A Mennonite family name found primarily in Illinois and Ontario, Zehrs are also found in smaller numbers in Iowa, New York, Nebraska, Oregon, and other states and provinces. In 1957 eleven Zehrs were serving as Mennonite ministers, six of whom were in the Mennonite Church (MC), three in the Conservative Amish Mennonite, one in the Evangelical Mennonite, and one in a congregation in France. The family name is Swiss in origin, but was mainly represented among the Swiss Mennonite refugees in the Palatinate. Members of the Zehr family migrated to North America in the 19th century and were prominent in Amish Mennonite circles. Peter Zehr (1809-98) came to America in 1838 and served as a minister in the East Zorra (Ontario, Canada) Amish Mennonite Church near Tavistock. Joseph C. Zehr (1822-1915) was ordained minister in Lewis County, New York, 1852, and later served in Ontario. Michael Zehr (1790-1880) served the Amish Mennonite Church in Lewis County, New York, as bishop. Peter S. Zehr (1867-1934), a grandson of the above Peter, was a minister in the East Zorra church. David D. Zehr (1864-1924) was born in Illinois and moved to Manson, Iowa, where he was ordained minister in 1902 and bishop in 1909. Jacob Zehr (1825-1898), who settled in Illinois in 1848, served as a bishop in the Goodfield Mennonite Church. He was ordained minister in 1859 and bishop in 1863. Daniel Zehr (1849-1942) was born in Illinois and ordained a Mennonite minister in 1895. Jacob Zehr (1875-1929) was born in Illinois and was ordained minister in the Goodfield Mennonite Church in 1912. Michael S. Zehr (1872-1944) was bishop of the Pigeon River (Michigan) Conservative Amish Mennonite Church.
Farney, Laura E. and Julius Farney. Genealogies of Three Large Families (Farney, Virkler, Zehr). Watertown, NY, 1933.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1021. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Gingerich, Melvin. "Zehr family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 20 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/Z446ME.html.
APA style: Gingerich, Melvin. (1959). Zehr family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/Z446ME.html.