the German text of the original: “The phrase in the contract, "ausser Landes", referring to Hans,
      specifically means "abroad" or "out of the country." I guess they didn't think of Alsace or the Pfalz as being "abroad." Seems to suggest something a little more removed than Alsace or the German Palatinate. … I am guessing that some of the heirs wanted to spend the 48 Kroner but were afraid of difficulties if Hans came back, so they took the precaution of documenting the situation.”

      This information clearly shows that Hans Joder (Y734), born in 1677 to Caspar Joder and Anna Zaugg, had gone to “some foreign land” (a good description for America), and was out of touch with his family from a point before 1724.. Our “Hans of Great Swamp” matches the approximate age, and his migration time also matches. Is this our “Hans of Great Swamp?” It seems the best hypothesis we have found to date. There is no other unidentified “Hans Joder” found in America this early.

    2. [S1199] Yoder Newsletter, (Location: Goshen, Indiana, USA;), "Caspar Yoder Married to Verena Stauffer, Is Redefined!", Issue No. 55, April 2010.

      In the last YNL, we provided information that established that Jacob Amman, founder of the “Amish”, had attended a religious meeting in a Joder home in Steffisburg, and that it appeared certain that this home was that of Caspar Joder, son of Jost Joder who married Anna Trachsel. This Caspar left Steffisburg and moved to Alsace, where he and his wife, along with nine children lived at Weiler in 1708 and were referred to as “well to do”. Descendants of his are shown in Weissenburg (Wissembourg in French) and Sankt-Germanshof and later on in Salzwoogerhof. He is identified as the ancestor of 1825 immigrant Michel Yoder (YRC8), who shares the “Amish Yoder” DNA mutation of the YR1 and YR2 Yoder immigrants of 1742.

      For years this Caspar has been identified as being the same Caspar Joder who married Verena Stauffer (see YNL2 article by Lois Ann Mast based on the work of German researcher Karl Joder and his partner Otmar Jotter). From Steffisburg death and contract data, it is now clear that Caspar and Verena Stauffer lived and died in the ancestral village, and that Caspar was the son of Hans Joder who married Verena Reusser! I’ll attempt to spell this out for our readers in a logical order.
      In the earlier listings by Karl/Otmar, the birth/baptismal year for the Caspar, son of Jost Joder and Anna Trachsel, was given as 1660, with no day provided. A review of the actual church record shows the baptismal date was actually 5/22/1664. Infants were normally baptized soon after birth, so it can be assumed he was born shortly before that date. Had this Caspar been the fellow who married Verena Stauffer on Jan. 21, 1681, it would have meant that he would have been married at the age of 16. In 1686, at the birth of Caspar and Verena Stauffer's son Hans, the father is noted as the "Kirchmeier,” i.e., the person who looks after the church property, collects rents, sells harvests etc. This would have been an unlikely role for an Anabaptist firebrand. But had this been true, and were he Jost’s son, he would have only been 22 at the time, very young for such a position of responsibility. Bruce Stahly pointed out this age issue and started us on the hunt for another, older, Caspar.

      Among the new information identified in a review of the Steffisburg Church Records is the fact that a Casper DID exist in the community who had not previously been included in the Karl Joder listings. He was the son of Hans Joder who married Verena Reusser.

      Hans Joder who married Verena Reusser could be considered “the other Joder.” He is referred to in some of the Steffisburg record as Hans Joder “in der Au.” He was about the same age as the brothers Nicolas and Jost Joder, each married to cousins named Anna Trachsel, who have been the focus of researchers looking for American Joder ancestors. These three were in fact, one generation off, see the relationship chart on page 1. The Amish and Amish Mennonite Genealogies (AAMG) by Gingerich and Kreider, refers to him by the code “YB.” The updated AAMG version correctly identifies his son Jakob as the fellow who married Margareth Stähli, but still lists only four of his seven children. The actual family is shown below (b=baptismal dates, children not in AAMG but identified in the Steffisburg Church records are underscored).

      YB- Hans Joder m. 6/13/1656 Verena Reuesser
      YB1- Margaret b 10/25/1657
      YB2- Caspar b 1/2/1659 m. Verena Stauffer
      YB3- Jakob b 10/7/1660 m. 1684 Margreth Stähli
      YB4- Niclaus b 8/24/1662
      YB5- Barbli b 10/13/1664
      YB6- Hansli b 3/3/1666
      YB7- Madlena b 12/16/1669

      Caspar (YB2) who was born/bapt. in 1659 would have been 22 when married, and 27 when a “Kirchmeier”, much more reasonable ages to match with this identification. Birth data alone calls into question the Caspar son of Jost to Verena Stauffer marriage. Death records raise further doubt about this fellow:

      From the Steffisburg death records:

      8 April 1735 - Caspar Joder the old of Glockenthal "biz 70 years old". Glockenthal (Bell Valley)
      7 Jun 1735- Froni Joder, born Stauffer in Glockenthal “uber 70 years old"

      This information seemed to match to the Caspar/Verena Stauffer couple. But they were supposed to be in Alsace, breeding a large progeny! Furthermore the age of the Caspar here matches exactly to that of the son of Hans (YB2). Stähli family researcher Bruce W. Stahly shared his experience and contacts to arrange for the services of professional Swiss researcher, Therese Metzger. Estate settlements for Steffisburg are kept in the contract records at the cantonal archive in the city of Bern -- i.e. Staatsarchiv des Kantons Bern. Based on the death information we had discovered on the Steffisburg church CDs, we focused her efforts on Caspar and Verena and several other Joders of the same generation. The records relevant to Caspar and Verena Stauffer are as follows, by file number:

      Steffisburg Contract Records:

      241 Obligation. Primary guarantor is Caspar Joder in the Gloggenthal. 1716. (YB2)

      248-249 Debt Contract. Debtor is Hans Joder in the Au. Guarantor Caspar Joder in the Gloggenthal his son. 1716 (YB and YB2)

      79 Promisory Contract. Caspar Joder the old Kirchmeir of Gloggenthal. He is satisfied with with the adjoining land. (YB2)

      97 Receipt. Caspar Joder in Gloggenthal. (YB2)

      179 Obligation. 1000 pounds. From 1707. Chief guarantors were Hans Joder in the Au; the old Kirchmeier in the Gloggenthal; and Jakob Joder in the Pfaffenhalter, sons. The surety was the mill in the Au, belonging to the chief gurarntor. Cancelled 1719. [Three pages of text, not all read.] (YB and YB2 and YB3)

      A284 (Hans Joder/Verena Reusser family- YB)

      12-13 Estate Settlement. The late Hans Joder in the Au of Steffisburg. His sons and grandsons: Caspar the elder son in the Gloggenthal and his sons Christen and Caspar, Jakob the younger son of Pfaffenhalten and his sons Hans and Caspar Joder. 1719/1721. (YB family)


      91 Debt contract. Caspar Joder the old Kirchmeier and as guarantors his son Hans Joder and son-in-law Christian Reusser both of Erlen. 1723. (YB2)

      111 Obligation. Caspar Joder acknowledges to his mother Verena Stauffer, who acknowleded it with the hand of her husband Caspar Joder the old Kirchmeier. 1722. (YB2 and YB26)

      212 Lease contract. The same people listed above in item 91.


      p. 63- Brothers Hans and Christen Joder exchanged for themselves, and their mother Verena Stauffer with the consent and permission of Caspar Joder (YB2) her husband and their father, with Caspar Joder, a son, and Christen Spring and Hans Zaugg their sons-in-law and their mother, property in Gloggenthal. two houses, a barn, an oven house, a granary, in return for an Alp (pasture) in the area of Röthenbach for pasturing about 10 cows in the summer. No date, it must have been 1733. Written in 1737 , the transaction was cancelled because the signatories were dead and no promise had been carried through.

      p.224 - Verena Stauffer with the consent of her husband Caspar Joder (YB2) old Kirchmeier of Steffisburg sold the rights to pasture two cows in the Alps, 29 May 1734.


      p. 132-144 Estate settlement- Estate settlement of the late Caspar Joder old Kirchmeier married to the late Verena Stauffer; parents of Hans; Christen; Caspar ; Anna married 1st Christen Reusser; 2nd Christen Spring; Barbara married 1st Christen Gasser; 2nd Hans Zaugg; [Description of the estate and property. 3 pages. 11 August 1736.]

      These records clearly show that Caspar Joder and his wife Verena Stauffer remained in Steffisburg and died there in 1735. The Amish Alsatian Caspar (at Langenberg by 1712 and still there in 1735) seems certain to be the son of Jost Joder and Anna Trachsel, and his wife may have been named “Verena” (an Anabaptist Caspar Joder and his wife Verena Hoffin (Hoffer) had a male child born at Durrenentzen 3/20/1695. The child died unbaptized 5/31/1695.) But this Caspar WAS NOT the Caspar who married Verena Stauffer. The research by Karl Joder and Otmar Jotter that created a matching family in Alsace must have made assumptions based on similar naming patterns among the next generation. From the baptismal and contract records, the following family can be constructed for the Steffisburg couple;

      YB2- Caspar Joder (in the Au) m 1/21/1681 Verena Stauffer, both died in Steffisburg in 1735 (b. represents baptismal dates)
      YB21- Anna b 4/16/1682
      YB22- Anna b 5/20/1683 –m 1st 6/8/1708 Christen Reusser; 2nd Christen Spring
      YB23- Barbara Joder b. 1/4/1685
      YB24- Hans b 10/24/1686 - baptism refers to father Caspar as “the Kirchmeier,” pos m. Barbara Berger
      YB25- Christian b 2/15/1691 , pos. m.1715 Rosina Schwendimann
      YB26- Caspar b 9/1/1695
      YB27- Peter b 2/18/1700
      YB28- Barbara b 10/29/1703 Barbara married 1st Christen Gasser; m2. 3/7/1731 Hans Zaugg
      (Barbara had children by Christen Gasser starting 3/4/1725

      NOTE: Stähli researcher Bruce Stahly contacted us about a reference that had been found which told of Jakob Joder buying a piece of land from his brother-in-law Caspar Stähli, who was brother to Margareth Stähli, Jakob Joder's wife. Being himself a Yoder descendant as well as a Stähli one, that got his attention and jogged his memory of having seen an unresolved issue regarding a Joder/Stähli marriage in Steffisburg. And, ironically, he found this Stähli family, from Oberhofen, is not at all related to his own Stähli family. This contact led to a re-look at the Steffisburg CDs, and the contract research which, as Bruce describes this, is “a good example of the strange twists and turns genealogical research can take.” We now know that Jakob who married Margareth Stähli is the brother of Caspar Joder who married Verena Stauffer.