Sunday, September 22, 2013

Church Record Sunday ~ Mennonite ancestry

Daniel K. Cassel
author, History of the Mennonites

Before this genealogy adventure we had no idea my husband's Ruth, Cassel and Wismer family lines came from Mennonite ancestry.

Trying to locate information I searched Google Books resulting in several resources. Each of these volumes has been helpful with explaining the origins of the Mennonite faith.

History of the Mennonites by Daniel K. Cassel : published 1888

Mennonite Church History by Jonas Smucker Hartzler, Daniel Kauffman : published 1905

To my surprise they included biographies of several of my husband's ancestors.

Another resource discovered is GAMEO, the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. The site gives the following description:

"GAMEO provides reliable information on Anabaptist-related (Amish, Mennonite, Hutterite, Brethren in Christ) topics, including history, theology, biography, institutions and local congregations. Secular topics from an Anabaptist perspective and full-text source documents are also included."

With these resources we now understand the Mennonite faith more fully


  1. My great-great grandfather was John Adam Ruth b in Pennsylvania in 1852 and died in Astoria,IL in 1923. His son John Leroy Ruth b 1888 and died 1958 in IL married Della Cassell in 1912. She may have been the daughter of William Cassell who lived in the Mud Valley area of Astoria, IL. They attended the Astoria Evangelical United Brethren Church. Della died in 1923 and they had no children. Are these people related to your husband?

  2. The Cassel's, Ruth's etc are descended out of the same family of KOLB'S that I am. Three of Dielman Kolb's sons came to PA in 1707. My Johannes went from PA to SC (Pee Dee River) and his sons and descendants then went to MS to AR or GA to TX (mine). My grandmother was born a KOLB. - Revis Leonard

  3. Daniel K. Cassel wrote a genealogy book on the KOLB'S and also one on the CASSEL'S. I have the Kolb one, and I think my Kolb kin that researches has the CASSEL book. I heard Dr. John L. Ruth speak in 2007 at Skippack, Montgomery Co. PA for the 300th Anniversary of the Kolb brothers coming to America. Our Texas lines are Y-DNA proven, too. I don't know about the Cassel's, but the Kolb's were very very good about keeping family info and passing it down. - Revis

  4. My husband's Ruth line came down through Henry Ruth (Root) who immigrated to Pennsylvania. He also has Wismer, Cassel and Detweiler lines. I have never heard Dr. Ruth. Hope to one day! As I stated I'm pretty new to researching these family lines and Mennonite heritage. Any help would be greatly appreciated! I am in possession of a Ruth and Wismer family book, so if you need any information from me just ask! Thanks for stopping by to leave a message.

    1. Do you have A Book of Ruth by Wanda Lee Fouts?

    2. Deb, check out the Kolb-Kulp-Culp family association page. There's a Data page with 1500 Kolb's in it. The Detweiler's are also family, as well as the Cassel's. Dr. Ruth has written many books, including those about The Plain People, etc. and I watched a documentary not long ago he had done on them. Netflix may have it.
      - Revis

    3. Thanks for the tips! Checked out the website, amazing! I have heard about Dr. Ruth during Internet research. Know he is working on a new book. Another family historian told me I should email him. Great idea to check Netflix!

  5. No, I have "Ruth Genealogy with supplement" by Warren Kriebel - second edition published 1978.

  6. Thank you for posting your sources. I am new to Genealogy (although I'd already been finding Google books a terrific resource for County histories --with bio sketches(!), and for stuff on the History of the Freemasons per state). I had traced one line from my maternal grt- grandmother back to my 3rd grt-grandparents, where I've hit a block, except that I knew that they were buried in a Mennonite Cemetary in Wayne County Ohio. I hadn't yet figured out where to take that. But I've added your cited books to my growing Google book library and perhaps I'll find something through them. I'm so glad I read this post today!

  7. Jo, welcome to the Genealogy community! Google Books are a wonderful resources full of surprising family information. Our ancestor may not be listed in the book, but the history touched their lives. Glad you found the post helpful. Let me know how things go with your Mennonite research.