Steiner (Stoner) family

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Steiner, a Mennonite family of Swiss origin, was found early on in the communities of Signau, Langnau, Trachselwald, and Eggiwil, in the canton of Bern. The first mention of a member of the family as Anabaptist was in 1538 when Margaret Steiner was brought before the officials at Signau. Members of the family have figured in each of the main Swiss Mennonite migrations. Christian Steiner (b. ca. 1661), a deacon of Diesbach, was one of the emigrants to the Netherlands in 1711. In the early 18th century some of the Steiner family moved to the Jura. By 1750 members of the family had also moved near Florimont in Alsace. A minister of the Swiss Mennonite congregation there, Hans Steiner, made several trips to the Palatinate with other ministers between 1767 and 1780 in an attempt to bring peace to two factions that had arisen in the Mennonite church there.

In the 18th century some Steiners came to Pennsylvania. Most of their descendants have anglicized the name to Stoner. While this family has also moved to Virginia and Iowa, most descendants have lived in Westmoreland, York, and Lancaster counties, Pennsylvania. In 1825-1835 several grandchildren of the above Hans Steiner moved with their families from Florimont and settled near Kitchener, Ontario, the Chippewa (now Crown Hill) settlement in northern Wayne County, Ohio, and Putnam County, Ohio. Daniel Steiner became the first bishop of the Chippewa Swiss Mennonite congregation, and Christian Steiner was the first bishop of the Putnam County Swiss Mennonite congregation.

Christian P. Steiner (1832-1910), minister of the Riley Creek (later called Zion) Mennonite Church, Ohio, was one of the early instigators of a general conference in the Mennonite Church (MC). Menno S. Steiner (1866-1911), a son of Christian P. Steiner, was a Mennonite (MC) evangelist, missionary, leader, author, and first president of the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities. He lived near Cranberry (now Rockport), Allen County, Ohio, and served with his father as a minister of the Zion Mennonite Church. Another son of Christian P. Steiner was Albert Steiner, a bishop (MC) in Columbiana County, Ohio.

Ulrich Steiner (1806-1877) was an influential Mennonite elder in the Emmental Church. He had a glorious vision of heaven and wrote a pamphlet on the topic entitled Angenehme Stunden in Zion. This pamphlet became a part of many Swiss Mennonite homes in the canton of Bern and also in North America.

Author(s) Delbert L Gratz
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Gratz, Delbert L. "Steiner (Stoner) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 14 May 2021.

APA style

Gratz, Delbert L. (1959). Steiner (Stoner) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 May 2021, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 626. All rights reserved.

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