Moyer, Jacob (1767-1833)

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Jacob Moyer: bishop and farmer; born 24 November 1767 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania to Samuel and Catharine (Kolb) Meyer. He was the fifth child and third son in a family of nine children. On 1 September 1791 he married Magdalena Bechtel (24 March 1773-23 June 1816). They had ten sons and no daughters. After Magdalena died, he married Catherine Bechtel Hoch (14 April 1776-6 February 1851), the widow of immigrant, Daniel Hoch. Jacob died 5 June 1833 while on a trip to Pennsylvania, and was buried in Bucks County.

By vocation Jacob Moyer was a farmer. He, with several others, scouted for land on the Niagara Peninsula in 1799 and purchased 1000 acres. He returned later that year with a larger group of families to settle. In 1802 he was ordained as a minister in the Mennonite Church, the second Mennonite minister ordained in Canada (one year after Valentine Kratz). He was ordained as a bishop in 1807; the first Mennonite bishop in Canada. Jacob Moyer was a gifted peacemaker, and had a reputation for being a good speaker. Three of his sons -- Jacob, Abraham and Dilman -- also became ministers in the Moyer congregation at Vineland. Dilman also served as a bishop.

Jacob Moyer was one of the natural leaders of the Mennonite community, and himself the son of a minister. His Bible records the first meeting of ordained leaders in 1810 that became the Mennonite Conference of Ontario. His location near Jordan Station made his home a natural stop for new settlers moving on to the larger settlement developing in Waterloo County, Ontario. As bishop he also ordained the earliest ministers in Waterloo County, probably including Benjamin Eby. Along with his cousin, Samuel, who was the local schoolteacher in the Vineland area, Jacob Moyer successfully forged a lasting Mennonite community.


Fretz, A. J. A Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Christian and Hans Meyer and Other Pioneers, Together With Historical and Biographical Sketches, Illustrated with Eighty-Seven Portraits and Other Illustrations. Harleysville, PA: News Printing House, 1896: 159, 221-222.

Gingerich, Melvin. "Mennonite Leaders of North America: Jacob Moyer (1767-1833)." Gospel Herald (26 January 1965): 85.

Good, E. Reginald. "Jacob Moyer's Mennonite Church Records: an Interpretive Sketch." Mennogespräch 3 (1985), 1-3.

Hoch, J. Hampton. Hoch-High Family in United States and Canada: a Record of Some Hoch Immigrants and Their Descendents. Charleston, S.C.: Hoch-High Family Reunion, 1962: B-11.

Ruth, John L. Maintaining the Right Fellowship: a Narrative Account of Life in the Oldest Mennonite Community in North America. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1984: 173-175.

Ontario Heritage Foundation plaque at Jordan Museum, Jordan, Ontario.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published January 2002

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Moyer, Jacob (1767-1833)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2002. Web. 14 Apr 2024.,_Jacob_(1767-1833)&oldid=165180.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (January 2002). Moyer, Jacob (1767-1833). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 April 2024, from,_Jacob_(1767-1833)&oldid=165180.

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