“Where do the Amish come from?” is a common question I get.

Our Amish Origins

Jakob Ammann founded the Amish in 1693 in Europe. But we don’t know who his parents were, when he was born, and when he died.

The Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites (Anabaptists) have unusually detailed genealogy records dating back to at least the 1400s. Volumes have been written about Menno Simons (1496–1561), the founder of the Mennonites. Similarly, plenty is recorded about Jakob Hutter, founder of the Hutterites, who died in 1536.

But we have no similar records of Ammann, who split from the Mennonites 132 years after Simons’ death.

The Mystery Surrounding the Founder of the Amish

From my perspective, it’s extremely odd that the basics of Ammann’s life and work can’t be traced. We have impressive . . .

. . . Anabaptist records before, during, and after Ammann’s 1693 founding.

Why not of Ammann himself?

This all makes Jakob Ammann quite a mythological figure. Was he even real?

Did you know that Amish American children are legally prohibited from going to school past the 8th grade?

This is thanks to 1972 US Supreme Court case, Wisconsin v. Yoder. Check out my post about that.
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