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Witmer (Widmer, Whitmer), a Mennonite family name found among the Swiss Brethren since 1531. Some bearers fled to the Palatinate ca. l670 and to France (see Hans Widmer and Christian Widmer). Among the immigrants of 1717 to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, were Benjamin Witmer and his son Abraham, who four years later bought 265 acres from the London Company. Benjamin's son John had a family of seven children, and his son Benjamin inher­ited his uncle Abraham's lands; another Abraham built the Bridgeport Bridge at the end of East King Street, Lancaster, in 1798. Included in the Mennonite ministry were the two Abraham Witmers of the Manor, Samuel B. Witmer (1767-1819) of Weaverland, David Witmer (1800-1876) of Mellingers congre­gation, David Witmer of York County, Esaias Wit­mer (1856-1937) of the Metzler congregation, and Mahlon Witmer, bishop of the New Holland congre­gation. A branch of the family settled in Colum­biana County, Ohio, where I. B. Witmer was long minister (Mennonite Church) at Leetonia, and from which place Paul E. Whitmer came, who was a teacher and dean at Goshen College, later teacher and dean at Witmarsum Theological Seminary, and General Conference Mennonite minister near Bluffton, Ohio. A branch in Ontario furnished ministers (Mennonite Church) J. Wesley Witmer at Hespeler, Leslie H. Witmer at Baden, and Robert Witmer, a missionary in Paris, France.

Bibliography

Gratz, D. L. Bernese Anabaptists. Elverson, PA.: Old Springfield Shoppe, 1953.

Peachey, Paul. Die soziale Herkunft der Schweizer Täufer. Karlsruhe: Buchdruck und Verlag Heinrich Schneider, 1954.


Author(s) Ira D Landis
Date Published 1959


Cite This Article

MLA style

Landis, Ira D. "Witmer family name." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 Dec 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Witmer_family_name&oldid=119860.

APA style

Landis, Ira D. (1959). Witmer family name. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 December 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Witmer_family_name&oldid=119860.




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Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 968-969. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.


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