The History of the Family of Peter Yordy – 1815-1897

The article is made up of three parts:

Part 1
From Ancient History to Switzerland and France

Part 2
The History of the Family of Peter Yordy (1815-1897)

The Yordy Siblings of Central Illinois—Peter Yordy, Christian Yotty
, and Jacobina (Philabena) Yordy

Part 3
Yordy Addendum

French Birth Records and Ancestry of Peter Yordy

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Part 1
From Ancient History to Switzerland and France

By Gary L. Yordy
Originally published in the Fall 2007 issue (Vol. XXXIV, No. 3)
Illinois Mennonite Heritage Quarterly
(http://imhgs.org)
(Used with permission of the author and original publisher)

Introduction

This document explores the ancient and historic roots of the relatives and descendants of Peter Yordy (1815-1897) of central Illinois. The surname “Yordy” is the Americanized form of the surname “Jordi.” While the surname itself can be traced to Switzerland, this article will begin by citing the probable origins of the family long before the surname came into existence. By combining information from the historic disciplines of anthropology, archeology, paleontology and etymology with recent developments in genetics, Part 1 of this article postulates the movements of the Yordy ancestors from pre-history until the arrival of Yordy families in America.

It is difficult to imagine that the ancestors of the peace-loving Mennonites and Amish were at one time violent warriors; or that the docile farmers whose lives are tied to an agricultural lifestyle are descendants of hunters who survived by eating what they could find or kill; or that the ancestors of those who shun makeup and ornaments were tattooed and wore many “magic” objects to fend off evil spirits; or that those who treasure their relationship with one God descended from those who worshiped many gods and feared as many evil spirits. Yet every scientific and social discipline indicates this to be the case.

The newly completed genome project offers that somewhere in the relatively small group of early humans was a many-times great grandfather of today’s Yordys. He could be identified by a unique part of his Y chromosome known as “Haplogroup I”.

As segments of peoples began to spread farther from their origins, a mutation in the Y chromosome of our ancestor (then living in north central France) occurred—the development of the haplogroup “I1c.” This change would have been unnoticed at the time, but its significance cannot be discounted, for it is this change that allows us to “track” our ancestor using modern genetic investigation.1

Arrival in Switzerland

“The Helvetii 2 were the Celtic inhabitants of modern Switzerland and to a larger extent Southern Germany. They were described by Julius Caesar in his De Bello Gallico. Under pressure from Germanic tribes in their home territory, they were planning to migrate into Gaul (France) with their entire tribe under the command of Orgetrix. According to his own account, Caesar was called upon by the Gauls of the province of Gallia Narbonensis, which had already been conquered and organized, to defend them from the invading Helvetii. Caesar, at the time, commanded six legions comprised of nearly 29,000 men. The Helvetii, according to Caesar’s writings, had 370,000 people (including children and women), but only 110,000 men-at-arms. Caesar hastily recruited two more fresh legions in preparation. By the time the tribe began its march, Orgetorix had died. Before leaving, the Helvetii burned their villages and destroyed what foodstuff and other commodities they could not take with them so they could not turn back. Lured to a disadvantageous position with the Romans taking the high ground near the Aedui capital of Bibracte, the Helvetii were attacked by the superior Roman forces that managed to kill nearly sixty percent of the tribe and capture another twenty percent as slaves. The remaining Helvetii were driven back into their old lands, Helvetti.” The Romans then began an occupation of the Helvetti lands (in what is now Switzerland) that would last 400 years. It is thus virtually certain that at the time of the birth of Jesus, our ancestor was also living under Roman rule, but far to the north of Bethlehem, in the area that today is far southern Germany or northern Switzerland.

If our ancestor was a Helvettian, he was one of the few to survive the ill-fated encounter with the Roman armies. But our ancestor may have been a member of a tribe located in southern Germany—the Alemannians. “The Alemannians crossed the fortified northern Roman boundary and settled in the area. German became the language of lands occupied by the Alemannians.”3 Of course, the populace had to deal with all of the daily dangers of accidents, diseases, including plague, and the impacts of weather on their lives. Our ancestor, like others of the time, presumably lived in a very humble thatched stone or sod home. He may have had a small plot of land on which to raise grains for bread.

Whether a surviving Helvettian, or a recently transplanted Allemanian, our ancestor’s life was greatly influenced by the Roman Empire. Between 900 and 1490, the lands of modern Switzerland that were once part of the Holy Roman Empire were divided among various Germanic rulers. In 1191 the city of Berne, Switzerland, was founded by Duke Berchtold V of Zharingen. In 1218 municipal rights were confirmed on the city by King Freiderich II of the German empire. At about this time, as with the rest of Europe, men were forced to adopt surnames. Precisely when this happened in Switzerland is unclear. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France was formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did.

During this period, the Catholic Church slowly expanded its influence among the locals. One of the many indirect impacts was to influence “given names.” Converts began to give their children “Christian” names––names for early saints or biblical names. Our ancestor lived in close proximity to the first Roman Catholic bishop of Octodorus, named St. Theodore, in the Martigny-Valais district of southern Switzerland. In Swiss, he was called “St. Joder.” Sometime around 1100-1200 our ancestor chose or was assigned the surname “Joder.” Most of the descendants of this ancestor would come to be known as “Yoder” in America. Recent findings in Y-DNA tests confirm that the Yoders who originated in Switzerland and are found scattered throughout America today, and the Yordys from Switzerland, shared a common ancestor some 600 years ago. The first historic record of a man with the surname “Joder” is found in 1260 when Peter Joder from Joderhubel (“Joder Hill,” two kilometers west of Schangnau, Switzerland) is identified in a civil document. 4

Whether the surname was selected in honor of St. Joder, or whether it was derived from the residence of our Joder ancestor is unknown. Numerous places and geographical features bear the name Joder, such as the mountain called the Joderhorn in the French-speaking Alps; the small mountain church Saint Joder at Altzellen between Stans and Engelberg; and Joder Spring and Joder Pass in the high Alps of the French-speaking region. In the village church at Niederwald in Canton Valais there is a lovely ceiling painting with the legend, “How Saint Joder [Theodore] Multiplied the Wine.” All these may be taken as signs of the antiquity of the Joder family and the fact that Volume 4 of the Historical–Biographical Lexicon of Switzerland lists “JODER—very old, settled clan from Steffisburg,” speaks for itself.

Our Joder ancestors were not mere peasants and breeders of livestock. They were involved in commercial ventures: grain mills, tanneries, sawmills, brick factories, oil mills, fulling mills [for making felt], and stamping mills. They are also represented from early on in high offices of the regional and village administration.

“There is no doubt that Joders living in the Huttwyl and Joders in the Steffisburg-Amseligen-Thun and Sigriswil areas are a single clan from the earliest Middle Ages.”5 While most of the American Yoders appear to have emanated from the Steffisburg Joders, it is probable that the Huttwyl-area Joders are more closely related to the American Yordys.

Beginning around 1300, the city of Bern expanded its governmental control over surrounding lands. By 1328 the expansion had included the purchase of the city of Thun and in 1353 Bern became a “Canton” and joined the Swiss Federation. The lands encompassed by Canton Bern were areas where the Joder clan lived.

At some point between 1250 and 1530, one Joder man who lived in Canton Bern (probably in the area of Eriswil or Huttwyl) had the spelling of his surname changed from Joder to Jordi. Whether this name change was volitional or the result of spelling errors on the part of some bureaucrat is unknown. But the name change persisted. In 1530 a man named Jordi (no given name) is identified in Gondiswil. In 1550 his son, Johannes or Hans Jordi, was born in Gondiswil, and in 1554 a second son, Balthasar Jordi, was born there.6 It is possible that one of these brothers was the progenitor of the Anabaptist and Mennonite Jordis, though no direct link has been proven to date. Balthasar had fifteen children; most stayed in the Gondiswil area for generations. In the 1840s one descendant joined the Mormon Church and emigrated to Utah.

Although Canton Bern, Switzerland is the birthplace of the name Jordi, there were at least three other areas of Europe where a similar name originated. In Spain and in southern France two biologically unrelated families chose the surname “Jordy,” and in the Netherlands a family adopted the surname “Jorda.” These families selected the name after a different saint—St. George. These Jordy and Jorda families are mentioned because some members of the families subsequently emigrated to America and [very few] had their names Americanized to Yordy; however, the vast majority maintained the native spelling of their surname.

The earliest Swiss Jordis were members of the Catholic Church as were virtually all people of Switzerland before 1520. In 1519, John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli, former priests and political leaders in Zurich, began the Protestant Reformed Church. Within five years of the initiation, several members split from the church over the issue of infant baptism. These “Anabaptists” became known as the “Swiss Brethren.” The first congregation of historical record was found in Zurich in 1525 and was the congregation that later became known as “Mennists,” and shortly thereafter, Mennonites, after Menno Simons.

Reformation spread rapidly and on February 7, 1528, the Protestant Reformed Church became the state church of Canton Bern. The Anabaptist movement followed almost immediately in the Canton. The following 200 years saw multiple efforts on the part of the government and the state church to eliminate the Anabaptist movement. These efforts have been extensively chronicled in the history of the Mennonite Church.

Precisely when our ancestor joined the Anabaptist movement is unclear. By 1597, at least some Joders from the area of Thun had joined the movement. “According to the Thun Urbar of 6 April 1597, the mother-in-law of Jakob Joder in Amsoldingen (Frau Neuschwender) was served with a confiscation order in the amount of two hundred pounds, merely because she was Mennonite and would not recant. Her daughter’s husband, Jakob Joder, signed a warrant for this amount, for which both his brothers-in-law were guarantors. Two hundred pounds was, in today’s currency value, a huge sum. The Jakob Joder family had an especially large and well-located forest of fir trees that was coveted by a Bernese patrician councilman who sought it out for a summer residence he wished to build. The Bernese councilman believed that he could now get his hands on this fir forest on foot of the fine warrant, but the sons of Jakob Joder confounded his scheme by cutting down eight hundred of the most beautiful trees in a few days. Heini Joder, the eldest son of Jakob Joder, was punished for this by being forced to do ‘bell work . . . .’ ” 7

Between 1550 and 1700, the Jordi families were living within about a 20-square-mile area of Canton Bern. Civil documents reveal the families to be living in the communities of Durrenroth, Eriswil, Gondiswil, Huttwyl, Ochlenberg, Wiler bei Utzenstorf, and Wyssachen in Canton Bern. These areas are located in the Oberaargau in the Swiss Plateau and are primarily agricultural communities. To date, the historical record suggests that most of the Jordi families remained affiliated with the Protestant Reformed Church. A few retained their Catholic ties. But by 1700, at least one Jordi family had joined the Mennonite movement. This occurred during a time of extreme persecution that included, among other things, confiscation of property and banishment from the country.

Arrival in France

As a result of the persecution, some members of the Jordi family left Switzerland. Around 1680, Johan Georg Jordi emigrated to Oberbetschdorf, Alsace-Lorraine, France. His religious affiliations in Switzerland are unknown, but in France he and his family joined the Lutheran Church. By 1712, at least two members of the Mennonite Jordi family, Jakob Jordi and Peter Jordi, abandoned Switzerland. It is uncertain how these men may have been related, but it is probable they were siblings. They were part of the second major emigration of Mennonites from Switzerland to escape religious persecution. The refugees traveled “down the Rhine to Alsace and the Palatinate on both sides of the Rhine, as well as certain adjoining territories such as Durlach or Zweibrucken. Since the earlier Anabaptists in these territories were almost completely wiped out by 1600-1630, all the later Mennonite settlements in these areas were made by emigrants from Switzerland. The heaviest movement was in 1650-1690. Some Bernese Anabaptists migrated to the Jura region of the Bishopric of Basel early in the 18th century, and about 1711 some emigrated to Holland. In 1714 the Anabaptists were ordered expelled from Alsace, and many left to found the community in Montbeliard, France, at that time ruled by Wurttemberg.”8 Montbeliard is located close to the Swiss border and about 12 kilometers north of the community of Belfort, France.

It appears that Peter Jordi went to Holland from Alsace about this time. From there he joined Dutch Mennonites on a trip to America in 1717. The immigrants traveled at the invitation of William Penn and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When they arrived, Peter’s name was spelled phonetically. Since the German letter “j” is pronounced similar to the English “y,” Peter Jordi became Peter Yorde, and later, Peter Yordy. He was the progenitor of the Pennsylvania Yordy families that later lived in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Nebraska, and other western states. One of his descendants, Sam Yorty, became mayor of Los Angeles, California, a California congressman, and in 1972, unsuccessfully sought the nomination for President of the United States. DNA studies have closely linked this Peter Jordi with Peter Yordy who would emigrate from Bavaria to Tazewell County, Illinois in 1839. These studies indicate that Peter Jordi of Pennsylvania and Peter Yordy of Illinois shared a common ancestor, probably around 1700.9

Peter Jordi’s presumed brother, Jakob Jordi, remained in Europe. In 1715, he is identified as a member of the Amish congregation in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines near Belfort. It appears that some of Jakob’s sons stayed in the area of Belfort where some of his descendants remain to this day. At least two sons, Hans Jakob Jordi (1708-1752), and Ulrich Jordi, moved northeast into Germany. In 1732, Hans Jakob, his wife, and one child were living in Heppenheim.10 Hans Jakob Jordi appears to be the progenitor of all the Jordi (sometimes spelled “Jordy”) families from the area of Zweibrucken. Ulrich Jordi and his family left for the “New Land” in 1749 according to information found in the Palatine Mennonite Census lists.11 However, to date, no additional information on Ulrich Jordi has been identified.

As noted, at least one of the sons of Jacob Jordi remained in the area of Belfort. He was apparent ancestor of Peter Yordy (born 1815) who would emigrate to Illinois in 1838.

Endnotes

1 Family Tree DNA – Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd. 1919 North Loop West, Suite110 Houston, Texas 77008, USA
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helvetii
3 http://www.worldcoincatalog.com/CX/Switzerland/Switzerland.htm
4 Yoder Newsletter
5 http://www.yodernewsletter.org/nonamish/chronik.html
6 Genealogical record of the Jordi family of Gondiswil, Kt. Bern, Switzerland, abt. 1550-1905, compiled by Julius Billeter (1869-1957), p.60 ff., Family History Library International Film 128058, Item #3.  Original records in possession of Ruby M. Lee, 956 S.500 E., Orem, UT 84057.
7 http://www.yodernewsletter.org/nonamish/chronik.html
8 Krahn, Cornelius, Harold S. Bender and John J. Friesen. “Migrations.” Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 January 2007
9 Family Tree DNA analysis of descendants of Peter Yordy of Pennsylvania and Peter Yordy of Illinois, 2006.
10 1732 Mennonite Census List Reconstructed, URL unknown.
11 Guth, Hermann, et. al., “Palatine Mennonite Census Lists, 1664-1793”, pub. Mennonite Family History, 1987.


Part 2
The History of the Family of Peter Yordy (1815-1897)

The Yordy Siblings of Central Illinois—Peter Yordy, Christian Yotty,
and Jacobina (Philabena) Yordy

By Gary L. Yordy and Carol Yotty Heilman
Originally published in the Winter 2007 issue (Vol. XXXIV, No. 4)
Illinois Mennonite Heritage Quarterly  (http://www.imhgs.org)

(Used with permission of the author and original publisher
)

The following is an overview of the lives of three siblings who arrived in Tazewell County, Illinois from Bavaria between 1839 and 1842: Peter Yordy, Christian Yotty, and Jacobina (Philabena) Yordy. The family surnames are “Americanized” versions of the family surname, Jordi (Switzerland) and Jordy (France and Germany). In review of many historical documents in Illinois, a total of 32 different spellings of the surnames was identified.

I. Peter Yordy

Peter Yordy was born July 12, 1815 in France.1 His birth name may have been Peter Jordy or Pierre Jordy or Peter Jordi. It is most likely that his actual surname was “Jordy,” an Anabaptist name in the region and one that originated in Canton Bern, Switzerland. In Peter’s case, the surname Jordy was “Americanized” to “Yordy” when he emigrated to the United States.

At the time of Peter’s birth in 1815, the Napoleonic wars had just concluded, and by 1816 emigration restrictions in Europe had eased. Despite the end of the Napoleonic wars, 150,000 English, Prussian, Austrian, and Russian troops occupied the area around Belfort, depleting the crops and supplies of the residents. Then extremely prolonged, hard winters in 1816 and 1817 destroyed crops and widespread famine ensued.2 These severe weather years were the result of the eruption of the Mt. Tambora Volcano in Indonesia in 1815. As a result of the eruption, an ash cloud spread around the world causing widespread weather disruption and the worst famine of the 19th century. 1816 was known in many parts of the world as “the year with no summer.”3 Presumably as a result of these factors, in 1817, when Peter Jordy was two years old, his family moved to Bayern (Bavaria).4 He stated he grew up “about 20 miles south of Munich.”5

Nothing is known of Peter’s early years. Peter apparently decided to leave Bavaria for America around 1837. A review of ships’ records of all ships landing in New Orleans in 1837 and 1838 reveals no evidence of Peter on any passenger list. This suggests that Peter may have come to America as a “stowaway” and entered the country as an “illegal immigrant”. The exact date that Peter arrived in the U.S. in 1838 has yet to be ascertained.

In 1839, “Peter Yorte” arrived in Tazewell County and settled on Partridge Creek (near Metamora).6 There is no known record of Peter’s life immediately after his arrival in Illinois in 1839. It is likely that he worked as a laborer.

On February 9, 1847, Peter married Mary Birky, an Amish woman with a nine-year-old son.7 The couple was married in the Dillon Creek Amish Congregation in Tazewell County.8 Mary Birky was born in Bavaria on April 16, 1816,9 the daughter of Christian Birki and his first wife, Mary, whose surname is unknown. Mary Birky Yordy’s first son, John, was born October 23, 1838, in Bavaria. Presumably, he was born out of wedlock.

On June 17, 1844, the ship Baltimore arrived in New York from Havre. Five people from Bavaria were traveling together:10

Peter Zerr 25
Joseph Burger 26
Catharina Kunder 27
Mary Burger 28
Johann Horn 6

It is believed that the persons written on the passenger list shown above were later known by more familiar names:

“Peter Zerr” = Peter Zehr. Probably the son of Daniel Zehr II and Magdalena Unzicker. Born 30 Dec 1818 in Mannreid, Bavaria, Germany (he would have thus been 25 in 1844). Married Elizabeth Oyer on 12 Aug 1845.

“Joseph Burger” = Joseph Birkey, second oldest child and oldest son of Christian Birki; brother of Mary Birky. Born 1818 in Bavaria.

“Catharina Kenntner” = Catharina Kettner, daughter of George Kettner and Marie Birky Kettner, and first cousin of Mary Birky Yordy. She may have been traveling as a chaperone for Mary Birky and her son on the voyage. She apparently returned to Bavaria and emigrated with her father and siblings in 1849.

“Mary Burger” = Mary Birky, oldest daughter of Christian and Mary Birki and future wife of Peter Yordy.

“Johann Horn” = John Birky Yordy, son of Mary Birky. He was raised as a foster child by Peter Yordy and changed his name to John B. Yordy.

One family legend indicates that John’s biologic father was a German army officer. [It is possible that John B. Yordy’s relationship to Peter Yordy as a “foster son” would have remained a family secret were it not for the fact that John’s daughter, Fannie Yordy decided to marry Peter Yordy’s nephew, Joseph Yeackley (see Jacobina Yordy, below). As a result, it was made clear that John Birky Yordy was not the biologic son of Peter Yordy, and thus was not related by blood to Fannie Yordy.]

In the 1900 US Census, Mary stated that she immigrated in 1847 and had “resided in this country for 53 years.”11 However, according to her son, John, they arrived when John was age six—1844.

After his marriage to Mary Birky, Peter Yordy became the foster father of John Birky. Although there is no record that Peter adopted John Birky, John went through life as John B. (for Birky) Yordy. In 1850, Peter (35), Mary (34), and children, John (12), Christian (2), and Mary (1), were residing on a rented farm in Tazewell County.12

Historic records indicate that Peter bought his first land in America on January 30, 1852, when he purchased three properties located in Tazewell County from Abner Hodgson. The properties totaled 145 acres: two plots in south central Groveland Township (today located on the northeast corner of Allentown Road and Rowell Road) totaling 85 acres; and a 70 acre plot, about four miles south of the other two, in north central Elm Grove Township. Peter paid $1400 cash for the land. On April 17, 1854, Peter sold 25 acres of the land in Groveland Township to his brother-in-law, John Ackerman (husband of Mary’s sister, Magdalena) for $300.13

On February 28, 1854, Peter’s brother-in-law, George Yeackley (husband of Peter’s sister, Jacobina), died. Peter was named the administrator of Yeackley’s estate and the guardian ad litem for his four children.14 Five months later, on June 12, 1854, Jacobina Yeackley married Henry Raab.15 Raab died unexpectedly in early 1860 and left his family with a significant mortgage. When the mortgage holder foreclosed on the property, Peter purchased it for the cost of the mortgage ($620.15). On September 18, 1860, Peter entered into a “land swap” with a man named August Knoll. Peter sold Knoll the Yeackley farm land for $2000 and purchased a house in the city of Pekin from Knoll for $700.16 This house was located on the northeast corner of Sixth and Ann Eliza Streets. Peter apparently did this because Jacobina needed a place to live with her small children. In the 1861 Pekin City Directory, Jacobina and children were living at this address.

In 1860, the Yordy family included Peter (54), Mary (49), John (21), Christian (11), Mary (10), Jacob (7), Elizabeth (4), Phillip [Peter, Jr.] (5), and Joseph (2). They were residing on the Elm Grove Township farm.17 In 1863, Peter paid the US Government $100 to purchase the release of his step-son John from service in the army during the Civil War.18

On February 10, 1865, “Peter Yordy of Tazewell County” purchased 80 acres of land in Nebraska Township, Livingston County, from Thomas Kinnahaw.19 This farm was located on the northeast corner of what is now the town of Flanagan. There is no evidence that Peter moved to Livingston County at the time. It appears from the record that Mary’s son, John Birky Yordy, moved from Tazewell County in 1865 and resided on the farm until about 1871 (John’s children, Peter [b. 1866], Simon [b. 1868], and John [b. 1869] were all born in Livingston County, near Flanagan).20 When Peter’s daughter, Mary, was married in 1872, she and her new husband, Daniel Orendorff, moved to the farm near Flanagan while John B. Yordy and his family moved to Lombardville, Illinois. On February 28, 1874, Peter transferred title to the land near Flanagan to Daniel and Mary Yordy Orendorff.21

In 1867 (a year after the death of his father-in-law, Christian Birky) Peter and his family moved to Woodford County where he had purchased a 200-acre farm from Andrew Johnson. This farm was located about three miles east of Roanoke, on Panther Creek. At the same time, he rented additional nearby land.22

It is stated that, “He arrived from the Dillon Creek congregation and that he joined the Roanoke Mennonite Church, but was [also] active in the Panther Creek Church of the Brethren.”23 This is apparently partly due to the proximity of the Panther Creek Church to his domicile. The Panther Creek Church of the Brethren is located about 1/4 mile from the Peter Yordy farm, while the Roanoke Mennonite Church is located almost six miles away. According to local historian, Ken Ulrich, it was not uncommon for Mennonites located a distance from the Roanoke church to be active in the Brethren church, which was apparently the case for Peter Yordy. Another explanation for this dual church attendance may be that when Peter moved to Woodford County, the Panther Creek Church of the Brethren was an established church, having been built in 1852. The Roanoke Mennonite Church did not form until 1875, eight years after Peter settled in Woodford County. At the time of his death, Peter was a member of both churches. Peter’s great-great-grandson and namesake, Rev. Peter Yordy, is currently (2007) the pastor of the Panther Creek Church of the Brethren.

Peter’s farm in Roanoke Township was located approximately 3 ½ miles north of a farm owned by “Christian Yotty” in northern Olio Township. On March 15, 1867, Peter and Christian Yotty were co-signers of a note to Jacob Gangloff in the amount of $800 bearing 10% interest.24 The reason for the indebtedness is not stated on the note.

When Christian Yotty died in 1870, his estate showed a debt to Jacob Gangloff of $946.74, an amount consistent with the unpaid principal and interest on the $800 note.25 This would suggest that Peter signed as a guarantor for a loan made to Christian.

In 1868, the Woodford County Tax Records record the following on Peter Yordy:
“YORDY, PETER, farmer; Secs. 13 and 24; P.O. Roanoke; was born in Alsace, France (now Germany), June 12, 1815; he married Miss Mary Burky Feb. 9, 1847; She was born in Germany in 1816; they had eight children, seven living—Christian, Mary, Jacob, Elizabeth, Peter, Joseph, and Barbara; he lived in Alsace two years before moving to Buron [sic], in Germany; lived there until 1838, when he came to the United States; in 1839, he came to Illinois, settled in Tazewell Co., followed farming; in 1867, he came to Woodford Co., and settled on his present place; he came to the United States without any capitol; he now owns 200 acres in this township.”

In 1870, Peter and family were still in Roanoke Township26 where he was farming in sections 13 and 24.27 In 1870 and 1871, Peter hosted a private school where Amish children were taught English by Christian Ehrisman.28 The 1880 census shows Peter, Mary, and children, Elisabeth, Peter (Jr.), Joseph and Barbara, still on their farm in Roanoke Township.29

In April 1880, Peter Yordi, et. al., filed two lawsuits in the Woodford County Court against Peter N. Vance, et. al., and W.M. Meek, et.al. Both suits sought declaratory relief and an injunction. According to the records of the Court of Chancery in Woodford County, the cases revolved around a tax issue. In 1879, the Woodford County tax collector sought to collect $7000 from the village of Roanoke. The city refused to pay. The tax collector then tried to collect the monies from individual landowners within the city boundaries. Peter Yordy was one of the landowners. He owned one acre of land that he had purchased in order to donate it to the local school district to build a school within the town. Peter and the other property owners of Roanoke sought a restraining order claiming the County could not turn to individual municipal property owners if the city government refused to pay required County taxes. The court agreed and held for the plaintiffs. The County appealed and the appellate court held that the original restraining order was erroneously filed and dismissed the case. Peter and the others filed a second suit for a restraining order.

That case was also dismissed and no relief was obtained by Peter.30 As a result, the 43 property owners were required to each pay a prorated portion of the $7000. Recognizing that Peter had only purchased his property to donate for a school, the other property owners paid Peter’s share of the property tax.

Between 1875 and 1890, Peter bought additional land in Livingston County. In July, 1885, Peter transferred an 80-acre farm in Livingston County to his son Jacob. This farm was located in Waldo Township, five miles south of the town of Flanagan on what was referred to as “the Gridley Road.” Peter also purchased 80 acres of land in western Rooks Creek Township that was transferred to his son, Joseph. Joseph sold the property to Valentine Augstein on October 17, 1885.31 Joseph used the proceeds to purchase land in Nebraska Township near Flanagan from Serratus Holt in 188332 and additional land from Ezra Winn in 1885.33

Peter apparently retired from active farming in 1883-84. Peter, 70 years old at the time, and Mary, left their “home place” near Roanoke and moved in with Daniel and Mary Orendorff near Flanagan. At that time, Peter’s son, Christian, and his family moved from Livingston County to the “home place” near Roanoke. A second house was built on the “home place” and Peter, Mary, Peter Jr. and Barbara, returned to occupy this residence. On October 13, 1889, “Peter Yordy and his wife, Maria, of Nebraska Township, Livingston County” deeded eight acres in Woodford County to their son Peter Jr.34 This transfer of title was apparently done to avoid estate probate.

Thus, land records indicate that Peter divested himself of all of his property prior to his death and that he transferred all of it to his children, likely in exchange for an agreement to care for Peter and Mary in their old age, and to care for Peter, Jr. and Barbara, both of whom were mentally challenged. In so doing, Peter and Mary avoided the requirement for a will.

Peter Yordy died on July 2, 1897, in Woodford County. He was survived by his wife, Mary, who died May 13, 1902. Both Peter and Mary are buried in the Roanoke Mennonite Cemetery.35 To date, and in keeping with their faith, there has been no will or estate record found for either Peter or Mary—nor has there been an obituary identified for either.

Following the deaths of Peter and Mary, their two mentally challenged adult children, Peter, Jr. and Barbara, were cared for by their siblings. In 1901, shortly before the death of his mother, Peter, Jr. became the ward of his brother-in-law, Christian Bachman.36 In the guardianship record, Peter, Jr. is described as “distracted.” Barbara (also described as “distracted”) subsequently became the ward of her brother, Christian Yordy. When Christian died, Barbara’s guardianship was transferred to Christian‘s son, Amos Yordy, and later, to another nephew, Ezra Yordy.37

Children of Peter Yordy (12 Jun 1815-2 Jul 1897) and Mary Birky (18 Apr 1816-13 May 1902)

A. John Birky Horn Yordy (23 Oct 1838-31 Dec 1906) m. Magdalena King (13 Dec 1842-11 Feb 1927) (John was the biologic son of Mary Birky. His biologic father is unknown. He was raised by Peter Yordy.)

1. Fannie (5 Mar 1863-31 Oct 1955) m. Joseph Yeackley (15 Feb 1848-18 Jan 1940)
2. Samuel (22 Dec 1864-10 Jun 1865)
3. Peter E. (12 Mar 1866-23 Mar 1951) m. Annie Meeker (17 Dec 1868-13 Mar 1967)
4. Simon (14 Feb 1868-23 Oct 1953) m. (1) C. Knidelberger, (2) Katie Reinhart, (3) Amelia Schoenberg (Jan 1868-23 Apr 1945)
5. John E. (25 Dec 1869-7 Dec 1943) m. Alvina Lange (25 Mar 1870-21 Jul 1964)
6. Emma (23 Oct 1871-8 Nov 1958) m. Peter Swartzendruber (16 Dec 1869-3 May 1939)
7. Bella (24 Aug 1873-7 Oct 1962) m. Joseph Schrock (17 May 1852-6 May 1943)
8. David (16 Jan 1875-30 Oct 1934) m. Sarah Stauffer (18 May 1882-3 Mar 1957)
9. Jacob(15 Sep 1876-24 Aug 1883)
10. William (4 Sep 1878-23 Aug 1887)
11. Francis (4 Aug 1880-5 Dec 1898)
12. Mary (24 Jul 1882-27 Mar 1929) m. Joseph E. Zimmerman (19 Mar 1880-15 Dec 1949)
13. Elizabeth (1 Nov 1885-21 May 1965) m. Samuel Erb (22 Oct 1872-Aug 1938)

B. Christian Yordy (29 Jul 1848-10 Jul 1922) m. Salome Slagel (6 Sep 1855-21 Feb 1838)
1. Lydia (1876-1876)
2. Maria (7 Jan 1878-21 Mar 1880)
3. Daniel (1879-7 Apr 1880)
4. Salome (1 Feb 1881-28 Jul 1968) m. (1) Fred Woodward (1 Dec 1874-1922), (2) Edwin P. Burcky (21 Apr 1875-2 Feb 1962)
5. Joseph (1882-1882)
6. Amos (10 Jun 1884-1 Dec 1966) m. Jessie Switzer (21 Feb 1887-March 1977)
7. Joel (21 Nov 1886-9 Sep 1951) m. Prudence Bollinger (9 Dec 1886-July 1974)
8. Leah (12 Sep 1886-15 Mar 1976) m. (1) Unknown, (2) Stephen Armstrong (18 Apr 1886-9 Jan 1952)
9. Laura (Jan 1891-1 Jun 1929) m. Elbert Bryant (1887-6 Nov 1928)
10. Elizabeth (1 Jun 1896-Oct 1984)

C. Mary Yordy (19 Oct 1849-8 Feb 1923) m. Daniel Orendorff (8 Nov 1848-14 Jan 1918)
1. Elizabeth (24 Dec 1872-26 Feb 1960) m. John Roeschley (25 Aug 1859-24 Nov 1947)
2. Katherine (12 Jun 1874-1 Feb 1958) m. Christian M. Conrad (26 Mar 1873-6 Mar 1954)
3. Mary (1 Feb 1877-7 Nov 1908) m. John Zehr (31 Mar 1872-28 Dec 1916)
4. Emma (11 Mar 1880-11 Oct 1969) m. John D. Conrad (25 Oct 1878-28 Apr 1958)
5. Benjamin (21 Aug 1884-19 Sep 1885)
6. Amos (17 Mar 1887-23 Dec 1893)
7. Ada (12 May 1890-21 Jan 1984) m. Aaron C. Good (25 Jun 1881-29 Jun 1978)

D. Magdalena Yordy (Jun 1851-1854)

E. Jacob K. Yordy (8 Mar 1853-29 Nov 1930) m. Cathrien “Katie” King (17 Oct 1858-2 Feb 1918)
1. Edward P. (12 Mar 1879-31 Aug 1960) m. Mary Beller (10 Feb 1886-2 Apr 1977)
2. Maude (10 Jun 1880-12 Oct 1904) m. William Schertz (1 May 1879-19 Dec 1966)
3. Lidia (14 Feb 1882-14 Feb 1882)
4. Ida (13 Feb 1883-23 Jun 1947) m. Samuel Albrecht (31 Aug 1883-25 May 1947)
5. Noah (30 Jan 1885-15 Oct 1967) m. Mary Ringenberg (18 May 1886- 11 Aug 1969)
6. Lucy (30 Jan 1887-4 Jun 1967) m. Simon Beller (21 Mar 1881-2 Feb 1949)
7. Hattie (25 Sep 1889-9 May 1970) m. Albert Durre (8 Feb 1883-8 Apr 1955)
8. Mable (3 Aug 1891-6 Oct 1941) m. Elmer Augsburg (3 Feb 1890-8 Feb 1966)
9. William (18 May 1893-21 Jan 1974) m. L. Mae Saltzman (20 Nov 1896-30 Mar 1996)
10. Raymond (20 Oct 1895-10 Aug 1976) m. (1) Martha Horsch (3 Nov 1898-27 Nov 1924), (2) Almeda Shettler (24 Aug 1906-19 Jan 1980)
11. Minnie (18 Oct 1897 27 May 1981) m. Raymond Slagell (2 Jun 1897-10 Sep 1968)
12. Edna (19 Oct 1899-10 Oct 1995) m. William Stalter (25 Jul 1896-19 Nov 1971)
13. Amsy (2 Apr 1901-9 Dec 1980) m. Ella Zehr (28 Nov 1903-14 Mar 1994)
14. Erma (20 Feb 1904-14 Aug 2002) m. Arthur Guth (30 Oct 1895-8 Sep 1966)

F. Elizabeth Yordy (6 Dec 1854-28 Jan 1928) m. Christian Bachman (7 Mar 1857-19 Sep 1934)
1. Phoebe (24 Oct 1881-24 Dec 1971) m. William Kane (1 May 1884-6 May 1949)
2. Joel (5 Oct 1885-22 Nov 1977) m. (1) Anna Slagel (3 Mar 1887-2 Jan 1961), (2) Edna Oyer (25 Apr 1898-13 Oct 1998)
3. Mary (15 Apr 1890-22 Apr 1935) m. John Bachman (16 Dec 1889-7 Feb 1972)
4. Solomon (2 Sep 1893-6 Sep 1950) m. Emma Crawford (25 May 1897-Mar 1973)

G. Peter Philip Yordy (29 Feb 1956-4 Jun 1909)

H. Joseph Yordy (7 Nov 1857-19 Feb 1925) m. Elizabeth Roeschley (20 Jul 1861-3 Feb 1953)
1. Ellen “Ella” M. (29 Mar 1883-16 Jan 1960)
2. Anna M. (9 Mar 1885-18 Jan 1975)
3. Josephine L. (14 Aug 1886-3 Jan 1977) m. Albert E. Schrock (13 Jan 1886-9 Jan 1917)
4. Aaron A. (16 Mar 1888-7 Nov 1957)
5. Ezra B. (6 Apr 1892-9 Nov 1980) m. Carrie E. Good (2 Jan 1893-24 Jan 1993)
6. Walter E. (6 Dec 1895-25 Feb 1976) m. Alma Eigsti (13 Apr 1896-21 Jun 1972)
7. Jonas E. (9 Jan 1899-May 1984)
8. Alvin R. (8 Jan 1902-29 Dec 1979) m. Leah Erb (5 Aug 1907-20 Dec 2004)
9. Lewis J. (17 Sep 1905-10 Feb 1932)

I. Barbara Yordy (18 Dec 1860-20 Sep 1943)

**********************************************

II. Christian Yotty

It is believed that Christian Yotty was the brother of Peter and Jacobina Yordy. To date, no document specifically stating that has been located. However, there is very strong circumstantial evidence to support the inference that Christian Yotty and Peter Yordy were brothers whose original surname was Jordi or Jordy. That evidence includes:

A) The fact that they are of similar ages (Peter is five-seven years younger than Christian).38
B) They both appear in central Illinois at about the same time (1839-40).39
C) At one time or another they both shared the same last name (Yotty, Yordy).40
D) Both are Amish Mennonites who emigrated from Bavaria, Germany.41
E) According to Glendon Albrecht, great-grandson of Peter and the oldest known living descendent of Peter Yordy, at age 93 years in 2002, “Them Yotty’s from Roanoke were all related to us Yordy’s. But we never knew them too well. They was Yordy’s at one time, but somehow, their name got changed.“ When asked if he knew how that happened, he said, “No, but I remember Grandpa (Jacob Yordy) talking about it sometimes.”42
F) They were co-signers on a note to Jacob Gangloff for $800.43
G) Peter supplied part of the Administrative Bond for the estate of Christian in 1870.44
H) Their farms were located about three miles apart in Woodford County.45
I) They are buried near each other in the Roanoke Mennonite Cemetery.46
J) Peter’s daughter, Barbara, was the maid of honor/witness to the marriage of Christian’s son, Jacob Yotty, and Annie Bachman in 1882.47
K) Peter’s son, Christian, had financial dealings with Christian Yotty’s son, Joseph as evidenced by documents in estate file of Joseph Yotty.48
L) In 2006, Y-DNA studies were performed on descendants of both Peter and Christian. Those tests showed that Peter and Christian were very closely related—most probably siblings.49

One issue in considering Christian and Peter as brothers is the fact that Peter consistently listed his place of birth as “France” while Christian listed his place of birth as “Germany”50 and “Baden.”51 (A number of documents of Christian’s children refer to his birthplace as “France.”) It is possible that if they were brothers, their parents lived in “Baden” in 1809 when Christian was born, then moved to the area of France in 1815 when Peter was born, then moved again to Munich around 1817. The probability is that the Yordy family remained in the same locale when the children were young, but political control of the area changed from German to French during that period.

Christian’s precise birth year is uncertain. According to immigration records, he was born in 1810-11; according to the 1860 census, he was born 1809-10. Christian Yotty (“Christ Jody”), age “28”, arrived in New Orleans on December 26, 1839, on the ship “Alexander Toussin.” He came from Bavaria via Le Havre, France and Havana, Cuba. He was traveling with Catherina Stalter (age 30), her children, Johan (age 5) and Maria (age 3), her sister, Magdalena Stalter (age 24), and a man named Jakob Stalter, possibly her brother.52 Two days after arriving, Catherina gave birth to her third child, Henry (b. December 28, 1839 in New Orleans).

Catherina (a.k.a Katharina and Catherine) Stalter Yotty was born ca. 1809 in Gern near Munich, Germany. She was the daughter of Heinrich Stalter.53 Heinrich was an estate holder in Gern who immigrated to Illinois about 1842-43. According to the 1850 census, 74 year-old “Henry Stalder” who was born in Germany, was residing in the Christian and Catherina Stalter Yotty home in Woodford County.54

Originally, it was assumed that Christian and Catherina were married prior to arriving in America, and it was a puzzle why she would have used her maiden name and the name “Stalter” for her children in immigration records. Y-DNA tests were performed on descendants of her sons, John, Henry, and Jacob, in 2006 to determine if there was a genetic connection between the Yotty, Yordy, and Yoder surnames. Those studies indicated the descendants of John Yotty and Henry Yotty were not a match to either the Yordy or Yoder surnames. Jacob Yotty’s descendant did match both the Yordy and Yotty surname Y-DNA. Thus, the DNA match of Jacob Yotty’s descendant proves that Christian Yotty’s original surname was Jordy, and that he was closely related to Peter Yordy—genetically consistent with a sibling. It is further presumed that John and Henry (and presumably Catherina’s daughter, Mary/Maria) were fathered by someone other than Christian Yotty. It is unclear whether Catherina Stalter Yotty was married prior to her marriage to Christian. Christian raised John, Mary, and Henry as his own and they adopted the Yotty surname.

It is unknown when and where Christian and Catherina were married. No marriage certificate has been found in Illinois. It is possible that they were married either in New Orleans, or at some point between New Orleans and Tazewell County, Illinois. According to Mary Yotty Klopfenstein’s obituary, “When she was two years of age with her parents, one sister and four brothers, she came to the United States and they settled on a farm in Germantown, west of Metamora in 1838, known then as Black Partridge.”55 Although the obituary is inaccurate as far as Mary’s age and the number of siblings traveling with her to America (since her sister and three brothers were born after the group arrived in America), the implication is that
the group was a “family unit” prior to their arrival in Illinois.

Christian Yotty arrived in Tazewell County in 1840 and settled on Black Partridge Creek where he became a member of the Partridge Creek Amish Congregation.56, 57 There, three children were born to Christian and Catherina (Joseph in 1845, Catherine in 1848, Jacob in 1853).

The family moved to Olio Township in Woodford County between 1853 and 1860. In 1857, Christian bought 163 acres of land in section 3 at the far north edge of the township, about two miles north and four miles east of Eureka, Illinois.

Christian died on November 7, 1870, without a will. The administrator named to the estate was his widow, “Katharina.” His son John, and brother, Peter Yordy, posted the Administrative Bond for the estate. Catherina Stalter Yotty died on October 3-5, 1894, in Woodford County.58 Catherina and Christian are buried in unmarked graves next to their son, Joseph Yotty, in the Roanoke Mennonite Cemetery, Roanoke, Illinois.59

Children of Christian Yotty (abt. 1810-7 Nov 1870) and Catherina Stalter Yotty (1809-4 Oct 1894)

A. John B. Yotty (2 May 1834-26 Aug 1916) m. Josephine Phillips (1846-1894)
1. Katherine S. (16 Dec 1869-3 Oct 1942) m. Arthur S. Philp (1870-16 Jul 1948)
2. Joseph H. (29 Jul 1872-29 Dec 1938) m. Lodycie Eastman (13 Nov 1878-15 Jul 1932)
3. Anna (19 Apr 1874-26 Oct 1941) m. Edward Everett (27 Nov 1876-21 Dec 1952)
4. Edith (20 May 1875-15 Sep 1900) m. John Strickler (11 Jul 1871-1900)
5. Albert J. (21 Jan 1877-1 Nov 1958) m. Anna Walker (29 Sep 1896-2 Jul 1959)
6. Frank (Dec 1878-19 Oct 1933)
7. Phoebe (23 Jan 1881-29 Oct 1953) m. John Kyle (30 Jul 1878-16 Sep 1964)
8. Christopher D. (30 Dec 1883-29 Oct 1952)

B. Maria Yotty (23 Mar 1836-24 Jan 1926) m. Joseph Klopfenstein (31 Jul 1829-9 Dec 1909)
1. Catherine/Kathryn (1858-bet.1880 and 1900) m. Mr. Burwell
2. Christian (1860-bef. 1880)
3. Joseph Jr. (Nov 1867-21 Aug 1949) m. Emma Zeigle (Apr 1869-31 Jul 1932)
4. Josephine (16 Nov 1867-9 Jan 1939) m. (1) Joseph Schumacher (d. bef. 1900), (2)
James Carney (16 Apr 1865-21 Jun 1917)
5. Julianne/Annie (1870-1896)

C. Henry Yotty (28 Dec 1839-9 Feb 1886) m. Mary Alice Hoover (17 Sep 1847-20 May 1914)
1. Lydia (23 Feb 1871-Feb 1922) m. (1) Lytle Jones (b. 23 Jul 1880), (2) George Riggins (b. 1854)
2. Emma (9 Sept 1873-21 Mar 1965)
3. Jessie (9 Jul 1875-1920) m. Fred Dehm (b. 1865)
4. Mary (4 Aug 1876-30 Jul 1949)
5. Daniel (22 Jun 1879-4 Apr 1925) m.(1) Lulu Sutton (1888-1909), (2) Sarah Donnelly (Mar 1882-9 Apr 1959)
6. Ida E. (b. 10 Aug 1881) m. Bertram Brooking
7. Jacob Harry (12 Feb 1883-26 Nov 1926) m. Catherine Reeves (28 Jan 1890-20 May 1940)
8. Bessie (20 Jun 1889-29 Sep 1985) m. Edward Moore (31 Mar 1878-19 Jan 1962)

D. Joseph Yotty (27 Nov 1845-11 Apr 1932)

E. Catherine Phoebe Yotty (Feb 1850-1912) m. Christian D. Ehrisman (1844-21 Aug 1920)
1. John H. (10 Aug 1871-12 Jun 1959) m. (1) Etta Foster (4 Oct 1876-
1 Dec 1917), (2) Ruth Weeks
2. Albert J. (2 Dec 1874-1929) m. Evelyn Schuck (1877-1934)
3. Mary E. (Oct 1877-8 Apr 1894)
4. William D. (Dec 1879-1882)
5. Susan K. (1883-1883)
6. Joseph W. (4 Dec 1885-10 Nov 1939)
7. Clara M. (20 Mar 1889-17 Sep 1959)

F. Jacob C. Yotty (27 Apr 1853-23 Aug 1920) m. Anna Bachman (3 Dec 1858-18 Dec 1933)
1.Christian H. (19 Dec 1882-2 Aug 1953)
2.Elizabeth A. (29 Aug 1884-14 Mar 1957) m. John H. Speas (18 Nov 1882-18 Oct 1974)
3.Jacobina C. (19 Mar 1890-6 Feb 1958) m. Jacob Speas (19 Jan 1887-25 Dec 1954)
4.Bartholomew (26 Mar 1895-11 Mar 1956) m. Mary Ellen Yoder (20 Apr 1899-9 Mar 1980)

******************************************

III. Jacobina (Philabena) Yordy

Jacobina was born in Munchen (Munich), Bayern (Bavaria) on June 24, 1819.60 She is named as the sister of Peter Yordy in family documents and the George Yeackley estate papers.61 She was apparently married to Johan George Yeackley before 1842 in Bavaria. George Yeackley was a Catholic.

“John Jeckle“, age 28, and “Jacobina Jeckle“, his 24-year old “wife,” arrived in New Orleans from Bavaria via Le Havre, France, on the ship “Governor Davis” on January, 5, 1842.62 On April 22, 1842, “George Yakely” and “Jacobina Yeartey” received a marriage license in Woodford County63 and on April 26, 1842,” George Yakely” married “Jacobina Yerkey” in Woodford Co. in a civil ceremony.64

The reason for the apparent duplicate marriage ceremonies in Bavaria and Illinois is unclear. Several possible explanations exist. It is known that George and Jacobina raised their children in the Catholic Church.65 Their daughter Catherine was born in January 1842, in New Orleans, shortly after the couple arrived. Perhaps in order to have Catherine baptized in the Catholic church, the couple needed to provide some proof of the validity of their marriage but lacked adequate documentation from Germany. Or perhaps Catherine was conceived out of wedlock and the couple merely traveled under the name “Jeckle”, waiting to be married until after they arrived in Illinois.

In September, 1850, “George Ackerly” was living in Tazewell County, Illinois, with his wife, “Pena,” and children, Catharine, Elizabeth, Joseph, and Pena.66 George bought 80 acres of land from David Alexander for $878 on April 18, 1853. This land is located two miles northwest of Groveland.

On February 28, 1854, George Yeackley died in Tazewell County. Peter Yordy was named administrator of his estate and guardian ad litem of his four children, Kate, Lizzie, Joe, and Phoebe.67 This assignment of guardianship was presumably done to prevent the children from being taken from Jacobina.

On July 12, 1854 (five months after the death of her first husband), Jacobina Yordy Yeackley married Henry Raab in Tazewell County.68 A son, Henry Raab, Jr., was born 1855-57 (his headstone in the Craft Kimmel Cemetery says 1855; US Census data suggests 1856-57). In 1856, Henry Raab, Sr. purchased the land owned by the estate of George Yeackley for $8.50 per acre, and in 1857, he became co-guardian of Jacobina’s children.69 The land was subject to a mortgage. In late 1859, Henry defaulted on the mortgage. Henry Raab, Sr. died sometime between February and June 1860. Jacobina’s brother, Peter Yordy, purchased the farm from the mortgage holder and later traded the farm for a house in Pekin and cash for Jacobina and the children (see under Peter Yordy, above).

On August 14, 1862, twice widowed Jacobina married Christian Krug70 (b. Hanseldorf Baiern, August 1,1825).71 Their son, Louis Krug, was born August 30, 1868, in Groveland.72 On July 19, 1870, Christian Krug was living in Tazewell County, Pekin Township, with wife “Phillipina,” and sons, Henry Krug (Raab) and Louis, and Joseph Jeckel (Joseph Yeackley) and Jacobina Jaeckle (Phoebe Yeackley).73 On June 10, 1880, “Christ” Krug was living in Groveland Township, Tazewell County, with wife, “Pena,” son, Louis, and Henry Rabb (Henry Raab, Jr.).74

Jacobina Yordy Yeackley Raab Krug died on December 16, 1883, and was buried in the Craft Kimmler Cemetery in Groveland, IL. Christian Krug died in Groveland on October 31, 1890, and is buried next to “Phillipine” (Jacobina Yordy).75

Children of Jacobina Yordy (24 Jun 1819-16 Dec1883) and Johan George Yeackley (1816-28 Feb 1854)

A. Catherine Yeackley (17 Jan 1842-18 Jul 1932) m.
Adam Hoffman (1836-1897)
1. Fred W. (2 Jun 1864-2 Oct 1936) m. Catherine Zendner (Oct 1874-14 May 1963)
2. Emma (1866-bet. 1870-1880)
3. Mary (b. Jul 1869)
4. Katherine (b. 1871)
5. Liza (b. 1876)

B. Elizabeth Yeackley (7 Mar 1845-30 Jun 1931) m. Louis Winkel (Oct 1844- bet. 1900-1910)
1. Frederick (Jan 1866-21 Aug 1947)

C. Joseph Yeackley (15 Feb 1848-18 Jan 1940) m. Fannie Yordy (5 Apr 1863-31 Oct 1955)
1. Elizabeth (10 Sep 1885-16 Apr 1974) m. Leander Eicher (28 Aug 1883-25 Jun 1931)
2. Phoebe (11 Apr 1887-27 Mar 1975) m. Joseph E. Zimmerman (19 Mar 1880-15 Dec 1949)
3. Fred (17 Nov 1888-11 Nov 1980) m. Lydia Saltzman (20 May 1889-5 Feb 1960)
4. John (23 Dec 1889-9 Mar 1988) m. Sarah Stutzman (21 Feb 1896-6 Jun 1940)
5. Emma (1 Dec 1891-20 Dec 1996) m. Edward Roth (23 Mar 1890-5 Sep 1977)
6. George (13 Apr 1900-10 Dec 1993) m. Sarah Hers Berger (17 Aug 1901-17 Jan 1951)
7. Eva (15 Oct 1901-22 Feb 1995) m. Fred Reeb (18 Dec 1895-22 Nov 1984)
8. Elsie (21 Oct 1903-23 Jun 1991) m. Bert Stutzman (7 May 1904-10 Oct 1989)

D. Emma Yeackley (1850-1851)

E. Peter Yeackley (1853-1854)

F. Phoebe Yeackley (3 Jun 1853-14 Dec 1933) m. Joseph C. Bishop (1850-20 Sep 1896)
1. Ella E. (b. 1873) m. Daniel Freidinger (15 Aug 1872-Feb 1965)
2. William H. (14 May 1879-22 May 1970) m. Emma Freidinger (17 Nov 1883-17 Oct 1941)
3. Joseph B. (11 Aug 1881-12 Jan 1948) m. Edna (?) (23 Apr 1883-Nov 1972)
4. Lillian (21 Jun 1887-Jun 1987) m. (1) Joseph S. Powell (1885-26 Mar 1920), (2) Robert Brown (20 Jul 1882-Sep 1967)

Children of Jacobina Yordy Yeackley and Henry Rabb (d. 1860)

G. Henry Rabb Jr. (bet. 1855 and 1858-10 Dec 1933)

Children of Jacobina Yordy Yeackley Rabb and Christian Krug (1 Aug 1825-31 Oct 1890)

H. Louis Krug (30 Aug 1868-13 Nov 1943) m. (1) Anna Hagney (Oct 1877-5 Mar 1902), (2) Anna Dully (13 Mar 1870-18 Apr 1948)

SOURCES
1 Headstone, Roanoke Mennonite Cemetery, Roanoke, IL.
2 Joseph Staker, The Staker Family, Amish Mennonites in Tazewell County, Illinois.
3 “The Year With No Summer,” Wikipedia, 2006.
4 Woodford County Tax Records, 1868.
5 Information from Marvin Yordy, Roanoke, Illinois, based on notes written by his father, Amos Yordy.
6 Centennial History of The Mennonites In Illinois, Harry F. Weber, 1931.
7 “Peter Youghter” married “Mary Birkey“; Marriage License, Tazewell County, IL.
8 History of the Roanoke Mennonite Church . . . 125 Years, 1875-2000. Understanding of the Past. A Guide to Our Future. Compiled by Ken Ulrich for Roanoke Mennonite Church. 2000.
9 Headstone, Roanoke Mennonite Cemetery.
10 New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1844, June 17, Baltimore, p. 4.
111900 US Census, Illinois, Woodford County, Roanoke Twp.
121850 US Census, Tazewell County, (as “Peter Yatty).
13 Series of Deeds found at Tazewell County Courthouse by Carol Heilman, 2006. Copies on file.
14 Probate record of George Yeackley, Tazewell County Probate Court.
15 Illinois Regional Archives and Depository – Volume A, p. 254, License #2389.
16 Series of Deeds found at Tazewell County Courthouse by Carol Heilman, 2006. Copies on file.
17 1860 US Census, Illinois, Tazewell County, Elm Grove Township, (as “Peter Yorty”).
18 The Yordy Story, 1815-1971.
19 Livingston County Deed Book Z, page 286.
20 Obituaries of Peter, Simon, and John E. Yordy.
21 Livingston County Deed Book 61, page 229.
22 History of the Roanoke Mennonite Church . . . 125 Years, 1875-2000. Understanding of the Past. A Guide to Our Future. Compiled by Ken Ulrich for Roanoke Mennonite Church. 2000; Woodford County Deed Book T, p. 547.
23 Ibid.
24 Estate of Christian Yotty; November, 1870, Woodford County Probate Court, Eureka, IL.
25 Christian Yotty estate file located at the Woodford County Courthouse.
26 1870 US Census, Roll 295, Book 1, page 468a (as Peter Yottey).
27 Woodford County Tax Records, 1868.
28 History of the Roanoke Mennonite Church . . . 125 Years, 1875-2000. Understanding of the Past. A Guide to Our Future. Compiled by Ken Ulrich for Roanoke Mennonite Church. 2000.
29 1880 US Census, Illinois, Woodford County, Roanoke Twp., (as “Peter Yordie”).
30 Woodford County Clerk of the Court Docket Book, 1880.
31 Livingston County Deed Book 87, p. 383.
32 Livingston County Deed Book 75,p. 45.
33
Ibid.
34
Woodford County Deed Book 61, p. 161.
35 Headstones at the Roanoke Mennonite Cemetery.
36 Woodford County Guardianship Proceedings.
37 Ibid.
38 US Census Data, Tazewell and Woodford County, 1850 and 1860.
39 Centennial History of The Mennonites In Illinois, Harry F. Weber, 1931.
40 US Census Data, Illinois, 1850-1880.
41 Ibid.
42 Phone conversation between GLY and Glendon Albrecht, December, 2002.
43 Estate File of Christian Yotty; Woodford County Courthouse. Case File 701, Microfilm Roll 106.
44 Ibid.
45 Plat maps of Woodford County, 1868 and 1870.
46 Personal observation, 2003.
47 Marriage License of Annie Bachman and Christian Yotty, per Carol Heilman.
48 Estate file of Joseph Yotty, Woodford County Illinois Courthouse.
49 Family Tree DNA results on Doug Yotty and Gary Yordy. Copies in author’s personal file.
50 1850 US Census, Illinois, Tazewell County.
51 1860 US Census, Illinois, Tazewell County.
52 Information from ships passenger list found at LDS Family History Library in Wilmington, NC. FHL #0200147; NARA #M259-19.
53 Guth, Hermann, Amish Mennonites in Germany, p. 248.
54 1850 Federal Census, Illinois, Woodford County.
55 Mary Yotty obituary, Woodford County Journal, January 28, 1926.
56 Coming of the Mennonites to Illinois, by Weber, 1939, page 90.
57 Centennial History of The Mennonites In Illinois, Harry F. Weber, 1931.
58 Obituary in the Metamora Herald, October 11, 1894.
59 Information from Carol Yotty Heilman.
60 Headstone, Craft Kimmler Cemetery, Tazewell County, Illinois.
61 The Yordy Story, 1803-1971.
62 Passenger Manifest of the ship Governor Davis, LDS FHL microfilm # 0200150.
63 Wedding License copy on file.
64 Illinois Marriages Before 1850, Genealogy.com.
65 The Yordy Story, 1803-1971.
66 1850 US Census, Illinois, Tazewell County, entry 462, Roll 129, Book 1, page 33 at Genealogy.com.
67 George Yeackley Estate Papers, Tazewell County Estate Files, Box 52.
68 Illinois Statewide Marriage Index.
69 George Yeackley Estate Papers, Tazewell County Estate Files, Box 52.
70 Christian “King” m. Jacobina “Yekel,” Vol B, page 250 Tazewell Co., IRAD.
71 Christian Krug’s headstone in Groveland, IL. Tazewell County Cemeteries Vol. 4.
72 Obituary of Louis Krug, Pekin Daily Times, Nov. 13, 1943.
73 1870 US Census, Illinois, Tazewell County, Pekin Township.
74 1980 US Census, Illinois, Tazewell County, Groveland Township.
75 Tazewell County Cemeteries, Vol. 4., headstone inscriptions.

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Yordy Addendum:
French Birth Records and Ancestry of Peter Yordy

By Gary L. Yordy
Originally published in the Spring 2008 issue (Vol. XXXV, No. 1)
Illinois Mennonite Heritage Quarterly  (http://www.imhgs.org)

(Used with permission of the author and original publisher
)

Within weeks following the publication of “The History of the Family of Peter Yordy (1815-1897)” in the winter issue of Illinois Mennonite Heritage Quarterly, additional information on Peter and his family was discovered. It is both additive and corrective to the original article.

Peter Yordy was born July 12, 1815 in France according to his headstone in the Roanoke Mennonite Cemetery. However, the author discovered his birth registration that contradicts some of this data.

Peter was born in a tiny village of Jaegerthal, France (very near Windstein) on July 26, 1815 at 3 a.m. to Jacques (Jacob) Jordi, a 37-year-old laborer, and Catharine “Schauin” (Schantz). The birth was witnessed by Jean Walter and Pierre Mathis. Despite the fact that Peter’s parents were German, because he was born in France (as opposed to Germany), his birth name was recorded as “Pierre Jordi.”

In addition to Peter’s birth register, the register of his sister, Jacobina, was discovered. According to her birth data, she was born July 29, 1818 in Jaegerthal. Her parents were listed as Jacques Jordy, a 41-year-old “cultivateur,” and Catherine Schantz. The birth was witnessed by Joseph Schertzinger and Jacques Kunz. Because the birth occurred in France, her birth name was registered as “Jacquees” Jordy.2

Note that the authorities spelled the surname “Jordi” on Peter’s register and “Jordy” on Jacobina’s register. Peter’s father actually signed his birth register and did so using the “Jordi” spelling. The civil registrar signed Jacobina’s register on behalf of her father.

No other birth, death, or marriage information was identified in the Jaegerthal/Windstein records for this family. Specifically, no birth registry for Christian or any other children have been found. It thus appears that the family arrived shortly before Peter’s birth and left for Bavaria shortly after Jacobina’s birth.

The identification of the parents of Peter Yordy coupled with prior research by Hermann Guth 3 allows us to tie together many more generations of Peter’s ancestry.

As noted in Part 1 of the series on Peter Yordy, Jordi ancestors left Canton Bern, Switzerland at the beginning of the 18th century. Jakob Jordi Sr. is believed to have gone from Switzerland to Ste. Marie-aux-Mines with other followers of Jakob Ammann around 1700. In 1712, French King Louis XIV expelled all Anabaptists from France. Most of the Amish around Ste. Marie-aux-Mines (possibly 60 families and 400-500 individuals) relocated to nearby estates. At the time, Alsace and the adjacent area called the Palatinate consisted of numerous feudal domains that retained much autonomy.4

Jakob Jordi did not initially go far from Ste. Marie-aux-Mines. In 1715, he is identified as a member of the Amish congregation in Belfort, France, some 75 miles south of Ste. Marie-aux-Mines. Jakob Jordi of Belfort and his wife (identity unknown) had at least three sons:
a) “C.” (full given name is unknown, but thought to be Chretien Jordi) remained in the area of Belfort. Most of this son’s descendants left the Amish and Mennonite church. Some joined the Lutheran church and some returned to the Catholic church. Ancestors remain today in Belfort and several small adjacent villages.

The other sons of Jakob Jordi of Belfort made different choices. The counts Palatine of Zweibrucken-Birkenfeld, as owners of the County Rappoltstein, had initially objected to the expulsion of the Anabaptists from France. Having acquired rule over Zweibrucken in 1731, these members of the Palatine branch of the powerful House of Wittelsbach remained well-disposed toward Mennonite leaseholders and encouraged their resettlement in areas where they had influence…most notably Hesse-Darmstadt, Waldeck and the Kingdom of Bavaria.5

It was a principle of the Amish at the time to not own land––rather to lease land for a period of time (this was based on Acts 4:32-35). Most Amish and Mennonite farmers signed a customary lease for six or nine years.6 Thus it was that two other sons of Jakob Jordi of Belfort left France for more welcome lands in the mid-1730s. They were:
b) (Hans) Jakob Jordi. He married, left Belfort and traveled 200 miles north into Germany, settling at Heppenheim auf der Wiese in 1731. This is a community located west of the city of Worms. It is about 25 miles northeast of Hohenecken. In 1732, he was in Heppenheim with one child. His birth year was given as 1708. Their family was one of 42 families that belonged to the Gerolsheim Amish Mennonite Congregation.7 In the 1738 census, he was living in Heppenheim with his wife, five children, one farmhand and one maid.8 In the 1743 census, Hans Jakob was still at Heppenheim auf der Wiese with his wife, three sons, four daughters, and two farmhands. 9
Two of Hans Jakob’s sons were Jakob Jordi II and Ulrich Jordi. In 1746, brothers Jakob Jordi and Ulrich Jordi left Heppenheim and moved 23 miles north with their families where they were employed on the Haeusserhof at “Oberamt Oppenheim Nieder-Ingelheim,” an estate of Lady von Haxthausen located just east of Ingelheim. The estate was a former monastery that had been founded in 1190. It was taken over by the Haxthausen family in 1650. Today, the remnants are known as “Haxthaeuserhof.”10 In 1749 Ulrich Jordi and his family left for the “New Land.” Efforts to locate immigration data on Ulrich Jordi from 1749 have been unsuccessful. His fate remains unkown. Jakob Jordi II died on the Haeusserhof on September 10, 1752. His wife, three sons and four daughters remained on the estate until at least 1753.11 Their names are unknown.

c) Jakob’s third son was (Jean) Johannes Jordi. In 1735, Johannes Jordi arrived in Hohenecken, Germany. (This information came from a much later census.)12 Hohenecken is located approximately two miles west of Kaiserslautern. It is unknown if he was married when he arrived. In 1753 Johannes was on the Lichtenbrunnerhof near Kaiserslautern with a wife, two children and one farmhand. According to the census data, he had lived there for 18 years.13 The two children were Anna and Johannes/Jean. By 1759 Johannes was a temporary tenant with Franz Dellmuth on the Bremerhof estate (on the south edge of Kaiserslautern). With him was his wife, Verena Lang, two sons (Jean/Johannes – 8 ½, and Jakob – 2 ½) and two daughters (Anne – 12, and Verena -5).14 By 1765 Johannes and family had relocated to Eselsfurth on the northeast edge of Kaiserslautern where their fifth child, Magdalena, was born.15

1) Anna Jordy was born 1747. She was the third wife of Jakob Muller of the Münsterhof estate at Dreisen, Kirchheimbolanden. His first two wives had been first, Elisabeth Schenk (Edenbornohof near Kirchheim-Bolanden) and second, Anna Brenneman. In 1753 he was in Morzheim near Landau “with wife and three sons, 7,4, and 3 years of age” (Guth p. 200 citing Palatine Mennonite Census Lists). He was one of the original three Anabaptist leasors of the Münsterhof in 1764 and must have been at least two decades senior to Anna.
2) Johannes (Jean) Jordy
3) Verna Jordy was born in 1752. She married Christian Eyer, son of Rudolf Eyer and Veronika Kurtz.
4) Jakob Jordy was born in 1755. He married first, Magdalena Imhof, daughter of Peter Imhof and Veronica Rocke of Hochspeyer. They had three children: Johannes (Jean) (b.12/23/1784); Elisabeth (b. 12/4/1785); and Jakob (Jacques) b. 7/22/1787. After Magdalena’s death on 10/17/1787, Jakob married Veronika Habecker, daughter of Johannes Habecker and Veronika Imhof of Hofstatten. Jakob and Veronika had a son, Christian (Chretien) Jordy (b. 1790). Jakob lived his entire life on the Wilensteinerhof near Trippstadt. After he died in 1794, his widow, Veronika, and her step-son, Jakob, and son, Christian, moved to Windstein, France, near her brother, Johannes Habecker, and sister, Katharina Habecker Roggy, both of whom lived near Lembach.
5) Magdalena Jordy was born in 1765 in Eselsfurth near Kaiserslautern. She married Johannes (Jean) Imhof, son of Peter Imhof and Katharina Roggy of the Aschbacherhof.

Johannes (Jean) Jordy was born in 1750, probably on the Lichtenbrunnerhof near Kaiserslautern. He married Barbara Eschem (Esch or Oesch). Her ancestry is unknown. The family moved from the Trippstadt, Germany area, to Windstein, Alsace, France, some 50 miles to the south. The timing of this move is uncertain. It is clear that their children were born on the Wilensteinerhof near Trippstadt, and that the family was in Windstein, France before Johannes died in 1803. The couple had three children:

A) Jakob (Jacques) Jordi born 1778;
B) Magdalena (Madeleine) Jordy born 1779 in Wilenstein. She died unmarried in Windstein on 12/12/1816. Her death was reported by Jacques Kuntz and Louis Epigage and her parents were identified as Jean Jordy and Barbara “Eschem”;16
C) Catharina Jordy born about 1781 in Wilenstein. She also died unmarried in Windstein on 6/9/1817.17

Jakob Jordy’s German name was translated in French to “Jacques Jordi” by authorities in Windstein. He apparently adopted part of the French version as he signed his name “Jakob (German) Jordi (French).” It is interesting to note that his cousin (son of Jakob Jordy and Magdalena Imhof) who was also named Jakob Jordy and lived in Windstein, signed his name “Jakob Jordy“ with a “y,“ perhaps to differentiate the two Jakob Jordy’s.
With the exception of the years 1814-1818, little is known of the lives of Jakob Jordi, son of Johannes Jordy and Barbara Esch. Birth records of his children tell us that he was married to Catherina Schantz. Her ancestry is uncertain, but she may have been a daughter of Christian Schantz and Anna Rubi of the Heiligenbrunerhof near Lembach. To date, no historic record of the marriage of Jakob and Catherina has been located. We also know that through this period, the couple lived at Jaegerthal, France.

Jaegerthal is the site of an iron foundry (first built in 1602) and an adjacent estate. It could not even be called a “village.” It would more appropriately be referred to as a commune located approximately one mile south of the village of Windstein, France. It appears that Jakob Jordi began as a day laborer on the estate at Jaegerthal. He apparently worked in the agricultural endeavors at Jaegerthal (rather than the foundry) as he was described as a “cultivator” or farmer on Jacobina’s birth registry.

Jaegerthal was controlled by the Dietrich family. Protestant Jean Dietrich purchased the foundry in 1685. He obtained contracts to provide weapons for the French army, gaining favor with the Catholic king. This helped to protect the rights of Protestants in the Strasbourg area, and provided a modest start to the industrial family’s later fortune. In 1761 the family became nobility, changing their surname to ‘de Dietrich.’ They helped finance the War of Austrian Succession (1741-48) and the Seven Years War (1756-63). Much of the land around the Jaegerthal foundry was owned by a competing family, and eventually the de Dietrichs chose other locations to ensure supplies of wood. By 1789 they employed 1,000 workers and owned more land than any other family in Alsace. Philippe-Frédéric de Dietrich, a son of Jean, became the Royal Commissioner of Mines and the first mayor of Strasbourg before meeting the guillotine in 1793. Despite reverses, family fortunes revived under Napoleon. They later expanded into railroad construction, automobiles, manufacturing, and chemicals as the conglomerate De Dietrich & Cie. The foundry is now a ruined brick shell, and Jaegerthal is part of Windstein.18

From the historic records thus far identified, it appears that Jakob and Catharina resided somewhere other than the Jaegerthal/Windstein region prior to 1814. During this time, their son, Christian, and possibly a son, Jakob (father of Barbara Yordy Eigsti), were born. The historic record suggests they left Jaegerthal shortly after the birth of daughter, Jacobina, in 1818. According to their son, Peter Yordy, they moved to a location “about 20 miles south of Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Though the sight has not yet been located, Peter’s immigration record suggests it may have been near Starnberger See (Lake Starnberg).

Yordy Family Bavarian Residence and Peter Yordy Immigration

Peter apparently decided to leave Bavaria for America around 1837. Family legend recounts that he came to New Orleans, then up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, arriving in Tazewell County as Peter himself said, “with no capital and a head full of lice.” However, this is apparently incorrect. A review of records of all ships landing in New Orleans in 1837 and 1838 revealed no evidence of Peter on any passenger list.

In December 2007, genealogist Joseph Staker discovered the historic record of Peter’s immigration to America.19 Twenty-three-year-old “Peter Jordte” or “Jodte” from France emigrated to New York. He arrived on the packet ship, Charles Carroll, which arrived from Le Havre on September 17, 1838. This individual’s name falls directly in a crease in the paper, making it difficult to read clearly.

On the passenger list immediately before Peter’s name is the name of Joseph “Heser” (20) and Andrew Burkey (29) and his wife, Barbara (29) and son Joseph (2). These people are thought to be Joseph Heiser; Andrew Burcky (son of Andrew Birki and first cousin of Peter Yordy’s future wife, Mary Birkey Yordy) and his wife, Barbara Eyer/Oyer and their son, Joseph. Joseph Heiser had lived at Hanfeld, and Andrew Burcky had lived at Söcking.20 The two villages are adjacent and the town squares only two miles apart, very near Starnberg, and approximately 20 miles south of Munich. The fact that Peter, Joseph, and Andrew emigrated together suggests that they knew each other prior to the trip. Further credence is leant to this theory by their actions after arriving in Illinois. In the 1855 Tazewell County Census21 and the1860 US Census,22 Peter, Joseph, and Andrew were all next-door neighbors in Elm Grove Township, Tazewell County.

Thus, historic documents and Peter’s own testimony indicate that the family of Jakob Jordy and Catharina Schantz relocated from Jaegerthal, France to somewhere around Hanfeld or Söcking, Germany. Unfortunately, few historic documents are available from these locations and thus far, none have confirmed their residence.

Mary Birkey Yordy in Tazewell County

Peter Yordy’s wife, Maria Birki (Mary Birkey), and her six-year-old son, John Horn, emigrated in 1844. They traveled with Mary’s brother, Joseph, their cousin, Catherine Kettner, and Peter Zehr on the ship, Baltimore, which arrived in New York from Le Havre on June 17, 1844.23

On February 9, 1847, two and one-half years after arriving in America, Mary married Peter Yordy. That marriage occurred within the Dillon Creek Amish Congregation in Tazewell County, Illinois. A recently identified 1845 Tazewell County Census sheds light on her life between her arrival in Illinois and her marriage to Peter.

In 1845, thirty-year-old Mary “Burgie” resided with a male under 10 years of age (John Horn Birkey) as the head of the household in Tazewell County. Also in the household are a female aged 10-20 and a female under 10 years of age.24 The identity of these two females is unknown. It is probable that the two women were boarders. The listing of Mary as the “Head of Household” suggests that Mary emigrated with significant funds consistent with the relative wealth of her father, Christian Birki. Triangulation of neighbors suggests that after their marriage, Peter and Mary lived in the home where Mary was living in 1845.

ENDNOTES

1 Registres de l’etat civil, 1793-1882, Windstein, Alsace, France. LDS Family History Library microfilm #1069482.
2 Ibid.
3 Guth, Hermann, Amish Mennonites in Germany, Their Congregations, The Estates Where They Lived, Their Families, p. 193-4, pub.1995 by Masthof Press.
4 Ibid., p.4.
5 Ibid., p.5.
6 Ibid.
7 freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~kmiller/miller/d54cen1732.pdf, “1732 Reconstructed Census of Mennonites.” p. 6.
8 Guth, Hermann, Archive 77/4237, folio 76, “Palatine Mennonite Census Lists, 1664-1793,” p. 37.
9 Guth, Hermann, Archive 77/4238, folio 31-44, “Palatine Mennonite Census Lists, 1664-1793,” p. 46.
10 Guth, Hermann, Archive 77/4239, folio 196-198, “Palatine Mennonite Census Lists, 1664-1793,” p. 67.
11 Ibid.
12 Guth, Hermann, Archive 77/4239, folio 155, “Palatine Mennonite Census Lists, 1664-1793,” p. 64.
13 Ibid.
14 Guth, Hermann, “Amish Mennonites in Germany”, p.193.
15 Ibid.
16 Registres de l’état civil, 1793-1882, DécPs 1793-1862 (LDS FHL INTL Film #1069486).
17 Tables décennales 1813-1862 Naissances 1793-1862 (LDS FHL INTL Film #1069482).
18 Personal communication from Joseph Staker, December 2007.
19 New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (1838 September 17) Charles Carroll at ancestry.com, 2007.
20 Personal correspondence with Joseph Staker, December, 2007.
21 1855 Tazewell County Illinois Census, p.1 (LDS Family History Library Film # 977062).
22 1860 U.S. Census, Illinois, Tazewell County, Elm Grove Township, p. 176.
23 New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, 1844, June 17, Baltimore, p. 4.
24 1855 Tazewell County Illinois Census, p.1 (LDS Family History Library Film # 977062).

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14 Responses to The History of the Family of Peter Yordy – 1815-1897

  1. Betty Ann Prescott February 15, 2010 at 4:36 PM #

    I have a communication from you some time ago, regarding our Binkley connection. One of the others working on the Binkley name said that she had a Yordy in her family and wanted your address. I hope this is the person I communicated with. Anyhow, I’m sending the email address to her.

  2. Gary Yeackley June 19, 2010 at 12:03 AM #

    I like geneslogy and by accident run across this, very interesting Would like to here from some if interested in sharing Thanks, Gary Yeackley 2691Pioneers, rd. Milford, NE. 68405

  3. Arlyn Yordy DeBoer August 7, 2010 at 2:25 PM #

    Dear Gary,

    I have SO enjoyed reading this account of our family. My grandfather was David Yordy who married Sarah Stauffer. My father was Orvin.

    I would love to hear from you if you should care to email me!

    Thank-you!
    Arlyn Yordy DeBoer

  4. dbirkey August 16, 2010 at 4:41 PM #

    Hello Arlyn, I will send your message on to Gary.
    Donna Birkey

  5. Horst Niedhammer September 15, 2010 at 5:31 AM #

    Possibly Peter and Jacobina Jordy had a brother Jacob Jordy born at Niederbronn Alsace France June 6, 1813 son of Jacob Jordy sen. born in 1778 and married with Katharina Schantz from Schoenenbourg.

    Jakob Jordy jun., mennonite, went to Bavaria and was married with Magdalena Schantz, mennonite too, they owned the Pentlhof at Zeitlarn not far from Regensburg Bavaria Germany.
    Magdalena Jordy sen. died July 3, 1856, 40 years old one hour after the birth of a child. Jakob Jordy died in June 11, 1881 on his Farm Pentlhof Zeitlarn,

    Daughter Elisabeth Jordy born June 25, 1843 at Rammelstein/Nittendorf is the mother of my grandfather (mothers side) Josef Aumer, profession miller, born at Regensburg. Elisabeth died in Ingolstadt Bavaria in September 1920.
    Daughter Magdalena Jordy born September 28, 1844 also Rammelstein/Nittendorf married a Mister Unsicker
    Daughter Anna Jordy born November 24, 1845 also at Rammelstein/Nittendorf married a Mister Lutz.

    Jakob Jordy, married a second time June 14, 1857 a Jakobine Güngerich born in Heising (Bavaria) 36 years old and daughter of Jakob and Katharina Güngerich tenant farmers in Heising (Germany Bavaria). I own a marriage document, signed Irlbach June 4 1936 Kath. Pfarramt Irlbach Schiessl.

    Perhaps I could help You to put a little bit more light in the darkness of history. Greetings from Switzerland Horst Niedhammer

    *************************************************************************
    “Peter Yordy was born July 12, 1815 in France according to his headstone in the Roanoke Mennonite Cemetery. However, the author discovered his birth registration that contradicts some of this data.

    Peter was born in a tiny village of Jaegerthal, France (very near Windstein) on July 26, 1815 at 3 a.m. to Jacques (Jacob) Jordi, a 37-year-old laborer, and Catharine “Schauin” (Schantz). The birth was witnessed by Jean Walter and Pierre Mathis. Despite the fact that Peter’s parents were German, because he was born in France (as opposed to Germany), his birth name was recorded as “Pierre Jordi.”

    In addition to Peter’s birth register, the register of his sister, Jacobina, was discovered. According to her birth data, she was born July 29, 1818 in Jaegerthal. Her parents were listed as Jacques Jordy, a 41-year-old “cultivateur,” and Catherine Schantz. The birth was witnessed by Joseph Schertzinger and Jacques Kunz. Because the birth occurred in France, her birth name was registered as “Jacquees” Jordy.2

    Note that the authorities spelled the surname “Jordi” on Peter’s register and “Jordy” on Jacobina’s register. Peter’s father actually signed his birth register and did so using the “Jordi” spelling. The civil registrar signed Jacobina’s register on behalf of her father.

    No other birth, death, or marriage information was identified in the Jaegerthal/Windstein records for this family. Specifically, no birth registry for Christian or any other children have been found. It thus appears that the family arrived shortly before Peter’s birth and left for Bavaria shortly after Jacobina’s birth.

    The identification of the parents of Peter Yordy coupled with prior research by Hermann Guth 3 allows us to tie together many more generations of Peter’s ancestry.”

  6. Jeri E. Smith May 18, 2011 at 2:35 PM #

    I am descended from Peter Yordy who came to Pennsylvania in 1717 through his son Christian-Jacob-Christian-John W-Nora (m Herman)-Ada (m Miller)-Robert E H. My father moved from Pennsylvania to Indiana in 1957 of which I am a native. I want to thank you for the research into the very early history of the Yordy family. It is such fun to learn of other cousins and see how the family has spread throughout the world. Thanks!
    Jeri E. (Miller) Smith

  7. Jordi frédéric August 18, 2011 at 10:58 AM #

    hello, bonjour,

    nous avons lu avec un très grand intérêt et plaisir l’histoire des Jordi (yordi) arrivés en Illinois en 1838, après des prémices entre 1550 et 1700 à wyssachen. eriswil, gondiswil, huttwil, que vous mentionnez (zone de 40 km carrés environ) .
    we have read with great interest and pleasure the story of th Jordi (Yordi) arrived in illinois in 1838, after ancestors between 1550 and 1700 in a 20 mille square around Hutwill.

    mon père, jean-roger jordi est né à paris en 1915
    my father, jean-roger jordi, was born in paris in 1915

    mon grand-père, louis jordi est né à paris en 1885,
    my grand-father, louis jordi, was born in paris in 1885,

    mon arrière-grand-père, johann jakob jordi est né à zurich le 28 février 1856 et son père, jakob jordi est né à wyssachen (date de naissance et épouse inconnus) .
    My grand-grand-father Johann jakob jordi, was born in zurich the 28th of february and his father, jakob jordi, was born in wyssachen (date of birthday and name of wife unknown)

    jakob jordi se trouve donc à sa naissance dans le périmètre de rayon 7 km environ autour de huttwil,
    jakob jordi stands then for his birthday in the circle of 20 milles square around Hutwill.

    nous avons retrouvé sur plusieurs arbres en ligne ou documents “généanet” de nombreux jordi dans ce périmète, sans faire encore le lien avec le notre de wyssachen.
    we have found in family trees or documents from “geneanet”, many “jordi” in this area, beeing not able to find the link with my ancester “jakob jordi” from wyssachen.

    je ne citerais, parmi d’autres, que josef jordi, né en 1611 à eriswil, anna et barbara jordi, nées en 1750 et 1788 à gundiswil, alliées à des marbot de rohrbach, andreas et caspar jordi, nés aux alentours de 1770 à huttwil, alliés aussi à des marbot de rohrbach,
    i would like to note, among many others : josef jordi, born in 1611 at eriswil ; anna et barbara jordi, born in 1750 and 1788 at gundiswil, married with” marbot” men ; andreas and caspar jordi, born around 1765-1770 at huttwil, married with “marbot” women, cousins of the two men upthere.

    la 1ère jordi que j’ai trouvée à wyssachen est anna barbara, qui y est née le 15 oct 1795, puis ensuite anna barbara et anna maria, qui y sont nées en 1846 et 1844, liées à des reist de sumiswald.
    the first “jordi” I found at wyssachen is anna barbara, born there the 15th october of 1795 : then anna barbara and anna maria, born there in 1846 and 1844, married with men “reist” from sumiswald.

    plus proche de sumiswald et burgdorf, 3 mariages jordi (père jakob) :
    en 1854 à grafenried (johannes),
    en 1852 (andreas, né en 1827) et 1857 (jakob, né en 1830) à ruderswil.
    closer to sumiswald and burgdorf, 3 marriages “jordi” (father jakob Jordi) :
    in 1854 at grafenried (johanes)
    in 1852 (andreas, born in 1827) and in 1857 (jakob, born in 1830) at ruderswil

    je me demande si vous avez établi un arbre généalogique de toutes ces familles jordi, ce qui me permettrait de faire le lien avec l’ascendance de mon ancêtre jakob, né à wyssachen. je ne parle pas l’allemand, et cela m’est donc difficile des faire des recherches à wyssachen et région.
    I wonder if you have established a genealogical tree of all these families “jordi”, which would allow me to get the link to the ascendance of my ancestor jakob, born at wyssachen, around 1820-1830. I don’tknow any german language, and it is difficult for me to search anything at wyssachen and around.

    merci également si l’un des lecteurs de ce message peut nous donner une réponse.
    thanks to any reader of this message, if he can give us some answers.

    amicalement,
    friendly to you,
    frédéric jordi and christiane drevet

  8. Laurent Ehrismann January 6, 2012 at 4:07 PM #

    Hi! I was looking for some , Jakobina Jordy born 10/Dec/1858 in Hofmühlenbach her parent’s Joseph Jordy17/Apr/1826 born At Fleckensteinerhof and motherBarbara Guth born 12/Feb/1834 At Stürzelbronn, relative in the US because we have a pictures Book with title “Jakobina Jordy to remember”of her relatives and some pictures come from the US and my aunt 90 years old ( Martha Gerber how lived with her) don’t recognise them.
    Jakobina Jordy was married to Peter Gerber they are my wife’s grand Parent’s.
    Thanks for the work you did.
    Laurent and Marguerite Ehrismann-Gerber

  9. John Langheim June 20, 2012 at 3:39 PM #

    I purchased a hand made model of a barn at a garage sale and in the process of converting it to a birdhouse found the inside filled with news papers and personal momentos of Hollis Yordy of Pensacola Florida. Hand carved in the botom was the name Hollis Yordy born in Benton Illinois, and he was 81 at the time he built this model barn… If any family members can be contacted I would be more then happy to forward these items to them if they supply me with an address…….Thanks John

  10. dbirkey June 24, 2012 at 7:36 PM #

    I will check with some Yordy family members and see if i am able to locate anything of Hollis Yordy’s family. Benson is very near my Yordy family’s residences.

  11. A Yordy Patterson July 28, 2012 at 3:17 PM #

    This was very interesting to read! My great great grandfather was Andrew Yordy from Bern, Switzerland. I know he settled in Kansas around 1850 and is burried in Salina, KS. I wonder if there is any connection to this family? I have always wanted to know the history before Kansas.

  12. dbirkey July 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM #

    A little digging on the Internet and I found some information about Andrew Yordy before he moved west in 1865 and settled on Mulberry Creek in Saline Co, KS. http://skyways.lib.ks.us/genweb/ottawa/oldsetsa.html

    He was married in 1858 in Bluffton, Indiana and resided 9 years in Linn Grove before moving west to homestead in Kansas. His son Albert Yordy returned to Indiana where he met his wife Mathilda Schlagenhauf. They were married in Newton KS in1908, but soon returned to Adams County, IN where her father Andrew was postmaster for many years and owned a shoe repair shop. All this from http://boards.ancestry.com/localities.northam.usa.states.indiana.counties.adams/250/mb.ashx
    You can find the burial information for the family at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSsr=281&GScid=2252489&GRid=73456170&

    You might try researching the Bluffton, IN area for more info.

  13. Lisa R Garrett August 19, 2014 at 7:01 AM #

    Part I ends with info on an Ulrich Jordi who left with his family in 1749. Ulrich Yordy landed in Philadelphia in September 9, 1749 on the ship St. Andrew. He settles in Martic Township in Lancaster County and buys land from Michael Pletcher. His daughter Elizabeth marries Samuel Pletcher, relationship to the above Michael is currently unknown. Samuel migrated west to Ohio and many of his descendants went on to the midwest. On the St. Andrew with Ulrich was Peter Sterneman whose daughter marries Samuel Pletcher’s brother Henry. Ulrich’s will is dated August 5, 1786 and names his wife, Magdalena, and children: Jacob Yorde, Mary the wife of Ulrich Spupp(?), Elizabeth the wife of Samuel Pletcher, Fronica the wife of John Thomas, and Ulre Yorde. Wondering if in your research you found the Sterneman/Stehman or Pletscher/Bletscher/Blecher families living in the same locality as the Jordi families.

  14. dbirkey August 19, 2014 at 9:52 AM #

    I have not personally found reference to Sterneman or Pletscher families in connection with the Jordi families, but perhaps others who read this post will be able to add to your information.

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