Erb family

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Erb, a Mennonite family name, was first represented in North America by Nicholas Erb (1679-1740), who came to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania from the Emmental, Switzerland via the Palatinate, Germany before 1722. He settled by the Cocalico Creek in Warwick Township. He was a Mennonite pioneer farmer and when he died in 1740, he was buried on his own farm, which has recently been owned by the Garman family. Nicholas' family included John, Nicholas, Christian, Jacob, and Magdalena. Descendants of Christian include Abraham Erb, who founded Waterloo, Ontario; John Erb, who built the mills at the center of Preston, Ontario; Susanna (Erb) Brubacher and her brother Christian Erb who, together with Jacob, Daniel and Peter, gave the impetus to establish the Mennonite Church in Kitchener. John Erb in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania donated land for Erb's church three miles east of Carlisle. John's son, also named John (1840-1913), was a preacher of Strickler's church, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Jacob Erb (1804-83), the tenth bishop of the United Brethren Church, was raised in a Mennonite home. Among the numerous descendants of Nicholas Erb are Tillman M. Erb (1865-1929), bishop of the Pennsylvania church, Hesston, Kansas; his sons Bishop Allen Erb of Lebanon, Oregon and Paul Erb, editor of the Gospel Herald; and Paul's son, Delbert Erb, Mennonite missionary to Argentina. Bishop J. Frederick Erb of the Detroit, Michigan Mennonite Church also came from this line. The family name Erb can also be found among the Amish, chiefly among those living in Waterloo County, Ontario.

Author(s) Ira D Landis
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Landis, Ira D. "Erb family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 31 Jul 2021.

APA style

Landis, Ira D. (1956). Erb family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 31 July 2021, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 240. All rights reserved.

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