Kauffman (Kaufman, Kaufmann, Kauffmann, Coffman, Cauffman) family

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A prolific Mennonite and Amish family, Kauffman apparently originated in Steffisberg, canton of Bern, Switzerland. One of the early Mennonite settlers in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, was Andrew Kauffman, who came in 1717 from Friesenheim, Palatinate, having earlier arrived in the Friesenheim from Steffisberg. Lists from the Palatinate Mennonite census of the late 17th and early 18th century contain a number of Kauffman families. As late as 1936 there were as many as 44 Kaufmanns in nine congregations in South Germany. Another line of Swiss Kauffmanns immigrated to Alsace and Montbéliard at about the same time. In 1954 there were 20 Kauffmann families in seven congregations in France, including a preacher at Belfort. Around 1800 several of Amish Kauffmann families joined the migration to Galicia and Volhynia (Michelsdorf, Eduardsdorf, Horodisch) and later immigrated to Moundridge, Kansas, and Freeman, South Dakota. P.R. Kaufman's Unser Folk und seine Geschichte (1931) tells the story of this group. From this group stem General Conference Mennonite Church figures like Edmund G. Kaufman (1891-1980), president of Bethel College (1932-52), R. C. Kauffman (b. 1910), dean of the same college (1949-56), and Charles Kauffman, curator of the Kauffman Museum.

The direct immigration of Kauffmans from the Palatinate to America began with Isaac and Andrew Kauffman, who settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1717. From this line came the leading Mennonite Church (MC) figure David D. Kauffman (1827-1896), who was the first Mennonite bishop in Missouri (Versailles). His son Daniel Kauffman (1865-1944), a long-time bishop and editor of the Gospel Herald, lived most of his active life at Scottdale, Pennsylvania. A branch of this Lancaster County line also located in Page County, western Virginia, where Michael Kauffman was the first Mennonite minister. Here the name was changed to Coffman. Bishop Samuel Coffman (1822-1894), his son J. S. Coffman (1848-1899), the noted evangelist of Elkhart, Indiana, and the latter's son Bishop S. F. Coffman (1872-1954) of Vineland, Ontario, were also notable bearers of this name.

The progenitor of the Amish Kauffmans, Jacob Kauffman, came to Berks County, Pennsylvania in 1754 from the Palatinate. Many Kauffmans are still found among the Old Order Amish, chiefly in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois. Those families who have joined the Mennonite group have produced a number of outstanding leaders in the Mennonite Church (MC), among them are Milo Kauffman (b. 1895) president of Hesston College (1933-50) and bishop, Nelson Kauffman (b. 1904), bishop at Hannibal Mo., and president of the Mennonite Board of Education; J. N. Kaufman (b. 1880), a long-time missionary in India and bishop near Peoria, IL. In 1955 there were 25 ordained men in the Mennonite (MC) Church of the family name Kauffman. Sister Frieda Kaufman (1883-1944) was a prominent leader in deaconess work in the General Conference Mennonite Church.


Beachey, J. C. Family Record of Moses and Katie Kauffman and Their Descendants. Arthur, IL, 1941, 65 pp.

Gingerich, Abe, Mrs. Family Record of Jacob Kauffman and His Descendants. Arthur, IL, 1952, 16 pp.

Kauffman, C. F. A Genealogy and History of the Kauffman-Coffman Families of North America 1584-1937. York, PA, 1940, 775 pp.

Kauffman, M. A. Abraham Kauffman Family History. Fresno, Ohio, c1950, 100 pp.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1957

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MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Kauffman (Kaufman, Kaufmann, Kauffmann, Coffman, Cauffman) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 15 Sep 2019. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kauffman_(Kaufman,_Kaufmann,_Kauffmann,_Coffman,_Cauffman)_family&oldid=141185.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1957). Kauffman (Kaufman, Kaufmann, Kauffmann, Coffman, Cauffman) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 15 September 2019, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kauffman_(Kaufman,_Kaufmann,_Kauffmann,_Coffman,_Cauffman)_family&oldid=141185.

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