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Grabill (Graybill, Grebiel, Kraybill, Krabill, Krebill, Krehbiel, Krahenbühl, Crayenbühl, and thirteen other minor variants) is a Swiss Mennonite family originating in the parish of Grosshöchstetten in the canton of Bern, later prominent in the Palatinate and America. In 1682 Peter Krehbiel emigrated to the Palatinate settling on the Weierhof, where the family is still represented. (See the article Krehbiel for the history of the family in Europe and America carrying this form of the name.)

When the first member of the family came to America is not clear. An Eva Grabiel was married to a Christian Wenger in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, about 1728. The first known male immigrant was a John Krehbiel who arrived about the mid-18th century in Lancaster County. His grandson John Grebel moved to Juniata County, Pennsylvania, becoming the first Mennonite minister and bishop there and the progenitor of a large number of descendants who have consistently spelled the name Graybill. Bishops Jacob (1816-1892), William (1833-1902), and William W. (1880- ) are among his descendants. His family who stayed in Lancaster County have largely adopted the spelling Krahbill. That part which moved to Virginia uses the spelling Grabll. Families moving westward to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois betray their provenance by the form of spelling. The Krabill family in Stark County, Ohio, and Washington County, Iowa, is of Amish background, coming direct from Europe, not from Pennsylvania. The family has no connection with Conrad Grebel, the founder of the Anabaptist-Mennonite movement in Zürich, Switzerland, although the pronunciation is similar. Among the mid-20th century Mennonite ministers of the family were Bishop J. Paul Graybill of East Earl, Pennsylvania, Bishop William W. Graybill of Richfield, Pennsylvania, preachers J. Silas Graybill of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Russell Krabill of Goshen, Indiana, and Martin K. Kraybill of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Grabill (Graybill, Grebiel, Kraybill, Krabill, Krebill, Krehbiel, Krahenbühl, Crayenbühl) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 26 Jun 2017.,_Grebiel,_Kraybill,_Krabill,_Krebill,_Krehbiel,_Krahenb%C3%BChl,_Crayenb%C3%BChl)_family&oldid=117632.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1956). Grabill (Graybill, Grebiel, Kraybill, Krabill, Krebill, Krehbiel, Krahenbühl, Crayenbühl) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 June 2017, from,_Grebiel,_Kraybill,_Krabill,_Krebill,_Krehbiel,_Krahenb%C3%BChl,_Crayenb%C3%BChl)_family&oldid=117632.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 559. All rights reserved.

©1996-2017 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.