The Ten Oldest Amish Communities

Which are the oldest Amish settlements? You can check out the list here or watch the short video below for the answer. Of these oldest communities:

  • three of them were founded in the 1700s
  • one of them is located outside of the US
  • five of them were founded in one noteworthy seven-year stretch
  • just one lies west of the Mississippi River

I originally wrote about this around ten years ago. The nice thing about keeping up a list like this is that it very rarely goes out of date.

And I don’t expect it will, as these are all well-established settlements, most of them large, and in no danger of going “extinct” anytime soon.

As mentioned in the video, there were some Amish communities which predated the current oldest community. However they ceased to exist at some point.

For example, this was the first Amish settlement in North America, which, for reasons besides its age, holds a special place in Amish lore.

For more on the topic you can also check out the 25 Amish settlements at least 100 years old.

Get the Amish in your inbox

Join 15,000 email subscribers. No spam. 100% free

    Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    1. AngelaRose A. Howard

      Cummunities' Locations

      There are communities in Colorado and Kansas, both very much west of the Mississippi River. Six in Colorado and four in Kansas, per a Google search immediately prior to submissions.

      1. Yes, there are many Amish communities west of the Mississippi River. Also in Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Minnesota…

        But of the *10 oldest commmunities*, only one of those is west of the Mississippi. I think it’s clear what’s meant from the text as written in the original post.

    2. Al in Ky

      Thanks for an interesting video. I’ve been reading the book “A History of the Amish”, Third Edition, by Steven M. Nolt. Nolt tells of the of the history of the Amish from their beginnings in Europe in 1693 through 2015 in the U. S. and Canada. An interesting development is that “The few Amish congregations that survived (in Europe) into the twentieth century soon dissolved or merged with surrounding Mennonite groups.” (p. 228). The last European congregation at Ixheim (village south of Zweibrucken, Germany) merged with a Mennonite church in 1937. Will there come a time when there are no longer any Amish congregations in North America?

      1. Interesting question Al, I tend to think that over time general trends towards progressivism will peel off some Amish churches/individuals (ie so that they stop being horse-and-buggy Amish/adopt the car), though I doubt it will happen in some massive widespread way.

        And since there is such a wide range of ways of being Amish with a lot of plain groups, I believe there will always be a relatively plainer contingent despite how things as a whole will probably generally trend towards more change and technological adoption.

        As I know you know well, a big reason for Amish “disappearing” in Europe was not just progressive trends but also many Amish exited to North America for economic opportunities and religious tolerance as those things were often lacking for them in the Old World. Today in North America they are well-established in an overall much better set of circumstances. So as long as that doesn’t change in some significant way I wouldn’t see mass Amish migration out of North America being a realistic scenario.

        The other interesting question and to which Joe alludes here is to what degree Amish becoming non-Amish due to progressivism might happen and how it might affect demographic predictions (as well as how family size might be affected among those who remain Amish).

        That’s my two cents anyway, for whatever it’s worth!

    3. Joe Donnermeyer

      good commentary

      Greetings to everyone

      Specifically to AL in Ky, my home state (and to everyone), the Nolt history book is very good, as is his “The Amish: A Concise Introduction” and the larger “The Amish” by Don Kraybill, Karen Johnson-Weiner and Steve Nolt. In an article in one of the early issues of the new journal — the Journal of Plain Anabaptist Communities (, volume 1, issue 2, I calculated doubling times of population growth and settlement growth. Both were below 22 years. Hence, by 2050, unless something changes such as a significant assimilation of the Amish into the mainstream so that they no longer identify as Amish, there will be an Amish population exceeding 1 million (from nearly 400,000 today) to over 1,500 communities (from about 625 today). Wow! The Amish are one of the fastest growing faith groups in North America (Canada and USA) and there is now an Amish presence in 4 provinces and 34 states. Accompanying these increases has come a significant Amish population west of the Mississippi, but the lion’s share of these communities were founded in the 21st century. However, their presence in the western states and the prairie provinces is likely to increase through the remainder of this century.