Lancaster Co. Officials Enact February 1 Ban on the Name “John” for Newborns

Lancaster County, PA. Lancaster Officials enacted a measure effective February 1 that will prohibit families with a “Stoltzfus” or “Stoltzfoos” last name from naming any newborns “John.” The ban comes after the latest edition of the Lancaster County phone book weighed in at an astounding 27.6 pounds with most of the weight coming from pages dedicated to residents of Lancaster County named “John Stoltzfus” and “John Stoltzfoos.”

Lancaster County officials also took issue with the tendency of the Amish community to share phone numbers and answering machines saying that the same first and last names, along with hundreds of different phone number extensions on the same base phone line, were causing chaos and confusion at a county and state level.

The law has drawn some ire from the members of the Amish community since “John” is a traditional name that has been passed down for centuries following the age old practice of naming children after earlier descendants of the family.

County officials have suggested in an open letter published in the Lancaster Area Journal that the Amish start naming their children “Bartholomew, Shaquile, Justice, or any other name that stands out from the other Stoltzfus children’s names in the community.”

The need for the law, say the officials, came to head when a jury summons for John Stoltzfus was sent out into the Amish community and resulted in ninety three confused Amish men reporting for the summons.

Officials are hoping this controversial new law will help clear up the name confusion with future generations although the American Civil Liberties Union has been threatening to bring the law to the judge’s bench.

4 thoughts on “Lancaster Co. Officials Enact February 1 Ban on the Name “John” for Newborns

  1. In 1990 my father and mother decided to do away with any John’s in their family. They named me Shaquille after some tall black man they saw in the sports section. The name resulted in me being the brunt of all the school jokes and as a youth I never felt accepted. The humiliation reached a peak when I joined church and the bishop called me Junior because he didn’t know how to say my name. Desperate for help I changed my middle name to John and ordered everyone to call me John. It has done wonders for me and my confidence. I’m 24 and I now have a unregistered puppy mill with 425 breeders. I own 6 farms and I owe it all to my name John. -Sent from my iphone

  2. I really enjoyed your article. I think it would be great to have more Shaquilles in the Amish community.
    When I was single a John Yoder wrote me asking for a date on Saturday evening. He forgot to write his return address down. So I looked in the church directory and found 4 John Yoders! So I wrote them all and said it would be alright if they would come on Saturday evening.
    One of them already had a girlfriend but when Saturday night came 3 John Yoders came in our farm lane within 15 minutes of each other! It was VERY awkward for awhile. Finally I found out who wrote me and I asked the other 2 to leave. That date led to another and eventually we got married.
    We now have 4 boys and 3 girls. I keep reminding my boys that if they write a girl for a date to not forget to write their return address down!
    We had quite a few chuckles on that event.
    Mrs. John Z Yoder Ohio

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