The Greater Berks County Amish Experience of the 1700's

Posted by Daniel Mast on

Casselman River Area Amish and Mennonite Historians Annual Meeting
September 16-17, 2016
at Maple Glen Mennonite Church, Grantsville, Maryland
         Most of the Amish immigrants who arrived in the Casselman Valley of Somerset County, Pa., before 1800 emigrated from the Greater Berks County area in eastern Pennsylvania. The term Greater Berks, as used here, refers to Berks and surrounding Counties (Lancaster, Lebanon, Chester, Dauphin) to which the Amish people had migrated already before 1800.

         Scheduled sessions and speakers at this annual meeting held at the Maple Glen Mennonite Church, 74 Maple Glen Drive, Grantsville, MD 21536, are:


The Amish Population of Greater Berks County in the 1700s by Paul Kurtz, Ephrata, Pa., restorer of the Nicholas Stoltzfus House at Wyomissing, Pa. What was the schedule of Amish arrivals in Philadelphia? Where and why did they settle in eastern Pennsylvania? What were their movements within Greater Berks?


The Economic Experience in Greater Berks County in the 1700s by Lemar and Lois Ann Mast, editors of Mennonite Family History and publishers at Masthof Press, Morgantown, Pa.

         What were the challenges and resources of the land and forest? How did they make a living? What economic reasons, if any, may have motivated migration west?


The Amish Church in Greater Berks County in the 1700s by Isaac L. Beiler, Pequea Bruderschaft Library, Gordonville, Pa.

         What were the early identifiable congregations? Who were the known church leaders? What were their doctrines and disciplines? What was their church growth pattern? Were they affected by other denominations?


The Effect of the Revolutionary War on the Greater Berks County Amish in the 1700s by

  1. Duane Kauffman, Perkasie, Pa., author of Mifflin County Amish and Mennonite Story (1991) and The Amish of Chester Valley (2014), as well as articles published in Mennonite Family History.

         In what ways was the faith of the Berks County Amish tested during the American Revolution?


The Casselman Historians (a.k.a. Casselman River Area Amish and Mennonite Historians) is an organization dedicated to research, preservation, and publication of the Amish and Mennonite history of the Casselman River area of Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and Garrett County, Maryland. Visit


The public is invited to these sessions. For further information, contact Alice Orendorf through one of these channels: 301-245-4326, 301-501-4326,, or P.O. Box 591, Grantsville, MD 21536.

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