Raber family

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Raber (Raber, Reber), a Mennonite family name, found in Switzerland. In 1567 Peter Raber, of Buchholterberg near Diesbach, canton of Bern, was arrested; after severe torture he recanted and promised to swear an oath of allegiance. About 1670 the Rabers lived in the Emmental. In 1711, when a number of Bernese Anabaptists were compelled to leave the country and to settle in the Netherlands, Samuel Raber then was arrested and finally released to be conducted to the ship. He seems to have left the ship at Mannheim with others of this group and joined the Mennonites who had settled here some years earlier.

In 1837 Jacob Raber with his wife and six children immigrated to America from Germany. The 1955 history of this Amish family lists 1571 descendants, many of whom live near Baltic, Ohio; others are widely scattered in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa. In this group of descendants over 280 bear the name Raber and 99 are or have been ministers, mostly in the Old Order Amish Church. In 1957 three Rebers and eleven Rabers were in the Mennonite Church (MC) and Amish ministry. J. A. Raber of Baltic, Ohio, has been publishing Der Neue Amerikanische Calendar.

Christian Raber, very likely an older brother of the above Jacob, also immigrated to America in 1837 and with his family settled north of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he served as an Amish preacher. Later he moved to Lee County, Iowa, where he continued his ministry. Some of Christian's descendants moved to Hickory County, Missouri, from where they have scattered to many Mennonite communities. Among Christian's descendants was Daniel B. Raber, a widely known Mennonite minister, who worked among the mountain people of Southern Missouri. Daniel's son Frank was for twenty years the pastor of the Detroit (Michigan) Mennonite Gospel Mission.

John Reber, born in Alsace in 1820, came to America as a young man to escape military service. He was ordained to the Amish ministry in Elkhart County, Indiana, but in perhaps 1853 moved to Johnson County, Iowa. His descendants are found principally in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, and Illinois, among whom have been the following ordained Mennonite ministers: David Reber, Joseph Reber, George Reber, and Don D. Reber.


Geiser, Samuel. Die Taufgesinnten-Gemeinden. Karlsruhe, 1931: 194 f.

Gratz, Delbert.  Bernese Anabaptists. Scottdale, 1955: 48, 61 f.

Raber, Daniel J. Raber Family History 1837-1937.

Raber, David M., Mrs. Roman E. Yoder, and Joe D. Yoder. Descendants of Jacob Raber 1794-1955. Nappanee, 1955.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Melvin Gingerich
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der and Melvin Gingerich. "Raber family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 21 Mar 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Raber_family&oldid=120468.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der and Melvin Gingerich. (1959). Raber family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 March 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Raber_family&oldid=120468.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 240-241. All rights reserved.

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