06 March 2011

Mennonite Obituary Source: MennObits: Sunday's Obituary

Recently, I have found that part of my mom's family has Mennonite roots.  I have only done a minimal job of researching this line.  One source I have found useful is the MennObits area of the Mennonite Church USA website.

This site is useful for those researching their Amish and Mennonite ancestors.  It has obituaries from all three weekly newspapers of the Mennonite Church in North America.
  • Herald of Truth  1864-1908
  • Gospel Witness 1905-1908
  • Gospel Herald   1908-1998
In addition, one can find some obituaries from The Mennonite (1998-current) and a few from Mennonite Weekly Review (various dates).  There is even a section, Lazarus Project, where individuals can add their own obituaries from newspapers.

The search feature is easy to use.  You can search by last name, maiden name, or year indexes.  When you find the individual you are looking for it takes you to a sourced, transcribed obituary.

Here is the obituary for my maternal great-great grandfather, David Samuel Mast:

 MAST. ­ Near Plevna, Howard Co., Ind., of consumption, David S. Mast. He was born May 8th, 1823, and died Sept. 30th, 1891, aged 68 years, 4 months and 22 days. He was married to Nancy Livengood Oct. 19th, 1851, and lived in matrimony 39 years, 11 months and 11 days. He was a member of the Amish Mennonite church. He was the father of 16 children of whom 13 survive him. He was very much concerned about his soul's salvation. During his sufferings, he admonished others that were living too cold and unconcerned in the way of serving their Lord and Master. A few days before his departure he called for the ministers and his children to observe the communion with him, which was done at the house of his daughter where he and wife stayed. The day before he died they thought that he was dying, and word was sent to his children to come as soon as possible. Bro. N. Sproal came there at the same time. Bro. Mast however revived again, and he then asked Bro. Sproal whether his life would not soon be ended, "for," he said, "I want to go home to Jesus." O, that every one of us may learn a lesson of his departure. Funeral services were held Oct. 1st, in the Amish Mennonite church by N. Sproal in German from Psalm 77: 1 ­ 4, and in English by J. S. Horner. He was buried in the Mast graveyard. He leaves a wife and 13 children to mourn their loss, but not to mourn as those who have no hope. Bro. Mast will be missed by many.

Source:  "Mast, David S.," obituary, Herald of Truth, 1 November 1891, death information of David S. Mast; online archives (http://www.mcusa-archives.org/mennobits/1891/nov1891.html : accessed 3 February 2011); Volume XXVIII, No. 21.


  1. Brenda - here's another possible link. I have a Magdelena MAST (no birth, marriage or death dates) who was Michael TROYER's (born 1807 - no wedding or death date)...I also have an Andrew TROYER who is probably Michael's father born in 1773. I've got him listed as Andrew and Magdelena's son but that can't be correct.

    I changed genealogy programs recently and I've found several errors since downloading from old and uploading to new...not sure if it's something I did or the download-upload did.

    I also did a blog about a book I have on Menno Simmons (founder of the Mennonites) - I'll have to go back and send you the link.

  2. Mary, there has to be a connection somewhere, I guess I need to go back and check my research to see if I can find it. I have a Daniel Maust married to an Elizabeth Troyer who had a daughter, Magdelena. No birthdate for her though, probably 1830-1840 based on father's birth of 1804. The Maust/Mast family was very prolific, it is hard to keep them all straight. I am guessing these are pretty common names.