12 Facts About Pennsylvania German


Pennsylvania Dutch maintained numerous religious affiliations, with the greatest number being Lutheran or German Reformed, but many Anabaptists, including Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren.

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The Anabaptist groups espoused a simple lifestyle, and their adherents were known as Plain people; this contrasted to the mostly Lutheran or Pennsylvania German Reformed Fancy Dutch, who tended to assimilate more easily into the European American mainstream.

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Pennsylvania German Dutch are culturally related to the Knickerbocker Dutch of New York and New Jersey; many Pennsylvania German Dutchmen have Knickerbocker ancestry.

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Pennsylvania German Dutchmen composed nearly half of the population of Pennsylvania German and the Fancy Dutch population generally supported the Patriot cause in the American Revolution; the nonviolent Plain Dutch minority did not fight in the war.

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Pennsylvania German Dutch fought in the American Civil War; the ones who fought were the Fancy Dutch.

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These Pennsylvania German Dutch were usually Plain Dutch Mennonites or Fancy Dutch Lutherans.

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Fewer of the Pennsylvania German Dutch settled in what would later become the Greater Toronto Area in areas that would later be the towns of Altona, Ontario, Pickering, Ontario and especially Markham Village, Ontario and Stouffville, Ontario.

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The Pennsylvania German Dutch have some foods that are uncommon outside of places where they live.

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Immigrants of the 1600s and 1700s who were known as the Pennsylvania Dutch included Mennonites, Swiss Brethren and Amish but Anabaptist-Pietists such as German Baptist Brethren and those who belonged to German Lutheran or German Reformed Church congregations.

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Pennsylvania German organized the Ministerium of Pennsylvania in 1748, set out the standard organizational format for new churches and helped shape Lutheran liturgy.

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In Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Dutch Christians and Pennsylvania German Jews have often maintained a special relationship due to their common German language and cultural heritage.

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German Jews arriving in Pennsylvania often integrated into Pennsylvania Dutch communities because of their lack of knowledge of the English language.

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