Stauffer family

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Stauffer, a Mennonite family name originally from the Aar River valley and from the Emmental, Switzerland, probably means cupbearer, or steep hill. Early records name Christen Stauffer, an "obstinate" Anabaptist preacher who was listed as being in prison at Bern in 1644. Around 1700 a Swiss Stauffer family settled in Alsace. In the 18th century another group of Stauffers were living in the Bernese Jura. Around 1670 Christian and Ulrich Stauffer emigrated from Eggiswil, canton of Bern, to the Palatinate, Germany. Several Stauffers from the Palatinate served as ministers. Christian Stauffer was either a deacon or a preacher at Gerolsheim ca. 1740. Daniel Stauffer of Guntersblum served from 1739 to around 1767 as elder of the Altzheim congregation near Oppenheim. Heinrich Stauffer was chosen as a preacher in 1758 and an elder in 1765, serving until 1805 at the Ibersheim congregation. His relatives Johann Stauffer, a preacher in 1787, and Daniel Stauffer, who served until 1842, followed him in this office.

Hans Stauffer was a Mennonite who, after being expelled from Switzerland, settled with his wife, Kingst Heistand-Risser, in the Palatinate. On 9 November 1709, he and his family began their immigration to North America. He was in London on 20 January 1710 with his wife and children - Jacob, Daniel, Henry, Elisabeth, who was the wife of Paul Friedt, and Maria. Once in North America they settled at Colebrookdale, Berks County, PA. Their descendents have included John Stauffer (1762-1822), a Mennonite Church (MC) preacher of the Franconia Conference, and bishop John L. Stauffer of Virginia. Ulrich Stowpher and Uldrich Stoupher, probably father and son, arrived in North America on 18 and 30 September 1727. Vincent Stauffer, probably also a son of Ulrich Stowpher, settled in York County, Pennsylvania in the early 18th century. Vincent was the ancestor of the preachers Daniel Stauffer (1807-31), Moses Stauffer (1842-1927), and bishop Frederick Stauffer (1813-84). Ulrich was the father of Abraham Stauffer (1752-1826), a preacher in Fayette County. Jacob Stauffer (1713-68) arrived in Philadelphia in 1732 and settled in Dauphin County, PA. Jacob Stofor (b. ca. 1712) arrived in America in 1732 with his brother Daniel Stiffor. Christian and Johannes Stauffer, who arrived in America in 1744, were probably brothers of the previously mentioned Ulrich and Vincent Stauffer. They settled in Donegal Township in Lancaster County. Another Christian Stauffer arrived in America in 1749, settling in Lampeter in Lancaster County. He was the father of preacher Johannes Stauffer (1737-1811).

Daniel Stauffer (b. ca. 1708) and his wife Magdalena Hess of the Pequea Colony established a mill site on Hammer Creek, four miles north of Lititz, Lancaster County Their descendents include preachers Noah Stauffer (1842-1928) and Norman B. Stauffer (1871-1927), both of Canada. Christian and Johannes Stoupher, aged 28 and 20, arrived in North America in 1737. Christian, Daniel, Jacob and Johannes Stauffer were brothers, the sons of Daniel Stauffer, who died in the Palatinate in 1735. Veronica, the widow of Daniel, came to North America with Christian and John, traveling to northern Lancaster County, where the sons settled. Christian Stauffer was the ancestor of Benjamin B. Stauffer (1855-1928), who was a preacher at the Kaufman church, Benjamin E. Stauffer (1864-1918), the first superintendent of the Old People's Home at Maugansville, MD, and Bishop Elam W. Stauffer, a Mennonite bishop who served in Africa. Johannes Stauffer was the ancestor of John H. Stauffer (1818-92), a preacher who donated the ground for the Stauffer meetinghouse near Bachmanville. Matthias Stauffer, an older son of Daniel and Veronica Stauffer, came to America with his uncle, Hans Stauffer, in 1710, settling at Caernarvon. He was the ancestor of Jacob W. Stauffer (1811-55), the founder of the Stauffer Mennonites.

A late arrival to North America was Johannes Stauffer (1791-1861) and his son Christian Stauffer (1823-87), both of whom were preachers serving at Indiantown. Other ordained men in North America were bishop John Stauffer (1746-1836) of Beaver Creek and Stouffer's church in Washington County, MD, bishop Michael Stauffer of Augusta County, VA, and Joseph R. Stauffer (1852-1918) of Milford, NE. Abraham Stauffer (1752-1826) was a pioneer Mennonite bishop in Fayette County, PA. He was the great-grandfather of Henry C. Frick and Abraham O. Tinsman, who were prominent in the iron smelting industry in Western Pennsylvania.

Henry Stauffer (1781-1851) was an early leader in the Columbiana-Mahoning congregation in Ohio. Born near Hagerstown, Maryland, he accompanied his parents to Fayette County, Pennsylvania in 1790. In 1801 he settled in Mahoning County, Ohio where he served in the Columbiana County militia between 1806 and 1809. He was ordained to the ministry soon after the arrival of bishop Jacob Nold in 1817. Upon the death of Nold in 1834, Henry Stauffer became bishop. He was one of the signers of the minutes of a church conference held 1843-44 at the Chester meetinghouse in Wayne County, Ohio.

Jacob Stauffer (1832-1899), an early Mennonite preacher from Ohio, was born in York County, PA and came to Columbiana County, Ohio with his parents in 1834. He married a daughter of Deacon Jacob Nold and in 1882 was ordained a minister. He had a concern for small congregations, occasionally preaching for the declining congregations at North Georgetown, Columbiana County, Ohio, and Harmony, Butler County, PA, both of which are now extinct. More recently, in the 20th century, Rudy L. Stauffer was a bishop at Wooster, Ohio, and J. B. Stauffer served as a bishop at Tofield, Alberta.

A notable non-Mennonite descendant of this Stauffer family is Ethelbert Stauffer who was a professor of New Testament at the University of Bonn, Germany.


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Stauffer, Ezra N. Stauffer Genealogy. Goshen, IN ca. 1917.

Stauffer, David. The Genealogy and Historical Sketch of the Stauffer Family. Toronto, 1918.

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Author(s) Ira D. Landis
Wilmer D. Swope
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Landis, Ira D. and Wilmer D. Swope. "Stauffer family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 23 Feb 2024.

APA style

Landis, Ira D. and Wilmer D. Swope. (1959). Stauffer family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 February 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 619-620. All rights reserved.

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