Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Rev. Peter Litwiller

Male 1809 - 1878  (69 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Peter Litwiller 
    Prefix Rev. 
    Born 8 Jan 1809  Illfurth, , Alsace, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Occupation 1852  Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Yeoman 
    Religion 1852  Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Amish 
    Occupation 1861  Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Yeoman 
    Religion 1861  Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Mennonite 
    Died 7 Jul 1878  Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3
    Cause: rheumatism 
    Hall of Fame - Waterloo Region Bef 2012  , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Religious leader 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-24854 
    Buried St. Agatha Mennonite Cemetery, St. Agatha, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I24854  Generations
    Last Modified 18 Nov 2019 

    Father Jacob Litwiller,   b. Abt 1780, Of, Illfurth, , Alsace, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Anna Maria Maurer,   b. 3 May 1767, Of, Illfurth, , Alsace, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Sep 1836, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Family ID F6300  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Elizabeth Lichti,   b. 2 Oct 1808, , France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Feb 1882  (Age 73 years) 
    Married 1830 
    Children 
     1. Magdalena Litwiller,   b. 18 Jan 1831, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Anna Maria Litwiller,   b. 16 Aug 1833, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1911, Wellesley Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
     3. Catharina Litwiller,   b. 20 Dec 1833, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Jacob Litwiller,   b. 1835, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Barbara Litwiller,   b. 1836, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. Veronica "Fannie" Litwiller,   b. 1838, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     7. John Litwiller,   b. 25 Sep 1842, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. Peter L. Litwiller,   b. 23 Nov 1844, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Aug 1904, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years)
     9. Elizabeth L. Litwiller,   b. 1846, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     10. Rev. Christian Litwiller,   b. 13 Sep 1848, St. Agatha, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Aug 1924, Petersburg, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     11. Anna Litwiller,   b. 26 May 1850, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jul 1915  (Age 65 years)
    Last Modified 19 Nov 2019 
    Family ID F6299  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Elizabeth Lichti,   b. 1808, , France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Children 
     1. John Litwiller,   b. 25 Sep 1842, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Peter Litwiller,   b. 1844, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Elizabeth Litwiller,   b. 1846, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Rev. Christian Litwiller,   b. 13 Sep 1848, St. Agatha, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Aug 1924, Petersburg, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     5. Anna Litwiller,   b. 26 May 1850, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jul 1915  (Age 65 years)
    Last Modified 19 Nov 2019 
    Family ID F264624  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Litwiller, Peter (1809-1878)

      Peter Litwiller was born 8 January 1809, in Illfurth, Upper Alsace. His parents were Anna Maria (the name she went by) Maurer and Jacob Litwiller. Jacob died in 1814. Widow Maria, three married daughters and their families, two single daughters and Peter left France and arrived in New York on 12 July 1827.

      On their arrival in Waterloo, they selected lots in the newly-surveyed centre block in Wilmot Township and set to work. Young Peter selected Lot 7, on the north side of Erb's Road, but did little work on his own lot until after his marriage to Elizabeth Lichti in 1830. By 1835, however, he had completed his settlement duties and received his patent for the front fifty acres from the Crown.

      In 1838 Peter bought a little notebook which he called his "Notizbuch." It illustrates the settlers' system of bartering goods and services. Litwiller frequently hired persons by the day or to do certain tasks. This may have been the labourer's only way to get a little needed cash as much as Litwiller's need for assistance. Goods supplied in exchange for work might be yarn for stockings, material for a coat, a pound of "dubock" (tobacco), or postage for a letter. A study of the names appearing in Litwiller's notebook is a veritable "who's who" of new Amish-Mennonite arrivals in Canada. Litwiller also had dealings with his non-Amish neighbours, most of whom were Roman Catholic.

      Peter's compassionate business acumen won for himself the respect of his co-religionists and, at the age of 28, he was chosen for the ministry in the Wilmot Amish Mennonite congregation in 1845. That was also the year that he served as one of the trustees who purchased the school site which the Amish had established at the site of the present St. Agatha Mennonite Church.

      Peter's brother-in-law, Rudolph Roth, a gifted preacher, had been ordained minister in 1835 and bishop in 1843. Family relationships during the next few years must have been very trying for Peter and his sisters and in-laws when Rudolph Roth, his wife Maria (nee Litwiller), Jacob and Barbara (Litwiller) Gardner, and Veronica (Litwiller) Gingerich (but not her husband) joined the Reformed Mennonites . Rudolph's early demise in 1853 removed him from any conflict which Peter might have had with him.

      Rudolph's leaving the Amish-Mennonite fold and the deaths of both Bishop John Oesch in Hay and Bishop Christian Miller in Wilmot, left the aged Bishop Christian Wagler, recent immigrant from Alsace, as the only bishop for the whole Amish-Mennonite constituency. It must have been Bishop Wagler who ordained Peter Litwiller that same year, and after Wagler's death the following year, Peter was left with bishop oversight over the whole Amish-Mennonite community from Wilmot to Lake Huron.

      Joseph Ruby was ordained bishop for the South Easthope-East Zorra congregation in 1853 and John Jantzi for the North Wilmot-Wellesley congregation in 1859. The Hay congregation, however, did not ordain a bishop, and were served by those in East Zorra or Wilmot for the next 100 years.

      Peter Litwiller's farm buildings were across the street and up the road a short distance from the Catholic Church. In 1857, a dedicated young man by the name of Eugene Funcken arrived in St. Agatha to serve in the Congregation of the Resurrection. Father Funcken was full of zeal and energy. These two men might have had good reasons to ignore each other, at best, or engage in a running feud, at worst, but they did neither. According to family tradition, they met with each other regularly to discuss topics of a religious nature. They set the stage for a peaceful community, rather than one where various factions are in conflict.

      Peter Litwiller died 7 July 1878. It is said that when the funeral cortege passed the Catholic church on its way to the Amish cemetery, Father Funcken had the bells tolled. A broadside printed at the time of his death is also attributed to Father Funcken. In it he extolled the bishop's character and his ministry.1

      1Roth, Lorraine. "Litwiller, Peter (1809-1878)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2004. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 Nov 2005 <https://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/L5897.html>

      ______________

      Herald of Truth - Volume XV, Number 8 - August 1878, pages 141, 143 and 144

      LITZWILER.-July 8th, of long suffering with rheumatism, PETER LITZWILER, bishop of the Amish Mennonite church, at the age of 69 years, 5 months and 27 days. He was beloved by all who knew him.




  • Sources 
    1. [S497] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Wilmot - St. Agatha Mennonite CC#4569 Internet Link.
      Bishop/ Peter Litwiller/ b. Jan. 8, 1809/ d. July 7, 1878/ Lizzie Litwiller/ his wife/ b. Oct. 2,1808/ d. Feb. 25, 1882/ at rest

    2. [S134] Census - ON, Waterloo, Wilmot - 1851, Div. 4 Page 10.

    3. [S7] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Berliner Journal (1859-1917), 1 Aug 1878.
      Died 8 Jul 1878 Peter Littwiller, Bishop of the Amish Congregation in Wilmot died at the age of 65 years

    4. [S2639] aaaWilmot Township 1861, Sect. 14 Page 93.

    5. [S220] Waterloo Region Hall of Fame Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 8 Jan 1809 - Illfurth, , Alsace, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Yeoman - 1852 - Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Amish - 1852 - Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Yeoman - 1861 - Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Mennonite - 1861 - Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: rheumatism - 7 Jul 1878 - Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHall of Fame - Waterloo Region - Religious leader - Bef 2012 - , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - St. Agatha Mennonite Cemetery, St. Agatha, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth