Mennonite Ancestry of Pearl Buck

Religion in Family History

One of my favorite authors is Pearl S. Buck. I really enjoy the books that she wrote about life in China. Pearl was a prolific writer and I eventually plan on reading more of her novels. I have quite a few of her books as I have been slowly picking them up when I see them at used book stores.

The Good Earth - Pearl Buck - Sydenstricker - China - Pulitzer Winner - Nobel Prize WinnerOne of the reasons that I have been collecting her books is that she is one of the best known authors that has Swiss Mennonite ancestry.

Of course, many do not know that she has Mennonite ancestry as she did not have a common Pennsylvania Dutch surname.

Pearl Buck wrote under the name of her first husband, John Lossing Buck, even after they divorced and she remarried again.

Pearl’s maiden name was Sydenstricker which is still not a common Mennonite name. However most people who know Amish/Mennonite genealogy would recognize the maiden name of her Grandmother Sydenstricker.

Pearl’s grandfather Andrew Sydenstricker was married to Frances Coffman. Some records give her name as Kauffman, but of course Coffman is a common English variation of the family name.

Frances Coffman’s grandfather was Isaac Kauffman who was a Mennonite minister in Virginia and lived from 1741 to 1824.

Steffisburg Bern Switzerland Home of Yoder and Kauffman Amish ancestors

Steffisburg – Google Maps

Isaac Kauffman’s father, John Andreas (Andrew) Kauffman, had come from Steffisburg, Switzerland to Pennsylvania in 1717 in the first wave of Swiss Mennonite migration.

Isaac Kauffman and Jacob Kauffman who are the ancestors of most of the Amish Mennonite Kauffmans came to Pennsylvania in 1737 and 1754. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - Pearl S. Buck - Korea

I descend from Isaac Kauffman who was a 2nd cousin of Andrew Kauffman the 3rd great grandfather of Pearl Buck.

Our common ancestors Nicholas Kauffman and Elsbeth Blank were born in the early 1590’s in Steffisburg, Switzerland.

See Amish Origins for more information about the Swiss roots of the Amish.

Pearl S. Buck, China Sky, Book Collection, Author CollectionFor more about the writing of Pearl Buck see the post that I wrote about The Good Earth.

After rereading the post about The Good Earth I found that I had made some interesting observations and also a prediction about future Pulitzer prize winners that was completely wrong.

Have you read any books by Pearl Buck?




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1 Response to Mennonite Ancestry of Pearl Buck

  1. Kelly says:

    I have just discovered my husband is related as well Issak is his 4th great grandfather

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