Bontrager (Bontreger, Borntrager, Bornträger, Borntreger, Borntraeger) family

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Bontrager is a Mennonite family name of Swiss origin. Martin Bornträger, an Amish Mennonite, was born in Switzerland and on 5 October 1767, and arrived in Philadelphia with three sons—John, Christian, and Andrew. The family located at Meyersdale in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. It is said that Andrew later moved to Virginia and Christian to Indiana County, Pennsylvania. The descendants of John are widely scattered in Amish and Mennonite communities in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and other states. Among the well-known Amish descendants was Joseph Bontreger (1811-1908), who was a deacon in Elkhart County, Indiana. Of his sons, two were chosen bishops, one a minister, and two deacons. A grandson, Bishop Eli J. Bontrager, of Shipshewana, Indiana, was widely known both in Amish and in Mennonite circles.

In the 1951 Mennonite Yearbook three Old Order Amish Mennonite ordained Bontragers were listed for Illinois, 15 for Indiana, five for Iowa, one for Kansas, three for Michigan, two for Ohio, one for Tennessee, and two for Wisconsin. In addition nine are listed for the Mennonite Church and one for the Conservative Amish Mennonite Church.


Bontrager, Sam R. Family Record of Daniel J. Borntrager and His Descendants. Haven, Kansas, 1942.

Borntreger, John E. Descendants of Martin Borntraeger the Emigrant of 1767. Scottdale, PA, 1923.

Author(s) Melvin Gingerich
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Gingerich, Melvin. "Bontrager (Bontreger, Borntrager, Bornträger, Borntreger, Borntraeger) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 23 Feb 2024.,_Borntrager,_Borntr%C3%A4ger,_Borntreger,_Borntraeger)_family&oldid=119816.

APA style

Gingerich, Melvin. (1953). Bontrager (Bontreger, Borntrager, Bornträger, Borntreger, Borntraeger) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 February 2024, from,_Borntrager,_Borntr%C3%A4ger,_Borntreger,_Borntraeger)_family&oldid=119816.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 387. All rights reserved.

©1996-2024 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.