Amish Family Content Page
Start here for an index to other Amish Family sites and articles
More Amish research (mine)
Continuation of research with book notations
Continuation of Amish research (mine)
Book and personal research continued
The Amish of Lancaster PA (mine)
research and personal information on Old Order Amish
Bea's Home Pages
The start of my tripod pages and links
Lehman's home page
A catalog of nonelectric items for Amish and others
The Amish of Ohio (my research)
Information on the Amish of Ohio
Amish Medical Information (my research)
What the Amish do for doctors, hospitals, birthing, etc.
The Amish Buggy Site
A wonderful site good for researchers interested in learning about Amish Buggies. Links to other good sites.
Amish Fun Page
A page of Amish jokes and Dutchified English. Get a Feel for how a real Pennyslvania Dutch might talk.
How the disaster relief organization of the Mennonites and Amish works and how you can help.

The Amish of Lancaster, PA

Amish women, men and children wear a distinctive clothing which
sets them aside as members of the "Plain People" or Old Order Amish.

Some Amish-Mennonites also wear similar clothing but have more
relaxed rules in other areas of their lives.

Not all Amish are alike depite their appearance.
Some women are strong, some women are not.
The Amish suffer like the rest of us with the effects of aging, disease,
and even mental depression. They eat mainly the food they grow,
but they still have skinny people, fat people and everything in between.


The Amish came originally from Europe where they had been persecuted
for their faith. They believed in adult baptism and this went against
the prevalent beliefs of infant baptism. So they came to America.
The first settlements were in Pennsylvania and Lancaster remains the
largest area of Amish in the country with Ohio a close second.


FOR A LONG TIME THE AMISH went to public schools. Things changed back
in the 1950's when school districts were consolidated and Amish
children would be bused away from home.

The original schools were one-room public schools with walking
distance of their homes. With the consolidation movement children
were taken away in huge yellow buses and brought to imposing buildings.
The children were lost in the crowd and suffered at the hands of others
who thought their manner of speech and dress stranger.
The parents also felt out of place. The Amish communities
did not feel it was safe to send their children to such a place.

They feared the children would learn worldly values. This belief is
not just for the Amish. I was raised a catholic. I attended P.S.
34 in my neighborhood for elementary school, but when it came to high school
my parents didn't want me to go to the public school. They feared the
influence of others who were not brought up as strictly as I was.
So I was sent to Parochial school, so were my brother and sister.

Some Old Order Amish men wound up in jail for defying the law and not sending
their children to the public schools. After a long battle of wills,
the Amish parochial schools were set up. These are one
room schools within walking distance of their homes. The children go to
the school until grade 8, and then continue on with high school
studies in their homes until age 16.

Amish families won the right to educate their own children in 1972.
The U.S.Supreme Court decision--Wisconsin v Yoder--decreed that Amish
children would no longer be forced to attend large consolidated school systems.

The compromise was the best thing for the Amish so that they remained in
control of their children's education.

By the middle of the decade, there were 79 one-room Amsih schools operating
in Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania. These were built, funded, and
staffed by the local, geographical church districts.

The schools teach the basics, reading, writing, math but also once a
week there is a required German class. School distrcts vary in the amount
of freedom they give to the teacher. Some are conservative and strict
and others are more progressive.


I do not know the exact locations of settlements of Amish in other states. However, I am providing information here from my research.

My personal experience is with the Amish of Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania. There are many other settlements across the United States
and even in Canada.

Resource: The Amish Struggle with Modernity

edited by Donald B. Kraybill and Marc A. Olshan

University Press of New England


The number next to the state is the number of settlements.

OHIO 33, Indiana 16, Wisconsin 27, Michigan 23, Missouri 15, New York 15, Iowa 7, Illinois 3, Kentucky 12, Minnesota 5, Maryland 2, Tennessee 3, Kansas 3, Oklahoma 2,Texas 3, Montana 2, Florida 1, Georgi 1a, North Carolina 1, Virginia 1 and Ontario, Canada 1.

Lancaster County PA has 103 settlements and is the largest.

I now have a source for the actual names of the counties where the Amish are in different states. If you need me to look this up (It's too long to print here) remind me it is pages 252-259 in THE AMISH STRUGGLE WITH MODERNITY.


Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), the inter-Mennonite relief agency, called the first wide-scale meeting of interested persons in 1955 in Chicago. There the representatives of regional groups adopted the proposal that a national coordination committee be established composed of one representative from each of the constituent groups. In 1961 a young attorney by the name of Wayne Clemens, was hired by the national committee as executive coordinator, and by 1962 MDS had become a section of MCC.

MDS currently involves more than 3,000 Mennonite, Amish and Brethren in Christ churches and districts which are divided into 50 units, 15 representative areas, and 5 regions (4 in the U.S. and 1 in Canada). At the 25th anniversary observance of MDS at Hesston, Kansas, speaker Elmer Ediger said, "It has been as spontaneous a movement as we have had. It has shown that ordinary people, if they are dedicated and put in a place of need, can do great things."

MDS wants only to remain an organization of the people for the people --to the glory of God. "The volunteer should be given first place," says John Diller, as the one who has watched the little movement expand into the extensive service organization MDS is today. "All others only help to keep the road maintained so that the volunteer can get out to the person who needs his assistance." - Adapted from Day of Disaster, Katie Funk Wiebe

In 1993 MDS was incorporated as a 501-C-3 non-profit organization separate from the Mennonite Central Committee, but working closely and with the same spirit as MCC. This was a year that saw an extraordinary amount of disaster activity, as work continued with the devastation of Hurricane Andrew and the Midwest Floods. Through the assistance and perseverance of the MDS network, the organization continued to grow and increase it's disaster response capabilities.