On the Trail of Our Ancestors

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Emma Wenger Steffy

Orange Beads

Emma Wenger Steffy

This is a lovely picture of David's maternal great grandmother, (on his grandmother's side of the family) Emma Wenger Steffy at about the age of 20 years.  Because plain dress came into being around the early 1900s, it would appear from this picture that this was taken before that time.  If one looks closely, one can see Emma's earings.  (I believe she pierced her own ears, if I understand the family story correctly.)  The dress itself, with the two pins, one at the collar, and one further down the bodice, is also an example of the stylish dress of the time period.

Emma was the daughter of Uriah Keemer STEFFY and Susanna Witmer WENGER.  In the 1978 version of the WENGER BOOK, edited by Samuel S. WENGER, Susanna's mother is given as Elizabeth STAUFFER.  This is only half correct.  Single Mennonite women took their mother's maiden name as their middle name until they were married.  Susanna's mother was Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob Witmer and Anna Stauffer, thus SHE was Elizabeth Stauffer Witmer.  Therefore, Emma's mother was indeed Susanna WITMER Wenger, *NOT* Susanna STAUFFER Wenger because her mother's last name was WITMER, not STAUFFER)  Summarizing, Emma's mother was a WENGER; Susanna's mother was a WITMER and Elizabeth's mother was a STAUFFER.  Even Emma's name gets a little confusing as well.  Before her marriage she was Emma Wenger Steffy because her mother's maiden name was Wenger.  She married Isaac Horst Wenger.  So after she married, her name flip-flopped.  She now became Emma Steffy Wenger.  (now taking her father's name as her middle name)

Uriah Keemer STEFFY was the son of Noah STEFFY and Eliza Ann KEEMER. Noah was the son of Elias STEFFY and Elizabeth SCHLEBACH. (For more information about this ancestral line, see Ahnentafel Chart of David Ristenbatt.)

Emma was a warm and friendly person, I am told, and busy, active and energetic.  She made crocheted or hooked rugs for each of her grandchildren, so was rather talented in this area.  She and Isaac were the parents of nine children, seven of whom lived to maturity, two of whom are living still today.  David's maternal grandmother, Jennie Steffy Wenger was the fourth child of Isaac and Emma Steffy Wenger.  Both Emma and Isaac are buried at Martindale Mennonite Cemetery in Lancaster County, PA.

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