Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Amish Recipe Series... Amish Spiced Gooseberries

10 Common Amish Surnames

Certain Amish surnames occur with great frequency. Here are ten of the most common:

1. Miller-the most common of all Amish last names. Joseph Stoll writes: “The German spelling was Müller, and because there were many Millers in Europe, the name was very common, with no common ancestor for many people of this name. There were a number of Anabaptists of this name in different parts of Switzerland.” Miller is most common in the Midwest; a few Millers may be found in Lancaster County, however.

2. Stoltzfus– The most common Pennsylvania Amish surname. Nicholas Stoltzfus (1719-1774) is believed to be the common ancestor of all those with this name among Amish and Mennonites today. Also occasionally seen spelled as Stoltzfoos.

3. Yoder – A Swiss-origin name apparently derived from the name “Theodore”. Amish bearing this name spell it Yoder; GAMEO gives the following historical alternatives: Ioder, Joder, Jodter, Jotter, Yoeder, Yother, Yothers, Yotter. “Strong” Jacob Yoder (c. 1726-1790), known for great physical feats, is one of the most prominent historical carriers of this name, with many descendants among Amish today.

5. Schwartz– A Swiss Amish surname. Nearly half of the Amish in the Adams County settlement bear this name (as of 2007, 529 of 1163 Adams County Amish families were Schwartz households). Also seen in Allen County, but not common outside of Swiss communities.

4. Beiler– More commonly spelled Byler in Midwestern communities such as Holmes County, Ohio. Jacob Beiler (1698-1771), ancestor of most Amish Beilers/Bylers, arrived in America on the Charming Polly (not to be confused with the Charming Nancy) in 1737. Read Beiler’s will here.

6. Troyer- Hans Treyer or Dreier was one of the first Anabaptists executed (was drowned with two others in Bern in 1529). John Troyer of the Kokomo, Indiana community, had possibly the largest family ever among Amish, with 31 children (29 of his own by two wives, plus two step-children), though apparently not all survived to adulthood.

7. Bontrager– other forms of this last name include Bontreger, Borntrager, Borntreger. Most frequently seen in northern Indiana. A Swiss origin name.

8. King- Along with Fisher and Beiler the most common Lancaster name following Stoltzfus. A number of individuals bore the name Koenig or König in Europe. Joseph Stoll notes: “Between 1732 and 1806, 38 persons bearing the name König arrived in Philadelphia. It is not known how many of these were Amish or Mennonite.”

9. Graber- Another name common among Swiss Amish, but also seen in non-Swiss communities.

10. Fisher– most Lancaster Amish can trace their descent back to Christian Fisher who very likely arrived in 1749 aboard the Phoenix, along with numerous other Amish passengers.

Other common Amish names include Hershberger, Schlabach, Hochstetler, Zook, Mast, Lapp, Schmucker, Schrock, Gingerich, and Weaver.

Today's recipe... Remember... Disclaimer: The Amish don't always follow updated USDA canning methods, they follow methods passed down from generation to generation. Use this recipe at your own discretion, or adapt it to your own method. I am sharing these recipes EXACTLY as they were sent to me and take no responsibility for them.

Amish Spiced Gooseberries

Peggy Stolfus

5 lbs. ripe gooseberries

4 lbs. brown sugar

2 cups vinegar

2 tblsps. cloves

3 tsps. cinnamon

3 tsps. allspice

Wash and pick over the gooseberries. Combine gooseberries with spices, sugar, and vinegar, and cook slowly until the mixture becomes rather thick. Pour the spiced gooseberries into sterilized glasses and seal. This recipe will make 5 pints


  1. This does not have anything to do with the gooseberry jam recipe but I need help. Every time I can peach jam it never sets up. I have tried everything. Boiling it for 1 min 3 min 10 min 10 hours. 3 cups of sugar 7 cups of sugar pectin no pectin. Nothing I do helps. Nothing. What the heck am I doing wrong why will it never workout for me. Please help. Thanks. Verronica the failed peach jam maker.

    1. I am not so good at jams and jellies myself... I never know how they're gonna turn out, LOL! Peach is one of the trickiest for me as well. One thing I have realized is the weather outside also affects the outcome... if it's very humid out, I get runnier jams. I honestly don't know what to tell you... I usually just accept the peach "syrup" if that's what I end up with! Sorry I can't be more help. ~~Granny

    2. It's ok thank you. By the way I have been making your jalapeño jam for years and love it. Thank you so much for you blog it has help me a ton in my adventures in canning. Being only 30 and new in the game it helps to have someone to refer too. Keep up the good work.

  2. this is not waterbathed? just put in jars and seal?


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