Ummel family

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Ummel (in America also Umble), a Mennonite family, whose members originally lived in the Emmental area of the Swiss canton of Bern. In 1569 a Barbly (Ummel) Rüsser was examined, and afterwards tortured because of her Anabaptist views. Her daughter Anni Ummel was also tried. On July 23 both women, after recanting, had to confess publicly in the church of Wichtrach, but in 1574 Barbly Ummel was again in prison at Bern because of Anabaptism and again promised henceforth to be a loyal member of the Reformed Church. In the 17th century some of the Ummel family moved to the Bernese Jura; among its descendants was David Ummel, a prominent elder at La Chaux de Fonds. Other Ummels fled to the Palatinate in 1670-71, among whom was Christian Ummel aged 39, with his wife and five children. About the same time or shortly after some Ummels immigrated to Alsace.

Probably the Ummels were not very numerous in the Palatinate. In Alsace they were found in the early 18th century in the Montbéliard congregation. The first Ummel who immigrated to America was Christian Ummel, an Amishman, who arrived at Philadelphia 5 October 1767, and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Among the American Umbles are John Umble (b. 1881) and his son Roy Umble, professors at Goshen College. The family tradition that the Ummels stem from Ireland is not probable.


Geiser, S. Die Taufgesinnten-Gemeinden. Karlsruhe, n.d.: 201 ff., 203, 478.

Gratz, D. L. Bernese Anabaptists. Scottdale, 1953: 38, 48, 68, 118, 191, 197.

Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. I, No. 1248.

Müller, Ernst. Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer. Frauenfeld: Huber, 1895. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. de Graaf, 1972: 201.

Smith, C. Henry. Mennonite Immigration to Pennsylvania. Norristown, 1929: 239, note 75.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Ummel family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 23 Feb 2024.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Ummel family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 February 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 772. All rights reserved.

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