Archive for Hertzler Family

Blog Post by Ryan-Minecraft Tutorial

About Ryan: Ryan is our fifteen year old grandson and gets his love of computers and computer challenges and programing honestly-it is in his DNA. His dad is one of the IT technicians for the Rockingham County school system and is a sought after speaker at teacher conferences on training educators on all aspects of technology and how to use it in the classroom.

Ryan asked if I would be open to a post on my blog. I am honored to do so. But to my faithful blog followers, I warn you, you may have no idea what he is talking about!!!! I can tell you I did not contribute to that gene pool!!!! This grandma is also clueless but I am proud of his accomplishments. Several years ago, Ryan joined his dad in speaking to the college students at JMU (James Madison University). Right now he is building his own super computer from scratch.

So here goes….enjoy his post!

It was just another typical day for a teen in April, during COVID quarantine. I was wasting my time once again on YouTube when a Minecraft tutorial popped up in my web browser feed. 

Now for those of you who don’t know about Minecraft, it is a sandbox creative game where the player can build, farm, or explore the infinite world with a whole bunch of other mechanics that would take me forever to explain. Now the game is feasible on any device from IOS, Android, Xbox, PlayStation, and most popular, on the computer. Since the game is so flexible among all the devices, this does mean that there are two different variations of the game, Java (computers only) and Bedrock (all devices including computers). 

So this tutorial caught my eye because it was a tutorial on how to make a complex sorting system in Minecraft, unlike most others that I have seen before. But this is when I realized that it was designed for Minecraft Java not Minecraft Bedrock. The differences in them overall is minor, but when it comes to creating redstone contraptions like sorters, they are completely different. 

I decided to ignore this issue and went ahead and built it to see how difficult it would be to make the sorter work in Minecraft Bedrock. Now this might sound like an easy task but even with my slight experience with redstone and my long history playing the game, it took a solid week of trouble shooting to finally get it to work.

At this point, I felt pretty good about myself so I hopped back onto YouTube and wrote a comment on that video saying,”I’ve gotten it to work on Minecraft Bedrock!” Little did I know that this would be the start of my YouTube channel.

Within days of posting that comment, the creator replied asking if I had made a video on my rendition. Now this YouTube creator had over 20,000 subscribers, so if HE wanted to see my build, then I had to make a tutorial for my version of his contraption. So on April 29, 2020, I published my first YouTube video. I had no expectations, as this was supposed to be a one and done thing, but within the first month after publishing the video, I had had 322 views and had gained 24 subscribers.

It was at this point that I realized just how much I enjoyed making tutorials and since people obviously liked it, I started working on another video. 

Since then, I have published 30 videos and have gained over 45,000 views and over 550 subscribers as well. While this started as a one-off thing, it has now turned into my new favorite hobby and passion. I love creating, filming, and editing Minecraft Bedrock content for my viewers on YouTube. If you want to check me out, just search, Rocket Builder in YouTube or click this link,

Ryan Hostetter

4th Annual Local Hertzler Get Together-2019

Saturday evening we had the fourth annual local Hertzler get together at Joe and Norma’s lovely homestead in Cumberland, Va. We can all trace our roots back to Isaac and Mary Kanagy Hertzler. They had 6 children; Joseph, Levi, Lydia. Isaac D, Elizabeth and David. Living in our area (Cumberland, Powhatan, Richmond, Farmville and Prospect) are descendants of Joseph, Levi and Isaac and all three had descendants present; 3rd, 4th and 5th cousins.

Below are a few pictures of our evening.

Joe Hertzler (Family line of Isaac)
Freeman and Phil Hertzler (Family line of Levi)
Roy Miller and Gene Hertzler (Family line of Isaac)
Henry and Kayla Hertzler (Family line of Isaac)
Karl and Michelle Hertzler (Family line of Isaac)
Tony and Bob Hertzler (Family line of Isaac)
Ivan and Joyce Lehman, Lillian Hertzler (Family line of Joseph)
Lucy Miller (Family line of Isaac)
Pat Hertzler and Marie Hertzler
Annette Hertzler
Kathy Hertzler
Gerald Hochstetler
When Freeman or his brother show up, there are unique and delicious delicacies that usually have to do with wild game on the grill.
Freeman’s bacon wrapped deer tenderloin and venison sausages. The flavor was out of this world good!!!
When everyone brings something for the grill you get hot dogs (not pictured), hamburgers, chicken and venison. It was a feast.
Cassidy sang “”If I Were a Butterfly”.
The oldest pushing one of the youngest!

If you have Hertzler roots and would like to be invited-even if you don’t live in our area, let me know.

The Denbigh Farm-Now and Then

Last weekend (February 2, 2019) when we went to Norfolk, we came home through Newport News, or more specifically, Denbigh.  It was with dread and curiosity that we turned down Colony Road and approached the home place. It is no longer home, just a place where home used to be. A memory, with all the reminders gone.  No longer family, just strangers walking the sod. As we approached the once familiar spot, we stopped by a large entrance sign welcoming us to the neighborhood.

I guess it made the developer feel better to call it “Meadows”. The meadow is long gone-only a throw back memory of horses grazing in the pastures. Instead, pristine houses have been planted and paved streets laid where stately, productive pecan trees, daylilies, irises, asparagus, and peonies once flourished. The squirrels, songbirds and woodpeckers have found other nesting places as only one lonely pecan tree still stands. The meadow of wildflowers and native grasses is now a sea of houses.

We always knew where to turn into the drive circling the old farmhouse, it was obvious, but now suddenly we didn’t know. We looked at the row of houses and wondered which one sat on THE spot.  And then we spied the one lone pecan tree that stood as a sad memorial to bygone days. It really looked pitiful and out of place. No longer was it a tall, stately tree; somehow it seemed to shrivel in size and demeanor. Gene finally decided it was the tree at the back left corner of the house where it cast its shadow over dad’s car.

Paved streets, concrete curbs and sidewalks have now replaced overgrown hedge rows. There is a street named after Dad Hertzler. Dad knew this time would come. He fought hard to protect and preserve the farm where he, and his father and grandfather before him tilled the soil.  In the last few years of his life, Dad reconciled with himself that he was the end of an era. It was time to let go. Even though he set the plans in motion,  he didn’t have to see it actually happen. With Dad’s passing, the last parcel of the original 1,200 acre Young Plantation bowed its head and ceased to exist as a farm.

We drove down Colony Road, turned left on Hertzler Road. The old swampy, algae covered pond on the backside of the farm is still there. It is on protected wet lands. We turned left on Miller Road completing the block as we quietly cruised by the cemetery where Dad and Mama Hertzler along with many other patriarchs of the Denbigh Colony rest in peace under the boughs of huge shade trees.

The Before…

Sign welcoming us to Quarterfield Farm Stables.

1994: Daddy and Mama sitting in the yard under the pecan tree. One of my favorite pictures.

The farmhouse: rich in history, full of memories.  It survived the fire in but not the bulldozers! (See blog post below, “Fire”).


Dad’s favorite iris.

The garden plot with the row of pecan trees beside the driveway.

No paved driveway.

Horses grazing in the meadow.

Horses instead of bicycles.

Time moves on, the old gives way to new.  We treasure the memories and hold them dear to our hearts.

Gone, but not forgotten!

Other blog posts about the farm:

3rd Annual Local Hertzler Gathering-2018

For the last three years the local Hertzlers have been getting together. This represents different family lines but if you have Hertzler DNA and you want to come, you are invited. This year was a little smaller group but we really had a wonderful time at the lovely home of our hosts, Joe and Norma Hertzler in Cumberland.

First cousins, Joe Hertzler, Howard Wenger, Bob Hertzler and Gene Hertzler.

Growing up, all four of their families (the above cousins) lived in Denbigh (Newport News), Virginia, and their families were close. Howard now lives south of Roanoke in Pilot, VA but when he heard about the party, he decided to come. Joe announced that Howard was his FAVORITE cousin. Gene immediately piped up, “Well, Bob is MY favorite”. That became the joke of the evening.  So there they are, four, good-natured, crazy Hertzler boys sitting by their favorite cousin!!! Oh the stories they can tell! Joe and Howard were born four days apart and they really were best buds growing up.

The younger generation having a good time.

Bobby Hertzler and Gerald Hochstetler.

Sister-in-laws, Michelle Hertzler and Lucy Miller.

Lucy Miller, Helen Hertzler and Michelle Hertzler.

A game of volleyball.

Some of Norma’s beautiful Cock’s Comb.

Rhubarb Cherry Pie made by Helen Hertzler.

Grilled pork chops and chicken.

Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.

Plenty of good food.

It was a perfect, peaceful and lovely evening sitting around the fire pit visiting, singing and listening to the music.


A family tree showing how we are all related.

Note: I wish I had gotten a few more pictures of the people who were there.  Sorry Tom, I missed getting your picture and one of the happy young couple who told us that as of that day, they were engaged. Congratulations Ryan Hertzler (Bobby Hertzler’s son) and Jennalee Zlotknowski.

Any Hertzler, doesn’t matter the family line, who would like to come next year, reply in the comments or send me a note ( and I will be sure you are invited.

2nd Annual Local Hertzler Get Together

The local Hertzlers gathered last evening for a second annual get together at the home of Joe and Norma Hertzler in Cumberland. It didn’t matter which family line you belonged to, if your pedigree was Hertzler, you were invited. We had three family lines present this year. It was such a fun evening of visiting, eating and singing.

The setting….

 A really neat old barn on the Hertzler homestead.


Joe keeps his place manicured and landscaped.

Flowers growing by a fence post.

 The Hertzler men…. 

 Joe Hertzler, Cumberland, VA

Phil Hertzler, Appomattox, VA

Bob Hertzler, Powhatan, VA

Gene Hertzler, Powhatan, VA

David L. Hertzler, Williamsburg, VA

Patrick, Tony and Bobby Hertzler, Powhatan, VA

(Bobby & Tony are the sons of Bob & Marie Hertzler.  Patrick is the son of Bobby).

Ryan Hertzler, son of Bobby, Powhatan, VA

Freeman Hertzler, son of Phil & Annette Hertzler.

Karl and Michelle Hertzler, Farmville, VA

(Karl is the son of Joe & Norma Hertzler. Michelle is the daughter of Tom & Helen Hertzler. Yes, a Hertzler married a Hertzler)


Terry Troyer, Milroy, PA

(If I have this correctly, Terry’s mom was a Hertzler. He is connected to David L. Hertzler and was visiting and came along for the evening).

The Troyers own Wagon Wheel Cabins at Cross Fork, PA. a great relaxing, hunting, and fishing destination. Check out their website at

Other pictures…..

     Marie Hertzler


Marie feeding her great-grandson. Eleanor Hertzler (Patrick’s wife).

David and Gene

Carmen Hertzler (daughter of David L) and Norma Hertzler


Levi getting a push from his auntie.

We posed as family groups…..

Bob Hertzler clan.  They were the largest family group represented.


David L. Hertzler clan.


Joe Hertzler clan.

Phil Hertzler clan.

Gene and Pat Hertzler

As the evening progressed the musical instruments came out and we had a fun time of singing and being entertained.


They sang an old family favorite hymn, “Love At Home,” which numerous ones had used at their weddings.



Joe and Michelle singing “Long Black Train”.

Someone asked what it meant to be local…where was the line?  There is none. If any Hertzler kinfolk want to come, you are more than welcome. It doesn’t matter which family line you belong to. We will probably have the fun of figuring out how we connect. They say all Hertzler/Hartzlers are related. If you would like to come, contact me and we will let you know when our next get together is next fall. Our PA guest had such a good time he wants to be invited next year!


Gone Except for the Memories

Today we went to Denbigh (Newport News) to attend the 120-year homecoming celebration at Warwick River Mennonite Church in Newport News. But first, we had to drive past the farm-Quarterfield Farm, Gene’s home place fronting on Colony and Hertzler Road.  Well, it used to be a farm, now it is just a memory.


The house site

The garden plot

For 118 years, it was a fertile, productive farm (dairy, then a horse boarding facility) within sight of the Warwick River and belonged to the Hertzler family: Great-grandpa, grandpa and then dad Hertzler.

The once lush meadows and pastures are now pushed over trees, tractors have given way to bulldozers and houses are starting to grace the landscape instead of pecan, walnut, crepe myrtle and oak trees. They tell us the house, barn, machine shed, milk house and shop were demolished 2 weeks ago. What once was a familiar homestead is now a dirt construction site. The pecan trees and shrubbery are still standing marking the outline of the yard but we were told they too will soon be gone. All traces of history have been removed, never to be recovered or preserved. This history was more than just Gene’s family. It was an important part of the history of Mennonites who came to Denbigh. In 1897 D.Z. Yoder and Isaac D. Hertzler (Gene’s great-grandpa) came to Denbigh and purchased a 1200 acre plantation for $10 an acre. This quickly attracted the interest of many other Mennonites in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other parts of Virginia who moved there. The land was divided between the families forming a very unique close-knit faith and agricultural community called  “The Colony”.

A new house now built in the front pasture.

The neighbors fought hard against city hall pleading for a park, a preservation of the cherished land. They fought City Hall and City Hall won. A sign saying “Hertzler Meadow” almost feels like a taunt.

It feels sad and as a family we now only have a marker in the church cemetery a mile from the farm to document Oliver and Anna Mae Hertzlers’ existence.

But, they are not forgotten. We have memories, lots and lots of memories, precious memories and pictures that we do and will continue to cherish. Dad Hertzler knew the inevitable was coming and he had worked out the plans before his death. We are just glad he didn’t have to see the reality of it.

It reminds us of the frailty of life. We are only here for a few short years and then we are gone, never to return.

What will be our legacy?

How will we be remembered when there is nothing left but a tombstone?


All flesh is like grass, and it’s loveliness as the flower of the field.

Isaiah 40:6

As for man, his days are as grass; as the flower of the field so he flourished. For the wind passes over it and it is gone; and the place remembers it no more.

Psalms 103: 15-16

This is a unique, to scale model of “The Colony” made by Sam Brunk for the 100th Anniversary showing how it was in 1947. It is now solid development. The 60 acres owned by Dad Hertzler was the last piece of land to be sold. He held on to the land tenaciously even though the city was determined to force him out.

Quarterfield Farm, farm of Henry-Anna Hertzler, Gene’s grandpa.


Some related blog posts about the farm.

Our Family Photo Album-2017

I’m not sure how I learned to know Anjie Kay but somewhere along the way I stumbled across her impressive photography on facebook. When I needed someone to take our family pictures, I knew who I wanted. As you can see in the pictures below, I am not disappointed!!!  I give her a 5-star rating and you can find her on fb at “Photos by Anjie:  Portraits of the Soul”.

She took 442 pictures but I promise to only post a few of the best.


This is my favorite family portrait.

The truck was Grandpa Hertzler which Keith bought at his estate sale. It was special using it as a prop. Grandpa would have been proud!




Us with our two kids: Keith and Jill

The grandkids

Emily’s graduation picture



Emily’s Graduation and Party

Our oldest granddaughter, Emily, has received her high school diploma!  This is a huge life achievement that signifies the beginning of “adulthood”! I am posting some pictures to honor her graduation last Saturday and the party this weekend. Just beware, being a proud grandma I have 164 pictures I could post between her Uncle Obe and myself, but I will attempt to limit myself!

Emily plans to attend community college this fall and then she has her eyes set on several options for college. At this point, she wants to major in social work, especially in the area of adoptions.

Graduation Day

Her proud papa!

Awaiting the magical moment

Keith, Alivia, Emily, Lauren and Noah

 Grandparents with the happy grad


Graduation Party

A behind the scenes peak at the fun getting ready for the party.

The girls had great fun working together.

  Cleaning chairs


 Grandpa Hertzler’s old truck. He would be proud!





Sometimes the best thing is to sit and watch!


Slushy machine-ready!

Picture board-ready!




Let the celebration begin…

The star of the party!














Celebrating 100 Years

Image result for music notes

“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Uncle Harry. Happy 100th birthday to you!”

One hundred years old!  Uncle Harry’s self-proclaimed goal has been to celebrate his 100th birthday.  And he did it!!!  Saturday family and friends gathered to celebrate this amazing man who outlived all his eight siblings. Ironically, one month ago, we laid to rest his younger sister, Osie, who was 98.

Uncle Harry is living out his days at a retirement center in Pennsylvania. He is hard of hearing, suffers from memory loss and walks with a cane, but otherwise is relatively healthy. When you talk to him, he always mentions the Lord; sometimes with a verse, sometimes with a blessing or admonition.

Later in the afternoon, I watched him get up from his chair and quietly stride unnoticed out the door of the reception room and down the hall towards his room.  Apparently he had enough of being the celebrity of the day and left his party for quieter quarters. He was later found sitting in the lounge entertaining other home residents with stories about his day and how popular he was with all the picture taking.

While his brothers pursued farming, Harry was the studious, academic child in the family.  For a while he tried dairying in Amelia County, but his true love was books, teaching and preaching. His story, which he wrote himself, is posted below.

“My Story” by Harry Hertzler

(Shared & edited by David Hertzler)

Harry has lived a good, full life. His life has exemplified a godly man of faith who has sought to be faithful to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in every aspect of his life. And now he says, “I am starting on my next 100 years!”

When “antique” is used as an adjective it means: having a high value because of considerable age.  Antique Harry.  I think the adjective fits and the Hertzlers have their own antique-a gem of precious value!

Uncle Harry with 7 of his children. His first wife, Edna, and daughter Mary June are deceased.

Back: Daniel (Danny, Michael, Henry, John Paul (JP) and Joe.

Front: David, Harry and Lois (Danner).

Spouses are added to this picture.

Back row: Marvin Rohrer (Mary June’s husband), Ruth & Danny, Michael & Kay, John Paul (JP’s spouse, Alma, passed away last year), Gwen & Henry, Philip Danner (Lois’s spouse) and Joe.

Front Row: Jean Rohrer (Marvin’s spouse), Ilva & David, Harry, Lois Ann, and Norma (Joe’s spouse)

Grandchildren who were present were added to this picture along with their parent’s name. I am not relabeling the siblings.

Back row: Three on left: David Hertzler (Daniel), April Garthwaite (David), Ed Hertzler (Dave) and two on right: Lucy Miller (Joe) and Veronica Hochstetler (Joe).

Front row: Yolanda Brubaker (JP), Joanna Yoder (Mike),  Lucinda Hostetter (JP),  Ernie Danner (Lois Ann), Timothy Danner (Lois Ann), Raphael Hertzler (Henry), Karl Hertzler (Joe), Wendall (Lois Ann) and kneeling in the front, Jeremy Hertzler (Henry).

Other Pictures From the Day

Four generations of Hertzlers

Harry with son, Joe, Grandson Karl, and two great-grandsons, Levi and Kurt

Uncle Harry and Gene Hertzler

John Paul (JP) Hertzler

Dave Hertzler, Gordie Ziegler, Kathy (Brunk) Stoltzfus and Danny Hertzler

Michael Hertzler

Margaret (Shank) & Daniel Lehman

Gordie and Bertie Ziegler

Lois Ann (Hertzler) and Philip Danner

Kay Hertzler, Jean Rohrer and Ruth Hertzler

Janice (Hertzler) Gerber and Bertie Ziegler

Ilva Hertzler loving on two of her granddaughters

Ilva Hertzler with two more grandchildren

Taylor & Brianna Hostetter (JP-Lucinda) and Annika Miller (Joe-Lucy)

Ed Hertzler and his dad, Dave Hertzler

Dale & Kathy Stoltzfus and Gene Hertzler

Ilva and Dave Hertzler

JP,  Gwen & Henry Hertzler

Joe & Norma Hertzler with children Lucy (Hertzler) Miller and Karl.

A few pictures from the history table…

Harry and Edna’s wedding picture -1941

Harry on his wedding day

Harry and Edna….later in life

Harry Hertzler Family-1948

Harry Hertzler Family 1961

Harry Hertzler family with his parents (Henry & Anna Hertzler) -1968

50th wedding anniversary of Harry’s parents, Henry & Anna Hertzler

The entire clan of Hertzlers – 1956


 Pictures taken by Ed Hertzler

Ed Hertzler (Dave) and Harry

 Lori Jo Hertzler, Ed’s spouse.

First Cousins

Lucinda Hostetter (JP), Yolanda Brubaker (JP), Joanna (Mike),  April (David), Veronica Hochstetler (Joe) and Lucy Miller (Joe).

Yolanda Brubaker (JP), Ed Hertzler (Dave) and Veronica Hochstetler (Joe)

Michelle Hertzler  (Spouse of Joe’s son Karl)

Pictures taken by Ilva Hertzler

Joe, Harry and J.P.  Hertzler

Michael Hertzler and Gordie Ziegler

Philip Danner, Harry Hertzler, Janice Gerber and Henry Hertzler

Note: If anyone has pictures of people I don’t have posted I would love for you to send them to me at If you know the names where I have ? marks, I would love your help.

Aunt Osie’s Memorial Service

In loving memory of Osie Ola Hertzler Ziegler

September 26, 1918 – April 9, 2017

(She was 1 year, 6 months shy of her 100th birthday!)

It was a special service for a special lady. For those who couldn’t attend, I have included pictures of the cousins who were there, and a “Eulogy of Memories” by Laurie Kutchins, a long-time friend and neighbor.

An open grave ready to receive the ashes…

It was a dreary, rainy day and somehow that seemed fitting to reflect our loss.

Burial completed, it was time to go and celebrate her life and glorious homegoing.

Together, the assembly of friends and family joyfully sang in four-part harmony several of her favorite hymns.

Verse 1. “Lift your glad voices in triumph on high, For Jesus hath risen, and man shall not die….

Verse 4. But Jesus hath cheered the dark valley of sorrow, and bade us, immortal to heaven ascend. Lift then your voices in triumph on high, for Jesus hath risen, and man shall not die.”

Pictures of the Cousins

Tedrick Grandle and  Audrey Ziegler

( ? granddaughter of Audrey)

Gordie and Bertie Ziegler

Gordie Ziegler, Dave Shenk, and Harold Wenger

Marie and Bob Hertzler (Bob is the oldest of the cousins)

Joe and Norma Hertzler

Marjorie Swartzentruber and son Dean

Diane Harman (daughter of Bill & Carolyn Presley)

Dave and Janice Gerber

Kenny and Gail Brunk

Gene and Pat Hertzler

Ed Hertzler (son of Dave and Ilva Hertzler)

Jill Hostetter (daughter of Gene and Pat Hertzler)

Bob Hostetter

Bob Hertzler,  Diane Hertzler, Diane Harman, and Melanie (daughter of Diane Hertzler)

Linford and Louise Sommers

Randy Hertzler and daughter Lucy. (Randy is son of Jim and Alta Hertzler)

Judy Humphrey

Sidney Wenger

(If any one can help me with a few names, I would appreciate it)


Osie Hertzler Ziegler-Memories

Eulogy for Osie Ola Hertzler Ziegler, April 22, 2017

Lindale Mennonite Church

Prepared and offered by Laurie Kutchins

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