Guth (Gut) is a Mennonite family name officially reported among the Mennonites in the Swiss canton of Aargau as early as the late 16th and early 17th centuries, chiefly in the villages of Hinderwyl, Muhen, and Uerkheim. A Jakob Gut of Oftringen near Zofingen was one of a group of 10 Anabaptists—some of them leaders—expelled from the canton on 9 September 1660 after a period of confinement in the penitentiary at Bern.
Among the Mennonites of the Palatinate the first of the name Gut to be named was a Jakob Gut in Hilsbach near Heidelberg in 1685. It has not yet been shown whether he was identical with or related to the above Jakob Gut. In 1716 there was a Johannes Guth among the Mennonites on the Branchweilerhof; in 1724, 1738, and 1743 Jakob Guth (a son of the above Johannes) is listed. In the records of 1716 appears Hans Guth, and of 1759 Isaak Guth on Scharrau near Friesenheim.
In 1738 and 1742 a Jakob Guth family is mentioned in Kaiserslautern. It is possible that the Heinrich Guth, who was born at Obermehlingen near Kaiserslautern in 1747 (or 1742?) and who died on the Ransbrunnerhof near Pirmasens in 1809 after a temporary residence in Alsace, is a descendant of this family. His son John, born in Sulzthal in Alsace, was the ancestor of all the families of this name that are today found in the Palatinate and adjoining regions, all of whom belonged to the Amish branch. Of his sons, Johannes founded the line on the Bärenbrunnerhof, Georg that on the Freudenbergerhof, and Joseph the line formerly living in Alsace, whereas Peter immigrated to America about 1850. Likewise, Joseph Guth immigrated to the United States from the Bärenbrunnerhof in 1885.
Several members of the family were elders or preachers of the Amish congregation at Ixheim, or the small group at Fleckensteinerhof, e.g., Joseph and Johannes Guth of the Bärenbrunnerhof, and Christian Guth of the Kirschbacherhof, later Freudenbergerhof (from 1870 owner of this farm).
The best known was Christian Guth, b. in 1879 on the Grafenweierhof near Bitsch, Lorraine. He was educated at St. Chrischona, near Basel, ordained as minister in 1907 and as elder in 1912 for the Ixheim congregation, and in 1923 assumed the duties of traveling evangelist (Reiseprediger) and secretary of youth work for the conference of the South German Mennonites. From 1926 to 1933—at that time an innovation for the German Mennonites —he conducted the annual student camps (Schülerfreizeiten) on the Neudorferhof. A lengthy period of assisting in the communion services and baptism (1929) of the Mennonite congregation at Lemberg united him with this group until the time of their exile (1940), especially when many former members of the congregation found a refuge in the camp at Backnang near Stuttgart. He died after a three-year retirement at Neckargemünd near Heidelberg in 1952.
In 1953 there were in Europe 31 Mennonite families with the name Guth, especially in the Palatinate in the Saar region and the adjoining area of France. Nine families of Mennonite descent were members of the Protestant state church. By far most of the families of this name remained loyal to their ancestral calling as farmers or millers. Some were particularly successful in animal breeding. Most of the American descendants of the Guth family spell the name Good, although a few in Illinois and Iowa, of Amish background, still use Guth.
Christ Seul (1931): Nos. 7, 9.
Gemeindeblatt (1952): 103 (Nachruf).
Guth, Erna. Familien-Stammbuch. Eschringerhof (Saar).
Heiz, J. Täuber im Aargau. Aarau, 1902.
Mennonite records in the Karlsruher Generallandesarchiv.
Müller, Ernst. Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer. Frauenfeld: Huber, 1895. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. de Graaf, 1972.
Cite This Article
Schowalter, Paul. "Guth (Gut) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 18 Jan 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Guth_(Gut)_family&oldid=119722.
Schowalter, Paul. (1956). Guth (Gut) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 January 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Guth_(Gut)_family&oldid=119722.
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