10 Incredible Facts About the Amish Community

Amish People – Roots and Origins

Amish people

Early in the 18th century, this orthodox Christian sect members founded an Amish community in Pennsylvania after fleeing persecution for their Anabaptist convictions in Europe.

The nation’s oldest and biggest community is the Pennsylvanian Amish Dutch in the county of Lancaster, which numbers more than 30,000.

The Amish were born out of the Mennonite group. Both were active in the early Anabaptist movement in Europe during the Reformation. According to Anabaptists, only adults who practiced their religion should be baptized and remain separate from the rest of society.

A young Dutch Catholic priest named Menno Simons joined the Anabaptist movement in 1536. His teachings and leadership helped to unite the Anabaptist communities known as the Mennonites. Then Jacob Ammann, a Swiss bishop, separated from the Mennonite church in 1693. His adherents were christened Amish.

Despite the many splits, the Amish and Mennonite religions still share similar views on baptism, nonresistance, and basic biblical concepts; and they follow them just as their ancestors did centuries ago.

As part of William Penn’s “holy experiment” in religious tolerance, the Amish and Mennonites moved to Pennsylvania. In the 1720s and 1730s, the first group of Amish came to Lancaster County, and other small groups settled in places like Maryland and Ohio.

Lancaster County, is home to three Amish families or groups associated with the Anabaptists: the Amish, Mennonites, and Brethren. The Anabaptist faith, which requires a personal choice to accept God, is shared by all three sects.

According to congregations, only adults are baptized.


It is a tradition in which the young couple must sleep in the same bed for a certain period of time but not touch each other. It looks like a regular double bed for the young, but with a board separating the two beds. Now it is a rarity, but still, you can meet banding in this form when the young bride sleeps in a sack for a month, which puts her mother. And in the morning, the mother checks that the sack is in place and that the husband does not touch the young wife.

The tradition is thought to have originated either in the Netherlands or the British Isles and then became common in the colonial United States, especially in Pennsylvania. Country. Some Nebraska Amish men may still practice it. When used for courtship, the goal is to allow intimacy without intercourse.

The biblical tale of Ruth and Boaz, in which a widow and a wealthy landowner spend the night together in a grain storeroom, may have served as a model for marriage. However, tradition is that they did not touch each other, and the couple later married.

Traditionally, the participants were teenagers, and a boy occupied the girl’s house. The girl’s parents gave them separate blankets, and they were expected to talk to each other all night. Sometimes a packing board or sack was placed between the boy and the girl to discourage sexual behavior.

In the Colonial United States, Jonathan Edwards and other preachers condemned bundling.

It is possible that as late as the mid-nineteenth century, tying was still practiced in New York State and possibly in New England, although its popularity declined. The court case of Graham v. Smith, 1 Edm.Sel.Cas. 267 (New York, 1846), originally argued by Judge Edmunds in the New York State District Court, concerned the seduction of a 19-year-old woman; Testimony in the case showed that bundling was a common practice in certain rural social circles at the time. Bundling appears to have virtually faded by the 20th century, with the exception of the more traditional Amish of the old order of affiliation, who continue to use it today, wherever they may be.

The writer Washington Irving, in Chapter 7 of History of New York (1809), and in his other writings, refers to bundling as a Yankee practice.

This astounding increase may, in fact, be partially attributed to a unique practice practiced by them known as bundling, a superstitious ritual observed by young men of both sexes that typically concluded celebrations and was upheld with religious rigor by the most passionate segment of the community.

Ordnung (order)

Amish working

This is a list of rules that, long ago, the elders of a given community took as their creed. It is not only a list of religious rules but also of civil rules. They are all based on the Bible.

Religious rules of life adopted by Amish and Old Order Mennonites[en] and Conservative Mennonites. In German, the polysemous word Ordnung means, among other things, “church order”, “discipline”, “rule”, “regulation”, “organization”, and “system”; from German, the word has been borrowed into English and other languages.

The Amish had no centralized church hierarchy; each assembly had considerable autonomy and could establish internal rules and regulations. Thus, each local Amish religious organization adopts and operates its own Ordnung. Most often, it is not even a formal regulatory document but unwritten rules that are followed by the members of a given Amish community and are very important for preserving their religious identity. Conservative Mennonites usually use the English discipline or standard instead of the German Ordnung in the same sense.

Ordnung muss sein – “There must be order”, German proverb.


Wagons and manual labor characterize the Amish. Everything is done by hand or with livestock, mostly horses. Yet, for all its complexity and laboriousness, all their baked goods are considered the most delicious in the United States.

Amish transport

The Amish have a somewhat well-deserved reputation as Luddites. That is people who refuse to use new technology. The most stubborn of them do not use electricity or automobiles, but work on the farm with hand tools and ride horses. Or, at most, use buggies, in which they also harness a horse. And when the need for the latest technology is brought up, the Amish can be cited as an example of the successfully implemented concept of abandoning that technology

However, the Amish are not such retrogrades. On the contrary, they are quite accepting of the introduction of technology into their lives. This is because they have no consensus on what can and cannot be used. Ohioans can do things forbidden to the New York Amish, but they seem very reserved compared to their fellow Iowans. So it turns out that most of them use a mixture of old and very new technology. But we are used to seeing them as people who refuse to accept anything new.

Clothing and style

Amish children

Belts, gloves, ties, and sneakers are forbidden! The Amish live a very simple lifestyle, reflected in their clothing. Married men must grow beards, while mustaches are completely forbidden. Women are forbidden to wear patterned clothing or jewelry and are not allowed to cut their hair. The community’s Ordnung is very specific about how long garments must be.

There are no zippers or rivets in their costume. They do not wear sneakers, belts, or caps. Colors for clothing are always chosen muted, not bright. Unmarried girls wear blue (sometimes blue) long dresses and black aprons, with a white cap on the head.

Married ladies sometimes wear a black dress instead of a blue one, together with a black cap. But, again, the bishop decides on this matter of the community. In addition, Amish women are not allowed to wear jewelry or makeup or cut their hair. All these rules are designed to prevent them from becoming conceited and wanting to embellish themselves in any way.

Men’s clothing includes a casual work suit of simple strappy pants and a light-colored shirt, all complemented by a straw hat with a black ribbon. The second option for men’s clothing is a suit for going out. If a man is going to the city, he wears a black jacket or black vest and pants and a black fedora. It is also forbidden for men to shave their beards after marriage.

“Amishness” has existed for three centuries. However, the clothing of the followers of this movement has not changed at all and still resembles the attire of people of the seventeenth century.


Losing a beard is a big problem; it is a loss of status and respect. The Amish even have gangs that engage in such acts. Recently one such gang, which cut beards, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for each of 15 instances of such crimes.


The American Amish are all descended from only 200 families. That is, they have a great problem with inbreeding. Therefore, they often give birth to sick babies who often die. The mortality rate among newborn is very high. The Amish themselves declare, “It is God’s will”.

There is a high level of certain hereditary diseases among them, including dwarfism (Ellis-Van Creveld syndrome), various metabolic diseases and atypical distribution of blood groups. In addition, the Amish population is a set of different genetically closed people (communities) with a spread of closely related marriages (inbreeding).

Since almost all Amish descended from about 200 founding ancestors who lived in the eighteenth century, genetic diseases resulting from inbreeding exist in the most isolated counties (this is one example of the “founder effect”). Some of these diseases are rare or even unique, yet serious enough to cause increased infant and child mortality among the Amish. Most of them view this as God’s will, or “Gottes Wille,” and they oppose using premarital preventative genetic testing and prenatal genetic screening to identify hereditary problems. At the same time, the Amish are willing to participate in other research on hereditary diseases.


The health of the Amish is about twice as good as the health of any American. This is due to a healthy lifestyle (apparently, not counting infant mortality).

Old Order usually do not have private commercial health insurance. However, about two-thirds of their community in the county of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, participate in Church Aid, an informal self-insurance plan to help members cover catastrophic medical expenses. Several American hospitals, beginning in the mid-1990s, have established special programs to help the Amish. James Hubert launched the first of these programs at Susquehanna Health System in central Pennsylvania. This program attracted national media attention in the United States and spread to several nearby hospitals. The Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, has produced efficient therapies for various hereditary issues, including maple syrup urine sickness, a once-deadly condition.


Amish house

The teenager has a right to choose his life. He is given a period during which he has to decide: to stay in the community and become Amish or to leave the community forever and never return and never meet his relatives.

Rite of initiation in some Amish communities (one of Anabaptism’s strands): an adolescent between the ages of 14-16 is given a choice: accept baptism and become a church member in the community or leave the community[3]:10-11. The vast majority choose baptism and remain in the church[3]:14. For religious reasons, they try to separate their religious communities and compact settlements from the surrounding non-Amish community. Not all of them hold Rumspringa, and in those communities where Rumspringa occurs, the elders usually also view this period as a time of courtship and spouse-seeking.


Violation of Ordnung and expulsion from the community. For example, having an affair with a girl outside the community and constant contact with people outside the community. Meidung is for life. One cannot return to the community.

The meidung is the harshest punishment in the system of penalties. Meidung refers to expulsion from the community because of a transgression of the Ordnung.

Meidung is for the life of the person, as the Amish can never return to their community.


The Amish language is German and Pennsylvanian. It was also known as Pennsylvania Dutch. They use three languages: English, German, and Pennsylvania Dutch. They use English in school and work, and German is used in religious services. However, the Old Order people still use a dialect of Swiss German


The Amish tradition is to grow beards, but not mustaches, because they were forbidden to grow mustaches. After marriage, men began to grow beards and stopped shaving their beards. In addition, men who cut beards would be punished.

How they dress: clothing

The Amish are known to love the simplicity and a traditional way of life. This is evident in their clothing (handmade). Dark colors and simple fabrics were used for their clothing. Ties, gloves, belts, and sneakers were forbidden for men. They usually wore coats, vests, and pants without pleats. Women usually wore aprons, solid-colored skirts, and long sleeves. In addition, the wearing of jewelry and patterned clothing was forbidden.


Rumspringa is a youngsters tradition of choosing one’s life. Before being baptized, there are opportunities to see the outside world, such as going to the local movie theater, taking drugs, or smoking a cigarette. After that, they can either stay with the community or leave it.


The Amish are typical Christians, and they believe in baptism. As they mature, they will be baptized between the ages of 16 and 24. After that, they are allowed to marry.

What is the Ordnung?

Ordnung is a set of rules for daily life. Unwritten rules were also written, such as no jewelry, patterns, and bright colors. It sounds like a holy book.


Gelassenheit is religious faith. It means that the community should be thankful for God’s creation. Therefore, they were forbidden to use electricity. Lately, they have been using the telephone to share with a neighbour. However, the phone should be kept outside the home, not inside it.

Differences between the Amish and Mennonites

The difference between Amish and Mennonites is in their lifestyle. If the Amish cannot wear colorful clothes, drive cars, etc. etc., it is different from Mennonites. Mennonites live a modern lifestyle, wear brightly colored clothes, own vehicles, etc. Д.

Peculiarities of education.

Children were educated up to eighth grade. They do not go on to college or a high level of education. However, communities teach them vocational training. Boys learn to be carpenters or farmers, and girls know to be homemakers.

How They Get Married

Amish marriage is very different from modern marriage. There is no wedding ring, flowers, makeup, or fancy dress. These were forbidden because they symbolized vanity. In addition, there were bride and groom rules. The groom was required to grow a beard after marriage, and the bride had to wear a simple blue wedding dress. Sometimes she may choose her color. An marriage can be consummated only once in a lifetime.

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