Free Mennonite Family History Articles — MFH Article

Grist Mills

Posted by Lois Ann Mast on

  Grist mills became essential to the early pioneer families even though they were not yet built for most of our immigrants. Flour and cornmeal was a needed ingredient in every home to make bread, and the work of hauling wheat and corn to the mill and back was much preferred over laboriously grinding one’s own grain.       Pennsylvania was well known as the breadbasket of the thirteen colonies with more mills than in any other state. Many of the early mills were built by our Mennonite and Amish ancestors—some pictured on this page. Most are no longer working today,...

Read more →

They Made Whiskey by Rodney G. Cavanaugh

Posted by Daniel Mast on

Originally published in the January 2016 issue of Mennonite Family History     Before temperance and abstinence, whiskey was the common drink. Wealthy people drank wine, while the lower classes drank rum which is a whiskey made from sugar cane. The use of grain was the expertise of the Scot-Irish that made whiskey cheaper and more available.    Among the earliest immigrants in the 1600s and early 1700s, making distilled liquor was common. This was quite as legitimate an enterprise as milling. There was so much whiskey produced that in 1684 a tax was imposed, but was not used.    Distillers sprang up...

Read more →