Origin of Name Joho

Although the family name Joho/Yoho looks and sounds Asian, its origin is acutally Swiss.. The earliest known use of the name has been traced back to the year 1395 in the Canton (County) of Aargau Swizerland (Red X below).. Routschmann Joho born ca 1395 is recorded to have been a citizen of Baden district until ca 1434. For more information about Aargau and all Swiss Cantons Click Here

The original spelling Joho is still used by the Swiss and some family members living in the U.S.. Most of the present European Joho families live in both french and german parts of Switzerland..There are also Joho's living in France and Germany.

Many Joho families live in the United States, where the name was changed (Americanized) to Yoho about 1745. The name was changed by Johannes Joho and his wife Susanna who were the first known Joho's to move to America in 1738.

It is not known if Johannes (John) Joho was born in Alsace or Switzerland but records show he was confirmed in Lembach Alsace in 1729.. Susanna Laur (Lau) was born in Alsace in 1705. The name change to Yoho and Alsace connections will be covered in other parts of the Main Menu.

Some Sources For The Origin of The Name Joho

Hermann Eiermann

In 1997, Hermann Eiermann authored a book entitled "The Old Families of Eberbach: The origin of Swiss Immigrant Conrad Joho to Schinznach in Aargau".. Ulf and Frank Joho who are both descendents of Conrad Joho provided copies of this book (in German) to Hugh Yoho and myself. The documentation from Eiermann proves that Joho is of Swiss origin and not German as some have reported.

Eiermann's research discovered the earliest known use of the name Joho.. Eiermann found records of a Routschmann Joho who lived in Baden district of Aargau Canton (County) Switzerland from 1395 to approximately 1434..

With Routschmann Joho the First Generation, Eiermann shows ten generations to Conrad Joho as follows:

1. Generation Routschmann Joho ((1395 - ?) Married Annelin Larmund (1427) and Greten Unknown (1434)

2. Gery Joho (ca 1435 - ?) Married Unknown Unknown 1460 Baden

3. Unknown Male Joho (ca 1460 - ?) Baden

4. Unknown Male Joho (ca 1490 - ?) Baden. Moved to Schinznach 1528 (first Joho in Schinznach)

5. Unknown Male Joho (ca 1520 - ?)

6. Unknown Male Joho (ca 1550 - ?)

7. Unknown Male Joho (ca 1580 - ?)

8. Unknown Male Joho (ca 1610- ?)

9. Daniel Joho (1638 - ?)

10. Conrad Joho (1673 - 1728)

EDITORS NOTE: I was hoping Eiermann's book would show a link to Johann Michael Joho (1678- bef 1735) who was the father of Johannes Joho (1712-1795) the first American Immigrant.. Thus far no line has been found.. Lineage from Daniel Joho and others can be viewed in "Two Swiss Communities of Joho" in Main Menu.

Jean-Jacques Joho

Jean-Jacques Joho of Liebefield Switzerland reports the first mention of the Joho name was recorded in 1472 in a trial at Baden Switzerland.. Jean-Jacques surmises that during the reformation of the 16th century, a Joho emigrated from Catholic Baden to Schinznach Village, a protestant locality in the canton. A Joho was reported to have killed a wolf in the forest of Habsburg which would explain the presence of a wolf in the coat of arms of the family.

EDITORS NOTE: There are four known family crests. (See Crests in Menu)

Jean-Jacques also reported that the Joho family from Bettwil, whose branch is as old as the branch of the Joho's from Baden, remained Catholic. Four of this family still live at present in Baden while the Joho's from Schinznach spread to the Lake of Constance and the Lake of Leman and also abroad to Germany, America, Australia ect. (Information provided by Hugh Yoho)

Martin Joho

Martin Joho of Auenstein Switzerland found the Joho name in 1527 in Schinznach-village, 1529 in Villernachern, 1577 in the Horen Estate in Kuttigen and 1660 in Suhr.

In this part of Switzerland today Joho families are citizens of Auenstein, Bettwil, and Schinznach-village. The origin of the spelling is not known, but it is thought to have arisen from a nickname.. It has been reported that prior to 1250 there were no family names. In the following years, family names showed up as combinations between first names, middle names, professions, where they lived, and nicknames..(Information provided by Martin Joho via Felix Joho)

Jakob Joho

Another possible origin of the Joho Name is cited in a letter from Jakob Joho of Brugg, Switzerland to his son Jean-Jacques of Liebefeld Switzerland, dated Dec. 18 1968:

We are townspeople of Auenstein where several Joho families still live. One branch was established there about 1740 coming from Schinznach Village. we find our family name the first time about 1428 in Baden. A branch was established there during the reformation in Schinznach where it is interesting to note that four workers name Joho took part in construction of Bogbergstrasse. At that time there should have been several families named Joho living at Schinznach.

My research (Jacob Joho) also established that our name is found also in Alsace and in Bad-Wurtemberg.. French and German Joho's came from Switzerland. Where does the name Joho come from? According to my father it came from the very common name Jean (Johann).

Tim Yoho

My family and probably most of the Yoho's in the US have been traced back to Johann Michael Joho (1678-1735) who lived in Alsace on the border of France and Switzerland. His son Johannes (John) immigrated to the US in 1738 with his wife Susanna and settled first near Philadelphia then moved to Winchester Virginia.. Records show They had four daughters and five sons three of whom fought in the Revolutionary War. More on Johannes, Susanna and family can be found in Joho/Yoho Menu.

There are some similarities of surnames that cause confusion among Yoho researchers. Surnames From Germanic Books lists names Joh, Joho, and Johe are listed by Picton Press with a "PP" number:

Daniel Joh 1425 Adam Johe 1469 Johannes Joho 1635
Joha Johan Joh 1345 Johann Jurg Johe 1425 Susanna Joho 1635
Johan Jerg Joh 1345 Johannes Johe 1345 Eva Catrina Joho 1635
Johan Adam Joh 1345 Maria Elizabeth Johe 1425 Maria Christina 1635
Johann Jacob Joh 1345 Susanna Johe 1345  
Johann Michel Joh 1345    
Jurg Joh 1425    
Peter Joh 1725    
Peter (Petter) Joh 1345    
Susanna Margaretha Joh 1425    

The names Johe and Joho are also found with some interchange (in red above). Johannes and Susanna Johos names are spelled Johe in other sources. I know of one recent instance of Yoho purposely being changed to Yohe. I have not seen all of the above sources but it is interesting to note the middle name Margaretha in Susanna Margaretha Joh.. Johannes and Susanna Joho had a daughter Anna Maria Margaretha in Alsace. Is Margaretha a common name or is the Susanna Margaretha Joh (above) actually Susanna Joho?

One unanswered question by me is whether these names represent the same or different families. Hopefully this question will be answered in future research.

Return Yoho Family Page

Return Tim Yoho's Home Page