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On the recent growth of new Amish settlements.

Abstract: This essay documents the recent growth of new Amish settlements in North America, focusing on settlements founded from 1990 through 2009, noting where they are located and describing the ways in which they begin to build a religious and social community. Recent expansion has occurred mostly in Ontario, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania and various Midwestern slates, plus some growth into several other states of the Southern and Western regions of the U.S. Newly established settlements are mostly confined to counties that are largely rural, counties that are slowly declining or gaining very little in population, and counties with housing values below their respective state medians. Reports from Amish scribes and histories from Amish directories provide information about how new settlements are started, grow in size, and share in activities and events that quickly build up a sense of community



The history of the Amish in North America is marked by a continuous search for land to begin new settlements. (1) Consistent with a people who have always sought a considerable degree of separation from mainstream society and have strong ties to the land, the Amish who establish new settlements have always preferred rural areas. (2) This practice has served the Amish well, both in their early history on the North American continent, and especially in more recent times, as it has helped them find appropriate places to settle in the midst of an increasingly urbanized society, digitized culture and globalized economy. Within these rural oases, the Amish can make a living, run their households, raise their children and share in communal activities in ways consistent with core religious values, social organization and cultural patterns. (3) Unless the Amish continue to find areas to settle that afford opportunities for them to live and work within the parameters of their religious beliefs, it is difficult to see how they can sustain their high fertility rates and enable their daughters and sons to remain within the faith. (4)

Although the creation of places to live and worship together has been a constant feature of Amish life since their arrival in North America early in the eighteenth century, (5) the establishment of new settlements has accelerated since 1990. This article describes key features of growth in new Amish settlements founded between 1990 and 2009. (6) We begin by tracing both the establishment and survival of these newer settlements, describing the characteristics of their locations and examining activities associated with creating sustainable communities characterized by shared values and mutual support. The information presented here relies heavily on the extensive files of the Heritage Historical Library (Aylmer, Ontario), as well as on accounts of new settlements and community-building activities published in various Amish directories and in three newspapers serving the Amish: The Diary, The Budget and Die Botschaft. Characteristics of host counties within which new settlements are located come from U.S. Census data sources. (7)


During the course of the twentieth century continued high fertility (8) and increasingly high baptism rates (9) have doubled the Amish population about every twenty years. (10) This growth, in turn, has resulted in a greater than twofold increase in Amish settlements over the past nineteen years, which is offset slightly by the failure of some new settlements to last more than a few years before the remaining families pack up and leave for other places.

Table 1 provides an overview of the expansion of Amish settlements in North America since 1800. Column 2 demonstrates just how much this process has accelerated since 1990. Of course, not all of these recently established settlements will survive, as the figures in columns 5-8 illustrate. Of the sixty-five settlements founded in the 1800s, less than 25 percent survive today (column 8). (11)
Table 1: Survival of Amish Settlements in North America

 (1) (2) (3) (4) Cumulative (5) (6) Founded
 Period Total Surviving Total: Surviving Founded During,
 Founded (12/31/09) (from column 3) During, Extinct
 Extinct Later

1800-1899 65 16 19 (4) 24 25

1900-1949 69 16 35 41 12

1950-1959 26 16 51 0 10

1960-1969 43 20 71 5 18

1970-1979 73 55 125 2 16

1980-1989 69 46 171 6 17

1990-1999 128 95 264 14 19

2000-2009 150 144 411 6 ---

1990-2009 278 239 ----- 20 19

1800-2008 615 408 ----- 98 116

 (1) (7) Founded (8) (2) (9) (3) (10) Cumulative Total:
 Period Earlier, Percent Net Gain (from column 9)
 Extinct During Surviving

1800-1899 --- (1) 24.6 ---- ----

1900-1949 24 23.2 +4 49 (5)

1950-1959 9 61.5 +17 66

1960-1969 10 46.5 +28 94

1970-1979 14 75.3 +57 151

1980-1989 8 66.7 +56 206

1990-1999 23 74.2 +91 297

2000-2009 30 96.0 +114 411

1990-2009 53 86.0 +205 -----

1800-2008 118 66.3 +399 -----

(1) We make no attempt to provide an exact count of settlements founded
during the 1700s that became extinct during the 1800s. Hostetler lists
twelve settlements founded in the eighteenth century.--Hostetler, Amish
Society, 58. Two settlements founded in the eighteenth century became
extinct in the twentieth century. Using Luthy's (1991) place names,
these were Berlin in Somerset County (1767-1910) and Johnstown in
Cambria County (1780-1941). Both were included in calculations related
to column 7.
(2) Percent surviving (column 8) for each time period is calculated by
dividing the total surviving (column 3) by the total number founded
(column 2).
(3) Net gain (column 9) for each time period is the sum of columns 5 and
7, which is then subtracted from the number of settlements founded
(column 2).
(4) Three settlements founded in the 1700s, all located in Pennsylvania,
survive today: Lancaster/Chester counties (ca. 1760); Meyersdale/Springs
(ca. 1772); and Belleville/Reedsville (1791).--.Luthy, "Amish
Communities Across America: 2003," 23.
(5) Forty-five settlements existed at the beginning of the twentieth
century, of which only nineteen survive today.

Both David Luthy and Steven Nolt have documented many factors leading to the extinction of settlements in the nineteenth century, with a primary reason being the liberalization of church discipline in many communities. (12) This subsequently led to the organization of more progressive Amish-Mennonite conferences that eventually dropped the name Amish altogether.

A low survival rate continued during the first half of the twentieth century. Again, less than a quarter of the settlements founded during this period survive today, with a net gain of only four settlements over the entire fifty-year span (see table 1, column 9). Many failures were due to attempts by the Amish to locate in areas where weather and the environment were unfavorable to farming. (13) Additionally, they found it difficult to attract a critical mass of households necessary to build a viable community, hold church services, and ordain their own ministers. (14) During the early 1900s, for example, three attempts to establish settlements in eastern Colorado failed, a story that was repeated in such far-flung states as Arizona, California, Georgia, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oregon.

In terms of settlement survival, the information contained in table 1 suggests that the first and second halves of the twentieth century were two completely different eras for the Amish. From 1950 through 1999, the survival rate jumped to 66.4 percent. With time, some of the settlements founded between 1950 and the end of the twentieth century (especially those founded during the 1990s) will likely eventually fail, but it is difficult to imagine that their rate of failure will increase to pre-1950 levels. In total, 339 settlements were founded during these fifty years, of which 232 survive today. Although survival rates vary from decade to decade, they are comparatively much higher now than they were during the previous 150 years.

A total of 615 Amish settlements have been founded in North America over the past 209 years. Of these, 408 or 66.3 percent still exist. With three surviving settlements from the 1700s, the number of active communities at the end of 2009 was 411, the majority of which (239) were founded after 1989. Figure 1 provides a trend line for surviving Amish settlements. In 1950, there were only 49 settlements. This number had almost doubled to 94 by 1970, then more than doubled to 206 by 1990, and nearly doubled again in only nineteen years. This rapid growth of settlements matches the current estimated doubling rate of the Amish population, which is approximately every twenty years. (15)


Of special interest in this article is the period from 1990 through the 2009. Despite the remarkable gains of the previous four decades, the 1990s witnessed an unprecedented growth with 128 new settlements. Even after one accounts for the fourteen settlements that were already extinct by the end of the 1990s, and another nineteen that became extinct during the first decade years of the twenty-first century, the number still represents slightly more than one new settlement founded per month. In total, there was a net gain of 95 Amish settlements in the 1990s. (16)

The 150 settlements founded between 2000 and 2009 exceeds the total established during the decade of the 1990s, although six were short-lived and were already extinct by the end of 2009. This is a remarkable rate, with one new settlement founded approximately every three weeks and a net gain of 114 when accounting for the thirty communities founded at an earlier time that became extinct during this ten-year period. Our information, garnered from various reports by scribes in the three Amish newspapers and information available through the Heritage Historical Library, indicates at least another nine settlements will be founded during 2010, including as many as five new communities in New York alone.

In figure 2 we present information on the founding of Amish settlements for each year, beginning with 1990. The number of new settlements has clearly varied from year to year. The peak year was 2006, with twenty-five new settlements, followed by a steady decline to a low of nine settlements in 2009. It could be that recent housing and employment conditions in North America, now known as the "Great Recession," (17) has slowed new settlement development, given the widespread difficulty of acquiring loans coupled with the financial investment required to purchase land and develop new business enterprises to support family, church and community. However, this decline may also simply represent a period of building up newly established places before another wave of community expansion begins. "There's not many settlements starting at this time," one reporter to The Diary recently noted, "but believe me peoples are moving thickly. They are filling up all the new settlements that had started in the past 3-4 years. ..." (18)



Historically, the Amish have been concentrated in the northeastern state of Pennsylvania and the two midwestern states of Indiana and Ohio. Over time they have founded and sustained new settlements in a number of other states, yet there remains an unmistakable regional distinctiveness to the newly established locations (table 2). Slightly more than three in five settlements founded during the 1990s were located in the Midwest, principally in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. In the Northeast, only Pennsylvania showed a double-digit gain during this time, and nearly half of all new settlements in the South were located in Kentucky. Only four settlements were established in the West, and another four in the province of Ontario.
Table 2: New Amish Settlements Founded Since 1990, by Region and State

Census Region 1990-1999 2000-2009 1990-2009

 Total Percent Total Percent Total Percent


Illinois 6 4.69 11 7.33 17 6.12

Indiana 7 5.46 4 2.67 11 4.00

Iowa 5 3.91 8 5.33 13 4.68

Kansas 0 0.00 4 2.67 4 1.44

Michigan 10 7.81 8 5.33 18 6.47

Minnesota 2 1.56 7 4.67 9 3.24

Missouri 9 7.03 20 13.33 29 10.43

Nebraska 0 0.00 3 2.00 3 1.08

Ohio 19 14.84 15 10.00 34 12.23

Wisconsin 21 16.41 12 8.00 33 11.87

Total (79) (61.72) (92) (61.33) (171) (61.51)


Maine 0 0.0 3 2.00 3 1.08

New York 4 3.13 15 10.00 19 6.83

Pennsylvania 10 7.81 7 4.67 17 6.12

Total (14) (10.94) (25) (16.67) (39) (14.03)


Arkansas 1 0.78 2 1.33 3 1.08

Georgia 1 0.78 0 0.00 1 0.36

Kentucky 12 9.38 13 8.67 25 8.99

Maryland 1 0.78 0 0.00 1 0.36

Mississippi 1 0.78 0 0.00 1 0.36

North Carolina 1 0.78 0 0.00 1 0.36

Tennessee 1 0.78 3 2.00 4 1.43

Texas 2 1.56 0 0.00 2 0.72

Virginia 5 3.91 2 1.33 7 2.52

West Virginia 2 1.56 2 1.33 4 1.43

Total (27) (21.09) (22) (14.67) (49) (17.62)


Colorado 0 0.00 3 2.00 3 1.08

Idaho 0 0.00 1 0.67 1 0.36

Montana 3 2.34 3 2.00 6 2.16

Washington 1 0.78 0 0.00 1 0.36

Total (4) (3.13) (7) (4.67) (11) (3.96)

Ontario 4 3.13 4 2.67 8 2.88

Grand Total 128 100.00 150 100.00 278 100.00

Census Region Total Number Extinct Percent Extinct (by state)


Illinois 6 1 5.88

Indiana 7 1 9.01

Iowa 5 1 7.69

Kansas 0 0 0.00

Michigan 10 1 5.56

Minnesota 2 0 0.00

Missouri 9 3 10.34

Nebraska 0 1 33.33

Ohio 19 3 8.82

Wisconsin 21 6 18.18

Total (79) (17) (9.94)


Maine 0 0 0.00

New York 4 1 5.26

Pennsylvania 10 3 17.65

Total (14) (4) (10.26)


Arkansas 1 1 33.33

Georgia 1 1 100.00

Kentucky 12 5 20.00

Maryland 1 0 0.00

Mississippi 1 0 0.00

North Carolina 1 1 100.00

Tennessee 1 0 0.00

Texas 2 1 50.00

Virginia 5 3 42.85

West Virginia 2 1 25.00

Total (27) (13) (26.53)


Colorado 0 0 0.00

Idaho 0 1 100.00

Montana 3 2 33.00

Washington 1 1 100.00

Total (4) (4) (36.36)

Ontario 4 1 12.50

Grand Total 128 39 13.67

* Percents state by state may vary slightly from totals in parentheses
due to rounding error.

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the Midwest continued to be the preferred location for new communities, but with a noticeable shift to Missouri and Illinois, although Ohio also remained a leading state for new settlements. An even more dramatic shift occurred in the Northeast where fifteen new settlements were established in New York alone, more than double the number launched in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania. Bordering Ohio, Kentucky remains the most attractive state for new settlements in the Southern region, and in the West, Colorado now has three settlements. Altogether, ten states with double-digit gains in new communities accounted for 77.7 percent of newly founded settlements between 1990 and 2009.

Table 2 also includes information on the number of newly founded settlements that are now extinct. The far-right column shows the apparent difficulty of Amish expansion beyond the Midwest, the states of Pennsylvania and New York in the Northeast, and Ontario. Slightly less than 10 percent of new Amish settlements in the Midwest and slightly more than 10 percent in the Northeast did not survive long, compared with nearly 27 percent founded in various Southern states. If Kentucky is removed from the equation, the extinction rate in the Southern region rises to just over 33 percent. Single attempts in Georgia and North Carolina did not succeed, and only half of the recently established settlements in Texas have survived. James Landing has also documented a high rate of extinction of newly founded settlements in the Southern region for the years prior to 1970, although the rate then was about twice as high as that during the past nineteen years. (19) Altogether, of thirty-nine settlements established since 1990 that are now extinct, only eight lasted longer than ten years. The average lifespan of all these short-lived settlements was 6.7 years.

The proximity of other Amish communities seems to be associated with the survival of newly founded Amish settlements. This becomes apparent when we sort new settlements by three types of host counties: those that (1) are the location of an Amish settlement for the first time; (2) have at least one previously failed settlement, but no current settlement; and (3) have at least one other surviving settlement already there. About one-third of the settlements founded during the 1990s failed when located in counties where the Amish had never previously established a settlement. This is in marked contrast to the number of settlements established in the 1990s in host counties where one or more settlements previously existed but had gone extinct (17.7 percent), or the number of settlements that failed in counties with an extant settlement (15.9 percent). As Steven Nolt and Tom Meyers note in their description of new settlements in Indiana whose founding families came from the mother settlement in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Amish in several already existing Indiana settlements provided help with the construction of new homes and outbuildings for farms. Additionally, Amish people in these new localities took advantage of blacks mi thing, buggy repair and other services important to the daily functioning of Amish life that were already located in these older, Indiana communities. (20)

The gradual but steady expansion of the Amish presence into new areas of both Canada and the United States continues in the twenty-first century: out of 153 total settlements founded from 2000-2009, 87 were located in counties where the Amish had never gone before. If the same pattern holds for settlements founded in the 1990s, a greater share of failures among start-up settlements founded in the first decade of the twenty-first century will likely come from first-time host counties.
Table 3: Status of Counties for Amish Settlements Founded Since 1990

Status 1990-1999 2000-2009 Total

(Dec. 31, Frequency Percent Frequency Percent Frequency Percent

First Settlement in County

 Surviving 44 64.7 83 95.4 127 81.9

 Extinct 24 34.7 4 4.6 28 18.1

 Total 68 100.0 87 100.0 155 100.0

Previous Location for One or More Other Settlements in County, All Now

 Surviving 13 81.3 15 93.8 28 87.5

 Extinct 3 17.7 1 6.2 4 12.5

 Total 16 100.0 16 100.0 32 100.0

One or More Other Extant Settlements Located in County

 Surviving 37 84.1 46 97.9 83 91.2

 Extinct 7 15.9 1 2.1 8 8.8

 Total 44 100.0 47 100.0 91 100.0

A number of host counties saw two or more Amish settlements founded very close in succession. Prominent among these host locations were (1) Grant County in far southwest Wisconsin, with four new settlements founded between 1992 and 1999 (although one became extinct within a few years); (2) Ashtabula County in the northeastern corner of Ohio, which witnessed four new settlements established between 1991 and 1997, all of which are active today; and (3) Todd County, located in the central region of Minnesota, with four settlements founded from 1995-2008. Two other Wisconsin counties--Vernon (west central) and Chippewa (northwestern)--are now host to three new settlements founded within the short span of six years. More recently, from 2002-2008, Wayne County in southeastern Illinois became home to three new Amish settlements. Altogether, ten other counties also welcomed two new settlements, either in the same year or consecutive years.

Of special note are the counties of Crawford in northwestern Pennsylvania and Knox in central Ohio. Both were already crowded with Amish, but managed to squeeze in another settlement. When the Saegertown community was started in 2006 (in the same vicinity as one that had previously failed in 1995), Crawford County already had six other active, vital Amish communities. In fact, Saegertown was started by families out of the large Spartansburg settlement (nine church districts) about twenty miles to the east and in the same county, because nearly all of the migrating households came from there. (21) By the time the Howard/East Knox settlement began in 2000 in Knox County, Ohio, five other communities (including one straddling the Knox/Holmes county line) were already active.

Figure 3 provides a "birds eye" view of both pre- and post-1990 Amish settlements, using place names and county locations as established in Luthy's publication of Amish settlements through 2008, supplemented by identification of settlements founded in 2009. (22) At one time in their history, Amish settlement expansion was mostly a westward movement. This is no longer true. Expansion today appears to be largely a matter of first filling in regions within the states where most older settlements are already located--namely, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana; and second, expanding into regions of states that previously hosted a relatively small number of communities, such as Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New York and Wisconsin, as well as the Canadian province of Ontario.

Despite the growing diversity of the Amish occupational base, (23) settlement expansion appears to be restricted in part by the price of agricultural land. For example, as the geographic patterns in figure 3 make clear, in Kentucky there are many new settlements to the northeast and a variety of pre-1990 and newer settlements to the southwest. There are none in the Blue Grass region, however, which is a prime location for raising thoroughbred horses. Amish expansion into Illinois is largely confined to the more hilly southern counties, not areas where land prices are high due either to the influence of Chicago's ever-expanding suburbs or the vast, prime agricultural flat lands of its east-central counties. (24) New settlements in Iowa are found mostly along the border with Missouri, not in the core agricultural areas of its center. Expansion in Ohio is in the Appalachian counties of the southeast, where agricultural parcels are smaller and the terrain is hilly. Settlements in Michigan flank both the north and south sides of various small metropolitan areas such as Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint and Ann Arbor that stretch from east to west across the southern third of the state. In New York, new settlements are interspersed between cities and towns along the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk River, and the northern portions of counties bordering Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.


Census data for U.S. and Canadian counties (or equivalents) provides a demographic profile of host counties. As expected, the vast majority are rural. For the 278 settlements founded in the U.S. since 1990, only 13 (4.7 percent) are located in counties that the census defines as "metropolitan-central city," i.e., that contain a city (or contiguous incorporated places) of 50,000 or more persons (table 4). Just over 350 metropolitan-central city counties exist in the United States, ranging in size from 10 million for Los Angeles County, California, down to those that barely exceed the minimum population requirement of 50,000. All of these thirteen Amish settlements were founded in metropolitan-central city counties at the lowest end of the population spectrum, with the largest being two settlements (Nicktown, which is now extinct, and Ebensburg/Nicktown) in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, which lies within the Johnstown metropolitan area. In 2000 this county had a population of 152,598. That four of the thirteen settlements located in metropolitan-central counties are already extinct suggests that new settlements have difficulty surviving in counties with a metropolitan character of any kind.
Table 4: Characteristics of Host Counties for Amish Settlements:
1990-1999 and 2000-2009

 1990-1999 2000-2009

 Frequency Percent Frequency Percent

Urban/Rural Status (U.S. settlements only)

 Metropolitan - Central City 11 8.80 2 1.37

 Metropolitan - Outlying 14 11.20 18 12.33

 Micropolitan 40 32.00 45 30.82

 Nonmetropolitan 59 48.00 81 55.48

Total 124 100.00 146 100.00

Population Characteristics 1990-1999 2000-2009

Average Size of Population 41,802 32,676

 (1990 census count) (2000 census

Average Population Density 64.87 46.93

(per square mile) (1990 census count) (2000 census

(a) Statistics for the eight Ontario settlements founded since 1990
were gathered from the 1996 census, the 2001 census or the 2006 census
for Canada, depending on founding date of the settlement. For four of
the settlements, county equivalent statistics were used for both
population size and density. These included the Kawartha Lake Census
Division of Victoria County for the Amish settlement of
Cameron/Lindsay, the Parry Sound Census District for Powassan, the
Algoma Census District for Iron Bridge and the Timiskaming Census
District for New Likeard/Englehart. Population density for square
kilometers was converted to square miles.

Another thirty-two settlements (11.5 percent) are located in metropolitan-outlying counties. These are counties linked economically to metropolitan areas by having at least 25 percent of their workers who commute to jobs in the central city county. Four settlements (12.5 percent) founded since 1990 in metropolitan-outlying counties are already extinct.

Next in size and with a smaller urban profile are micropolitan counties, which are nonmetropolitan in character but contain a city (or contiguous urban places) with a population between 10,000 and 50,000 persons. Eighty-five (30.5 percent) of the 278 Amish settlements founded in the United States since 1990 were located in micropolitan counties, of which eight (9.4 percent) are already extinct.

Finally, the Census Bureau designates as "nonmetropolitan" those counties without incorporated places exceeding 10,000 persons and that are not economically tied to either metropolitan-central city or micropolitan counties. One hundred and forty new settlements, or slightly more than half (50.6 percent), were located in these most rural of all counties. Twenty (14.3 percent), however, are already extinct.

Interestingly, Amish settlements founded in the first ten years of the twenty-first century are in areas even more rural than those begun in the 1990s (table 4). Whereas the average population size of host counties was 41,805, based on the 1990 census count for settlements established during the 1990s, the average size of host counties for settlements founded between 2000 and 2009, according to the 2000 census count, was only 32,676 persons. Population density has likewise declined, from 64.96 persons per square mile in counties hosting the 1990s settlements, to 46.93 persons per square mile in counties for those starting up in the 2000s.

The search for suitable rural locations is indeed selective. The settlement histories found in various directories and reporters in the three Amish newspapers frequently refer to "shopping" parties--groups of men with family or friendship ties, or men from the same church district or settlement, who actively search out opportunities to purchase affordable land, both nearby and far away, on behalf of a group of families who wish to live in proximity and build a sustainable community. Potential destinations where land or housing prices are not inflated by robust population growth and where there is little competition for land with urban developers are clearly preferred. For example, about 90 percent of Amish settlements established over the past two decades have been located in host counties where the median value of housing was below their respective state values, and about half were in counties that either had lost population over the previous decade or had gained very slowly. Hence, land shopping involves searching for bargains that take advantage of market forces related to supply and demand. The geographic dispersion of settlements also demonstrates how much prices have risen in the larger and more crowded traditional Amish communities, such as Lancaster and Chester counties in Pennsylvania and the greater Holmes County settlement in Ohio. (25)


The communities these new settlements seek to establish contain both a geographic dimension and a human/social dimension that mutually affect each other. (26) Nolt describes the Amish community as a kind of conversation among themselves about their own history, heritage and identity, as well as a conversation with the surrounding world. These dialogues help to define the boundaries of their distinctive society and culture. (27) Hence, a community is more than people simply living in physical proximity. It is a place with schools and other institutions, where neighbors help each other, and where its members discuss many things, frequently making distinctions between themselves and the world beyond.

The community-building activities of new Amish settlements can be glimpsed in reporters' dispatches in The Diary, in news items in The Budget and Die Botschaft, and in the histories of new settlements that appear in various directories of Amish church districts and households. Although the situation surrounding the birth of each new settlement is unique, the descriptions provided by reporters often suggest a "natural history" of events.

Explaining why individuals and families move from one place to another requires an understanding of both the "push" and "pull" factors that inform the relative merits of relocating against those of remaining in place. Luthy mentions such factors for Amish families, including concerns about urban sprawl and overcrowding, church disagreements, worries about teenage behaviors, cheaper or better land, better chances of financial viability in various nonfarm occupations, and the desire to establish or join a church that might be either more or less progressive, reflecting the preferences of the baptized members of a migrating household. (28) In describing new settlements in Indiana, Nolt and Meyers emphasize the desire of Lancaster County families to find places where their sons could farm. (29) Similarly, John Cross describes the attractiveness of Wisconsin for new settlements as a set of overlapping factors, including overpopulation in older settlements, the promise of cheaper land and a belief that state control over their parochial schools would not be too intrusive. (30)

All these factors are evident in the firsthand accounts from community reports. In the early 1990s, for example, a Botschaft reporter from the large Geauga County settlement, just east of the Cleveland metropolitan area, described why people from her settlement were moving to a new settlement in east-central Michigan:
 It's getting so built up and busy around here, it's a rat race. The
 mayor of Middlefield is trying to get the Amish to put bun bags on
 their horses when ther [sic] are within the village limits. She only
 suggested it and it caused almost more of an uproar among the English
 than among the Amish. (31)

Although a story about diapers for horses is both unusual and humorous, the reporter is actually describing typical reasons why some Amish families chose to move. Reporters frequently allude to traffic, overcrowding and intrusive government regulations and officials as push factors that make new places seem more attractive. Some reports even recognize that large families and high retention rates among the Amish contribute considerably to overcrowding and a desire by some to seek out land that is more open. In general, as the rural flavor of an older Amish settlement wanes, the desire to move for some families grows stronger.

New Amish settlements are sometimes situated near where an older settlement recently had failed. For example, the Glenford/Somerset settlement in southern Ohio, founded in 2006, replaced one that had gone extinct only a few months before. The six families remaining from the old settlement moved to western Missouri where they became affiliated with a conservative Mennonite group. Just prior to their westward move, the reporter for the now-defunct community (known simply as Somerset, 1990-2005), wrote: "The big news for here is we bought land in MO. ... If someone out there is looking for a location to start a settlement this is a nice friendly place and there will be three farms and three mini farms for sale for a good start. ..." (32) With his description of the location as a "nice friendly place" with opportunities to purchase farms and buildings, the reporter alerts everyone to the virtues of the Glenford, Ohio, area. (33)

Histories found in directories often allude to the combination of push and pull factors. (34) For example, the history of the new settlement of Mayslick, in northeastern Kentucky near the Ohio River, vividly describes factors that finally weighed in favor of relocation by families from Milroy in eastern Indiana: "There are many old farmers in the country and they were so excited to help us, with many wanting to sell their farms. The tobacco industry is dying down and they know no other way of making a living, so the county is trying to get back into cattle growing." (35) Many times, the Amish establishing new settlements will purchase land and buildings jointly, and then make arrangements for a fair subdivision of the property. For example, the Bethany settlement in far west Missouri began with five families from the Canton settlement on the other end of the state and from the Chariton settlement in south central Iowa: "The first land was bought in one tract and divided up ... with G--getting the buildings. The rest all live in trailer houses till houses could be built or moved in." (36) Likewise, a group of Amish families from several different older settlements coordinated the joint purchase of a large ranch in southern Colorado, agreed on the subdivision of the fields, which were supplied with water through pivot irrigation, and then relocated to the new settlement. (37)

The convenience of services in a nearby small town can be an attractive inducement. The history of the settlement near Evart in northwestern Michigan notes that: "We can do most of our business in Evart, though it is a small town ... driving distance using a horse and buggy, being four to six miles from the community." (38) The history noted similar attributes for another new Michigan settlement, Marion, which is not far from Evart: "The town of Marion ... is only small, but can supply most of our needs, which include a grocery store, hardware, lumberyard, feedmill, and sale barn." (39)

On occasion, reporters from older settlements will respond to attempted reports to start new settlements with words of caution. For example, a reporter from a southern Iowa settlement founded nearly forty years ago observed in relation to the start-up of a new settlement in central Missouri by families from Pennsylvania that:
 I understand a number of farms have been purchased. Price-wise the
 land is a bargain compared to PA land but hopefully they will realize
 that this is not the same soil and climate which they are leaving
 behind. It frequently happens that people will move from a
 prosperous community to marginal land the temptation is to think they
 know all about how to farm it but sometimes they must learn the hard
 way that it would have been wiser to observe the natives and start
 from there. (40)

This settlement became extinct eleven years later although the reasons for its demise are unknown.

In contrast to the experience of mainstream Americans, moving among the Amish is never an individualistic decision or an activity of a single household. For example, recently members of a conservative Amish group who had started a new settlement in northern New York traveled to the greater Holmes County settlement to help several Amish families auction their land and buildings. These families were not moving to this northern New York settlement, but instead to a location 100 miles to the west, near Lake Ontario, where they were beginning another new settlement. However, the founding families from northern New York were originally from this same place in Ohio, hence, the ties of extended family and friendship motivated them to assist other families who were searching for a more rural environment. In addition to help from extended family members, "van loads" of helpers who live in the settlements from which families are moving, and members from settlements near the newly-founded one, all provide a ready supply of volunteer labor for unloading possessions from the moving truck and helping to settle new families at the fledgling community. In turn, as the settlement grows, the first arrivals help families and individuals who move in later.

Some new settlements fill up rapidly with Amish migrants. Counts from the migration reports in The Diary shows one extraordinary case of thirty-seven households from Troutville in central Pennsylvania (founded in 1972; eight church districts in 2008) moving over a span of only ten months to the new settlement of Johnsonburg/Rossiter (founded in 2005) just one county to the west, where they were joined by six more households from various other older settlements in Pennsylvania. Eleven migrant households from the Ashland/Shiloh settlement in northern Ohio (founded in 1954; seven church districts in 2008) moved to the new Fultonville/Glen settlement in central New York (founded in 2005) in just three months. Parsons (founded in 2006) in southwestern Kansas also grew rapidly, with an influx of seventeen households in little more than seven months, all from Seymour, Missouri (which currently has twelve church districts). (41) Nolt and Meyers describe two "transplant" communities--the Rockville settlement founded in the western Indiana county of Parke in 1991 and the Hagerstown/Williamsburg settlement established in the eastern Indiana county of Wayne in 1994--both of which received many new families from the Lancaster County settlement in a very short period of time, soon requiring a division into multiple church districts. (42) Today, Luthy's master list of settlements notes that the former has five church districts, while the latter has four. (43)

The first families to arrive at a newly-established settlement will frequently set up in temporary quarters--usually a trailer, rental home or the basement of an unfinished house--until more permanent housing arrangements can be established. Again, the emphasis on community in Amish culture is in full evidence. Sometimes, a regularly scheduled "community workday" is set aside for building houses, sheds, barns and a school. A scribe from a new Minnesota settlement described such workdays, or "frolics," in The Diary: "David B's have barn raising tomorrow. Ezra W's have frolic on Wed to work on his shop. We hope to have frolic later in the week to work on our house and sawmill shed. We kind of hope the snow and cold holds off for awhile." (44) These frolics can include many helpers who come from both nearby and distant Amish communities.

Soon, someone from the new settlement takes up the task of the scribe and begins submitting reports of community events to either The Diary, The Budget or Die Botschaft, or perhaps all three. Frequently, their descriptions of a new location extol the positive features of living there. Sometimes reporters will comment on attitudes of the local "natives," a common way of referring to the non-Amish residents in the area. For example, the reporter of a new settlement in southwest Wisconsin declared: "The natives in the area accept us well and they say they are glad that we settled in the area." (45) Others describe opportunities to buy land, such as the following report from a recently founded settlement in central Wisconsin: "There's two farms for sale right next to us. At reasonable prices. ... Seems there's a lot of farmers around here that are old and would like to quit, but the younger generation would rather work in the cities." (46)

Other reporters describe unique events in their new locations. For example, a writer from a new settlement in northeastern Nebraska described the experience of several men as they traveled back home from their workplace:
 Seems like we live at the edge of civilization ... D said yesterday
 when they were coming home from work, traveling on highway 70 they
 come on this big herd of a couple hundred of cattle being herded down
 the highway. When they come up to 'em one of the cowboys motioned
 follow me. He rode into the herd and they parted. ... Imagine the
 'cow pie' a herd like that would leave behind 'em! (47)

Speculation as to the volume of natural fertilizer aside, the writer was describing an event not likely to occur in Amish settlements to the east!

First-time reports are frequently brief, but provide essential information pertaining to the new location such as the weather or terrain, plus an "emergency number" in case there is a need to contact members of the founding families. A reporter from a new settlement in Minnesota observed: "It is a very nice day again, sun is shining. ... This is a new settlement. So far 9 families here and more coming soon ... to me weather seems a lot like Canada." (48)

As the new settlement develops, reporters begin to describe community-based rites of passage. One of the first and the most important is the ability to hold a church service, sometimes mentioned in an abbreviated form of Pennsylvania Dutch by the reporter as gmay. Frequently, this is achieved by a "van load" coming over from a nearby settlement. The reporter from a new settlement in west-central Wisconsin wrote in The Budget: "We are very thankful for the friends that came and made it possible to have church services every two weeks, as of now we have three Amish families living here in the area." (49) The reverse also happens, with members of the new settlement traveling to a nearby Amish community to attend church service. With the help of visiting ministers, a new settlement will frequently hold its first members' meeting, or ordnungs gma, in the short form. Sometimes a new settlement benefits greatly from the relocation of an ordained minister and his family. If not among the first arrivals, ministers from other settlements help out until an ordination from among the men in the new settlement is possible.

Other significant events include announcements of births, especially the first child to be born in a new community. It is not unusual to describe the newborn's gender in functional terms, such as "woodchopper" or "dishwasher." From a new central New York state settlement comes a first-year accounting of births: "A little dish washer came to make her home at. ... Five babies were born since this gegend started which will be a year in March and they were all girls." (50) This report also suggests how quickly the population of a new settlement can grow, not only from in-migration of new households, but from expanding families.

Weddings are also worthy of special note, especially when the newlyweds choose to relocate to a recently established community. From a conservative Amish settlement in Mississippi, founded in 1995, comes a report that "the groom of Sonora, Ky ... took his bride ... along up north. Expect they now live at Peeples, OH new settlement." (51) The reporter from a southern Michigan settlement wrote: "Tomorrow is our second anniversary and it was the first wedding for this community which was started May 13, 2004." (52)

Other significant events include deaths and accidents. The poignant account of the first death in a west-central Michigan settlement shows the strength of solidarity from family, friends and neighbors from the places where the new arrivals came, and how it is carried over into the newly established Amish communities.
 Yesterday ... was the funeral of [X]. She passed away on Sat. after
 a long battle with cancer. Her family cared for her well over the
 last several months and were at her side when she took her last
 breath. The funeral was held in [F.T.'s] shop (which had to be
 enlarged to seat everyone) and was quite large. 1,250 trays were
 served for dinner. This was Marion's first funeral, and the first
 grave in the cemetery since the community began. (53)

Accidents and tragedies sometimes befall the residents of new settlements, but illustrate the ways that "conversations" about the nature of community are a continuous part of Amish society and culture. (54) A reporter from a new settlement in Virginia was dismayed that an accident occurred:
 Here we thought the roads are so much quieter than what we were used
 to, and now such an accident happened already. It makes us feel so
 bad. The folks had been worried about us on the roads. They were
 working on the people to get the horse and buggy signs up. But I am
 afraid it would not help for all cases. (55)

Sometimes "natives" are not so cooperative or friendly. These flash points frequently involve conflicts between the preferences of new Amish arrivals and the application of local laws and ordinances. In a new settlement in southeast Indiana, local people objected to an Amish man's application to start a business in what they believed to be a residential area. The county commissioners turned down his permit application and he decided not to move his family from Pennsylvania. (56) Elsewhere, in west-central Ohio, buggy drivers from a conservative Amish community were ticketed by the sheriff until they acquiesced and adopted lights and slow-moving vehicle signs. (57)


The increase in new Amish communities since 1990 is unprecedented. Never before have so many settlements been founded in such a short period of time--indeed, over half of all surviving Amish settlements today are less than two decades old. This pace of expansion will continue so long as population growth through high fertility and high rates of baptism persist since it serves as a safety valve for the problem of overcrowding in the older settlements and for maintaining a rural way of life consistent with Amish religious values. (58)

The pattern of settlement expansion over the past two decades is both familiar and new. Much of the growth remains concentrated in a few Midwestern states and Pennsylvania, but the Amish have also gradually expanded their range into the South and West, and the future promises more of the same. Parts of Kentucky, Missouri and New York have filled up with dozens of new Amish settlements. These states, along with Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, have seen an almost geometric growth in the number of Amish settlements within their borders. Even in a well-established state like Ohio, the number of Amish settlements has nearly doubled in the past two decades. Since 1990 Amish settlements have been established in 167 counties where there had never been Amish before, and this does not account for other first time host counties where the settlement was short-lived and became extinct. Many other counties now contain two or more settlements. Most of these new Amish settlements are in rural areas where housing and land prices are affordable. Almost all host counties are either losing population or growing much more slowly than their state averages, and only a few settlements are located within a county with a city.

Despite these vast changes in the distribution of Amish communities, their unique and persistent forms of social organization, cultural practices and religious values have helped make this settlement expansion possible. (59) Land parties search for new places in an organized fashion. Migrating households received a great deal of assistance in the moving process from friends, family and neighbors in the settlement of origin, extended family members in other settlements, and from Amish living in settlements nearby. Organized "frolics" help the Amish quickly build up the physical structures that transform mere space into community. Births and baptisms, accidents and illnesses, church services, weddings, funerals and visits all mark the special social occasions familiar to the Amish, no matter how young or old the location, and provide the social glue that binds everyone together. Church elders often visit from the sending community, helping members define their Ordnung, ordain new ministers and assist with other church matters.

Each new settlement confronts a unique combination of circumstances for becoming sustainable. How will the dynamics of community-building play out, and what will be the long-term consequences for core values, practices and beliefs? In essence, how does the continued expansion of new settlements challenge what it means to be Amish, and how will the growing diversity of locations where Amish live, work, go to school and worship redefine Amish character?

Ultimately it is the imperative of religious conviction that drives the Amish way of life--from rural living and horse-and-buggy travel, to their strong traditions of sharing and their well-honed knack for making a living no matter where they set down new roots. Yet, the rapid expansion of settlements will also inevitably change Amish society and culture. The growing number of settlements means that each community must meet the challenges of daily living in places with differing physical climates, greater regional variations in mainstream North American culture, and a bewildering array of regulations and laws found in the townships, counties, states and provinces that make up the complex web of governance in the United States and Canada. As Nolt and Meyers conclude in their account of new settlements in Indiana, started by families out of Lancaster County:
 A clear sense of being part of a diaspora--a larger imagined
 community--coupled with a commitment to putting down new roots in
 particular places combines to define these transplants in important
 ways. If this identity nurtures a sense of separation, neither fully
 Lancaster nor firmly Midwestern, it has allowed for selective
 interaction with new neighbors, and, to a less extent, with other
 Amish in the state. (60)

Will this expansion foreshadow a fundamental change in the Amish character? Or does it simply point to the ongoing spread of a distinctive rural-located, religious-based subculture, skillful in its resistance to change and adept at maintaining a degree of separation from mainstream society, into new places on the North American continent? Thomas Gallagher has noted numerous examples of differences among settlements based on their adoption of technology, often required by various state and local regulations, for farming and other Amish-based businesses. These differences, he argues, are easier for Amish to accept when the rationale for change is driven by local circumstances; but he also observes that the differences can lead communities to conclude that they are no longer in fellowship with each other. (61) Nolt and Meyers found that visiting between families at a new settlement and the community from which they came eventually diminishes, and that various exchanges with Amish from nearby localities increases. (62) And, as John Hostetler and Don Kraybill have long recognized, the tradition of maintaining small church districts with a congregational style of decision-making can itself be a source of growing differentiation. (63) G. C. Waldrep's recent discussion of the New Order Amish and "para-Amish groups" also points to the importance of geography in the development of cultural variances and deviances. (64)

The distance of new and smaller settlements from their "mother" or founding settlements, when mixed with the challenges of sustaining church and community in a new environment, will inevitably lead to increased differentiation in all aspects of Amish society and culture. (65) Settlement expansion and its implications already have, and will continue to be, a source of discussion at the many periodic meetings of ministers (i.e., Dienerversammlungen) that bring together leaders from various settlements, both large and small, and old and new. Such dialogues will almost certainly result in new fellowships as well as new schisms among the 1,735 Amish church districts located in 411 (and still increasing) settlements, scattered across twenty-seven U.S. states and one Canadian province.

(1.) William K. Crowley, "Old Order Amish Settlement: Diffusion and Growth," Annals of the Association of American Geographers 68 (June 1978), 249-264; David Luthy, "Amish Migration Patterns: 1972-1992," in The Amish Struggle with Modernity, ed. Donald B. Kraybill and Marc A. Olshan (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England), 242-259; John Cross, "Amish Settlements in Wisconsin," The Wisconsin Geographer 20 (2004), 2-9.

(2.) Donald B. Kraybill, The Riddle of Amish Culture (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), 190-191; Hostetler, Amish Society, 4th ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), 9-18, 63, 91.

(3.) Donald B. Kraybill and Carl F. Bowman, On the Backroad to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish and Brethren (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), 133-136; Hosteller, Amish Society, 12-19.

(4.) Richard A. Stevick, Growing Up Amish: The Teenage Years (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), 11-12.

(5.) Steven M. Nolt, A History of the Amish, rev. ed. (Intercourse, Pa.: Good Books, 2003), 74.

(6.) As John Hostetler correctly points out in his classic work, Amish Society, settlements are not "discrete villages, counties, or compounds" (91). Rather, settlements are places where a cluster or group of Amish families are "living in a contiguous relationship" (91). Hostetler's definition is consistent with Luthy's concept in his recently published Amish Settlements Across America: 2008 (LaGrange, Ind.: Pathway Publishers, 2009), which lists all existing Amish settlements up through December 31, 2008: "To be included in this directory, a new settlement must have at least three resident families--or two, if one household head is in the ministry. Each new settlement will either soon grow or eventually disband. Formerly active settlements are not included if Amish church services are no longer held, even though some families may still linger there" (17). In his 2003 listing of settlements Luthy includes additional criteria: "... to be included in this directory, the settlement must forbid the ownership of automobiles and use the name 'Amish'."--"Amish Communities Across America: 2003," Family Life (Oct. 2003), "17. Ruth Liepins defines community in the same way as Hostetler and Luthy, but in a more formal sociological manner.--"New Energies for an Old Idea: Reworking Approaches to 'Community' in Contemporary Rural Studies," Journal of Rural Studies 16 (2000), 23-35. Liepins conceives of community as a social construct that arises from the interplay of four dimensions: people, meanings, practices/behaviors, and space/structures (30). In reference to Amish settlements, therefore, there is both a geographic dimension and a sociocultural dimension that includes features of their social organization, economic base and religiously based practices as defined by the Ordnung of each church group or district.

(7.) Three Amish newspapers provide one primary source of information for this study. The Diary, founded in 1968, is a monthly magazine of "The Old Order Churches," with reports from scribes or correspondents in hundreds of Amish settlements and church districts in Canada and the U.S. Publication offices are in Gordonville, Pennsylvania. Die Botschaft ("The Message") is a weekly Amish newspaper published out of Millersburg, Pennsylvania. Like The Diary, it contains numerous community reports from hundreds of different Amish settlements. The Budget is published weekly in Sugarcreek, Ohio. It is the regular newspaper for the Sugarcreek community, both Amish and non-Amish, containing a local or smaller edition, and a national edition that includes a large middle section devoted to community reports. Established in 1890, The Budget is the oldest of the three newspapers and includes reports from both Amish and Mennonite communities. Although it depends more on advertisements for its revenues than do the other two newspapers, which mostly rely on subscriber fees, it essentially serves the same function as a modern type of "town crier," transmitting news of migrations, births, deaths, weddings, accidents, illnesses and other news of interest. The various directories listing all households and church districts for Amish settlements also often contain a brief history of how the community was established, the names of the first families, and other valuable information that helps to understand how this new location was identified, settled and sustained. The second direct source of information for this study comes from online data of the U.S. Bureau of the Census (, specifically USA Counties ( and Statistics Canada (

(8.) Joseph F. Donnermeyer and Elizabeth C. Cooksey, "The Demographic Foundations of Amish Society," paper presented at the annual meeting of the Rural Sociological Society, Aug. 2004.

(9.) Lawrence P. Greska and Jill E. Korbin, "Key Decisions in the Lives of Old Order Amish: Joining the Church and Migrating to Another Settlement," MQR 76 (Oct. 2002), 373-398; Lora Friedrich and Joseph F. Donnermeyer, "To Be or Not To Be: An Analysis of the Baptism Decisions of Young Amish Men and Women," paper presented at the Ritual in Anabaptist Communities Conference, Hillsdale (Mich.) College, June 2003.

(10.) David Luthy, Amish Settlements Across America: 2008.

(11.) One additional settlement in Plain City, Ohio, founded near the end of the nineteenth century (1896), is teetering today on the brink of extinction.

(12.) David Luthy, The Amish in America: Settlements that failed, 1840-1960 (LaGrange, Ind.: Pathway Publishers, 1986), "Preface to the First Edition"; David Luthy, Why Some Amish Communities Fail: Extinct Settlements, 1961-2003 (LaGrange, Ind.: Pathway Publishers, 2003), 1-19; Nolt, A History of the Amish, rev. ed., 170-175.

(13.) Luthy, Why Some Amish Communities Fail: Extinct Settlements, 1961-2003, 1-3; James Landing, "The Failure of Amish Settlements in the Southeastern United States: An Appeal for Inquiry," MQR 44 (Oct. 1970), 378-388.

(14.) Luthy, Why Some Amish Communities Fail: Extinct Settlements, 1961-2003, 8-10.

(15.) Donnermeyer and Cooksey, "The Demographic Foundations of Amish Society"; Luthy, Amish Settlements Across America: 2008.

(16.) An additional twenty-three settlements that had been founded prior to 1990 failed during this decade (see table 1, col. 7).

(17.) "The 'Great Recession': A Brief Etymology," The New York Times, brief etymology/(accessed Jan. 27, 2010).

(18.) The Diary (Sept. 2008), 45.

(19.) Landing, "The Failure of Amish Settlements in the Southeastern United States," 387.

(20.) Steven M. Nolt and Thomas J. Meyers, Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), 121.

(21.) On occasion, scribes from the three Amish newspapers will describe a newly founded community as a "sister" settlement, or a "daughter" settlement. These terms do not have precise definitions and are only infrequently used, but they do illustrate that often there is a close association between an older settlement and one recently formed.--Nolt and Meyers, Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and identities, 122-125. It may be that they share a similar Ordnung or church discipline, or that Amish from the older settlement assisted with the relocation of families to the new locality and continue to provide spiritual oversight of the church at the new locality until new leaders can be ordained. Many directories of older settlements like Holmes County and Lancaster and Chester counties also include the households and church districts of many affiliated settlements with close ties to the mother communities because most of the families at the newer and smaller places came from there. The Amish settlements of Marion and McBain in Michigan were founded by the original group in Evart, Mich., and both are described by a third phrase, namely, "outreach church community."--Michigan 2006 Directory (Millersburg, Ohio: Abana Books, 122). An outreach church community is in the same fellowship. In a recent edition of the Kentucky and Tennessee Amish Directory (Millersburg, Ohio: Abana Books, 2004), the history of the Campbellsville settlement (which Luthy describes as the Campbellsville/Mannsville settlement in Amish Settlements Across America: 2008) begins: "In the spring of 2003 some families of Fremont, MI started checking into the possibilities of starting an outreach or sister church of Fremont, in Kentucky" (16).

(22.) Luthy, Amish Settlements Across America: 2008.

(23.) George M. Kreps, Joseph F. Donnermeyer and Marty W. Kreps, "The Changing Occupational Structure of Amish Males," Rural Sociology 59 (Winter 1993), 708-719.

(24.) The presence of the large Arthur/Arcola, Ill. settlement in the prairie lands of eastern Illinois can be understood in part by its founding date of 1864.

(25.) Luthy, Why Some Amish Communities Fail: Extinct Settlements, 1961-2003, 244.

(26.) Liepins, "New Energies for an Old Idea," 29-34.

(27.) Steven M. Nolt, "Who Are the Real Amish? Rethinking Diversity and Identity Among a Separate People," MQR 82 (July 2009), 377-394.

(28.) Luthy, Why Some Amish Communities Fail: Extinct Settlements, 1961-2003, 244-245.

(29.) Nolt and Meyers, Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities, 123.

(30.) Cross, "Amish Settlements in Wisconsin," 6.

(31.) Die Botschaft, Dec. 30, 1992, 5.

(32.) The Diary, Oct. 2005, 61.

(33.) Seven other settlements have been founded since 1990 that are located at about same place and established in the same year or succeeding year of a previous settlement's extinction. These "replacement" settlements include Clyde, N.Y. (founded in 1997 where the previous settlement had existed from 1979 through 1999); Ulysses, Pa. (1998; 1992-1998); Prairie Home, MO (2003; 1980-2003); Hale, Mich. (2006; 1978-2006); Vestaburg, Mich. (2007; 1993-2006); and Downing, Mo. (2008; 2000-2008).

(34.) Crowley, "Old Order Amish Settlement: Diffusion and Growth"; Cross, "Amish Settlements in Wisconsin"; Nolt and Meyers, Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities.

(35.) "Mayslick, Ky. History," Kentucky and Tennessee Amish Directory, 2004 (Millersburg, Ohio: Abana Books, 2004), 140.

(36.) "Bethany, Mo.," Missouri Amish Directory, 2005 (Millersburg, Ohio: Abana Books, 2005), 11.

(37.) Colorado information based on personal conversation with one of the migrating families.

(38.) "Evart," Michigan Amish Directory, 2006 (Millersburg, Ohio: Abana Books, 2006), 122.

(39.) "Marion," Michigan Amish Directory, 2006 (Millersburg, Ohio: Abana Books, 2006), 174.

(40.) The Budget, May 17, 1995, 17.

(41.) The Diary, March 2007, 92-99; The Diary, March 2008, 101-107.

(42.) Nolt and Meyers, Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities, 128.

(43.) Luthy, Amish Settlements Across America: 2008, 10.

(44.) The Diary, Nov. 2007, 90.

(45.) The Budget, Jan. 31, 1996, 4.

(46.) Die Botschaft, Feb. 5, 1992, 7.

(47.) The Diary, Dec. 6, 2006, 75.

(48.) The Diary, July 2007, 75.

(49.) The Budget, June 6, 2004, 41.

(50.) The Diary, March 2007, 22.

(51.) The Diary, Feb. 2007, 46.

(52.) The Diary, Dec. 2006, 88.

(53.) The Budget, Aug. 27, 2003, 32.

(54.) Nolt, "Who are the Real Amish?" 387-394.

(55.) Die Botschaft, May 28, 1997, 25.

(56.) The Budget, Oct. 15, 2003, 22.

(57.) Lancaster County New Era, Dec. 12, "1994, "Ohio Amish Resist Using Buggy Light," 1.

(58.) Lawrence P. Greska and Jill E. Korbin, "Key Decisions in the Lives of Old Order Amish," 373-398; Lora Friedrich and Joseph F. Donnermeyer, "To Be or Not To Be," 1-15.

(59.) Nolt and Meyers, Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities, 136-141.

(60.) Crowley, "Old Order Amish Settlement: Diffusion and Growth," 263; Thomas E. Gallagher Jr., "Causes of Diversity Between Old Order Amish Settlements," Pennsylvania Folklife 43 (Autumn 1993), 2-7; Nolt and Meyers, Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities, 141.

(61.) Gallagher, "Causes of Diversity," 5, 7.

(62.) Nolt and Meyers, Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities, 136-141.

(63.) Kraybill, The Riddle of Amish Culture, 46-48; Hostetler, Amish Society, 74-77 and 82-84.

(64.) C. C. Waldrep," The New Order Amish and Para-Amish Croups: Spiritual Renewal Within a Tradition," MQR 82 (July 2008), 395-426.

(65.) Ibid., 422.

* Joseph F. Donnermeyer is a professor in the rural sociology program at The Ohio State University. Elizabeth Cooksey is an associate professor in the department of sociology and associate director at the Center for Human Resource Research, The Ohio State University. The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance of David Luthy and the resources of the Heritage Historical Library. Aylmer, Ontario, in the preparation of this manuscript. This research has been supported by a seed grant from the Center for Regional Analysis at Ohio State University, and by grant R03 HD057356-01 awarded to the initiative in Population Research at the Ohio State University by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Health and Human Development.
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Author:Donnermeyer, Joseph F.; Cooksey, Elizabeth C.
Publication:Mennonite Quarterly Review
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2010
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