Moyer (Moyers, Mayer, Meyer, Meyers, Myers) family
Though the family name Moyer probably originated in Switzerland, not all of the various Swiss immigrants to colonial America who bore the name Meyer were related to each other. The Moyer Family Genealogy of 1896, a huge volume of over 700 pages, includes many immigrants, some of whom were Mennonites, others not.
Among the Mennonite Moyer family immigrants that may be mentioned is Christian Meyer (d. ca. 1751) of Switzerland, who was in Pennsylvania by 1719, settling on the Indian Creek in Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County. One of his sons, Christian Meyer, (ca. 1705-87) was a deacon in the Franconia district of the Mennonite Church (MC) Franconia Conference. Another son, Jacob Meyer (1730-78), was a preacher at Perkasie (later called Blooming Glen). Immigrant Hans Meyer (d. ca. 1748) came to Pennsylvania around 1720 and located in what is now Upper Salford Township, Montgomery County (then Skippack Township, Philadelphia County). A third Mennonite Meyer immigrant was preacher Peter Meyer, born in Switzerland ca. 1723, who immigrated to America ca. 1741 with his mother, three brothers, and a sister. He located in Springfield Township, Bucks County. In 1773 he was ordained preacher in the Swamp district of the Franconia Conference. His brother Jacob Meyer (1721-90) settled in Saucon Township, now Lehigh County. He was ordained a preacher in the Swamp district in 1752 and bishop in 1763. Jacob's son Samuel Meyer (d. 1832) was also a preacher at Saucon.
The variant form Moyer is found widely in the Franconia Conference and is also common in Ontario where some members of the family moved. Especially worthy of mention in Ontario was Dilman Moyer (1807-73) of the Twenty congregation at Vineland (now called First Mennonite Church) who was ordained bishop in 1850. Daniel Moyer (1812-64), a preacher of the Yellow Creek district in Indiana (MC), was ordained about ca. 1850 and lived near Jamestown where he served the Shaurn (later Olive) congregation until his death in a railway accident. Arthur Moyer (1890-1924), of Lehigh County, PA, served as superintendent of the Welsh Mountain Industrial Mission (MC), New Holland, PA until he was shot and killed by a thief in 1924.
Some more recent Moyer church leaders in the Franconia Conference include: Jacob Moyer who was a bishop, Elmer Mayer, who was a preacher at Souderton, and Wilson Moyer, who was a preacher at Blooming Glen. Among the Moyers who were preachers in the General Conference Mennonite Church were Samuel Moyer (1812-91), and two of his sons, Manasseh Moyer (1845-1903) and Jacob Mayer (1842-1909). Manasseh's son, John F. Moyer (1885-1955), was on the staff of Bethel College. S.T. Moyer (1893-1972) was a missionary in India. Elmer Moyer (b. 1889) served as secretary of the Ontario Conference of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church 1917-33.
In Europe the name Meyer was apparently never prominent in Mennonite circles. Delbert L. Gratz lists Meyer as an Aargau family that left Switzerland because of the severe persecution in the 18th century. The name appeared in a list of Anabaptists in Montbéliard, Württemberg (now in France) in 1759. A Meyer family from Alsace located in Wayne County, Ohio, in 1872. Elmer Meyer was a deacon at Pleasant Hill, Ohio. J.C. Meyer was a professor of history at Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Willard Moyer was a preacher in the Conservative Mennonite Church at Pigeon, Michigan.
Fretz, A. J. A Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Christian and Hans Meyer. Harleysville, PA, 1896.
Fretz, A. J. Genealogy of the Moyer Family. Milton, 1909.
Mueller, E. R. Moyer Family History. Halstead, KS, 1948.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 763. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Wenger, John C. "Moyer (Moyers, Mayer, Meyer, Meyers, Myers) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M694ME.html.
APA style: Wenger, John C. (1957). Moyer (Moyers, Mayer, Meyer, Meyers, Myers) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M694ME.html.