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Chris and Mary Stoltzfus

by Paul Stoltzfus Kurtz

Nicholas Stoltzfus had a son Christian. Today another Christian is keeping watch of what once belonged to Nicholas and his son, Christian. Today's Christian is the son of Maxwell Hill's Fred, growing up Amish as did his wife, the former Mary Mast of Goshen Indiana. Her Immigrant Ancestor was Jacob Mast who settled on Molasses Hill Road northeast of Bernville. This Jacob was possibly an uncle to the Jacob Mast that located at Elverson, the Bishop Jacob who also delivered goods from Philadelphia to the Mitchell store in the Bull Hotel on Route 23.

Chris and Mary met while at the Northern Light Gospel Mission located in Red Lake, Ontario. Their paths separated. Mary trained as a nurse and practiced in Indiana, Arizona, and more recently in Pennsylvania. They have many Latino friends since they both were in Latin America. Mary spent time with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Mexico. She found a very bright young man who was her assistant in translation. He later showed up in Chicago and called them, to their surprise, to come for him at the airport. They were living in Indiana at that time, Chris was building silos and gave him work for a few months. They have many stories to tell of their Latino connections, nearly fifty showed up for a pig roast at their more recent Narvon home.

Chris' Latin American experience was with the R.J.LeTourneau project in Peru. His local experience includes working in the Maxwell Hill lime kiln. Now each fall he fires the kiln at the Shirktown Threshers' Day.

Chris has been a down to earth historian. His respect for grandfather Amos J. inspired him to collect his writings, and to add some of his own. Several years ago he pursued the Stoltzfus story in Germany. Unlike many Amish who migrated into Germany as Anabaptists (these did not participate in the accepted churches, hence left little of record), Nicholas Stoltzfus came from a German Lutheran family so records are available. Thus Chris was able to trace the Stoltzfus name with its various spellings, finding ten different ways the family name is spelt. The most original forms indicate the name referred to "Stilt Foot", or possibly circus entertainers.

Paul Stoltzfus Kurtz
709 S. Locust Street
Elizabethtown, PA 17022
e-mail: Psku@aol.com