GRANDMA: the Genealogical Registry And Database of Mennonite Ancestry

The GRANDMA database (Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) contains information on over a million individuals, most of whose ancestral lines can be traced to Mennonite communities in Prussia (now Poland) and South Russia (now Ukraine). GRANDMA is produced by the California Mennonite Historical Society (CMHS).

This database is available for searches in two forms: on a CD-ROM disk as well as in a searchable online database. Both versions provide searches of the same data, but the online database is updated several times a year while the CD-ROM is only updated once every few years. The online version also allows you to share your family photographs online with other researchers. (Details may be found at In contrast, the CD-ROM version has more reports available than does the online version.

The online version is called GRANDMA’s Window and is accessed through the California Mennonite Historical Society (CMHS) website, Information about ordering the CD-ROM version is available on the same web site as well. Pricing information for both versions may be found at


An even larger Amish-Mennonite project than GRANDMA is the Swiss Anabaptist Genealogical Association (SAGA). This group researches the Mennonite and Amish groups that began to emigrate to North America in the early 1700s to escape religious intolerance in western Europe. This non-profit group is entirely volunteer-run and offers a collection of genealogical databases with over four million entries administered using the TNG software. TNG offers efficient administration of the massive databases and a single portal to search them all simultaneously. Membership is $6/year and is the best bargain in genealogy (other than free) if you have any ties to these ethnic-religious groups. Today, the descendants of the original immigrants number in the millions in the US and many people with families in Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern Indiana that predate 1850 will find themselves connected to these groups. SAGA’s web site is

Mark Hochstetler


    Our church, Eden Mennonite, Inola, OK is having their 100th anniversary Sept 26-28, 2014. Our first pastor was Herman P. and Martha Jantzen. They were also charter members in 1914, and left after 3 years of pastoring 1916-1919. We have no records of them or their children/descendants to contact. Can you help me to know what to do to find their family? or information about them?

    John and Carolyn Harder Voth
    My husband John grew up in this church. Both of his grandparents were charter members, and he pastored the group for 7 years before he got Parkinson’s and had to retire in 1997.


My husband’s father was the first Mennonite pastor of the Scott Co. Mennonite Church, Scott City, Ks. His name was Albert Dirks. My late husband’s name was Maurice.


I also have our “family tree” thru 23andMe”….and it is quite large and very interesting.


I purchased GRANDMA back in 2010 and would like access to updates. Do I order a new disk? Is there a webpage I can download? Any suggestions?


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