Searching for a twin

“Hello, do I have a twin out there?”

Despite how it may sound, this isn’t a plea for a long-lost identical sibling.   The above comes from The Diary newspaper, which features a regular “Twins and Circle Letters” section.

I remember first learning about Amish “twins” when my friend’s wife, whom I had known for around 4 years at that point, and whose family I had come to know and visited,  casually mentioned her twin one day.  This caught me off guard, to say the least.  I thought I would have heard about the existence of such a sibling by now.   No she explained, it was someone she exchanged letters with, whom she was unrelated to but happened to share her birthday.

The Diary carries a number of such requests each month.  Many come from teens and children.  It seems the definition of “twins” includes both people born on the same day, or someone sharing your name.  You typically find a twin when you’re younger, and as in the case of my adult friend, you may keep in touch for many years.  And some don’t stop at just one.

Amish Letter Writing“Howdy girls.  I was wondering if I have more twins.  My birthday is January 5, 1998.  I found 2 already.  Please write to…”

Not all requests are from young people, either:  “I always wanted a twin and I was wondering if I have one out there,” writes a 73-year-old resident of Indiana.

In addition to twin searchers, circle letter requests get posted here as well:

“I would like to start a circle letter with girls born in 1998 that enjoy making cards.”

“Do you like to write stories? If you do, you may join our circle letter, any age!  Please write to…”

“We would like to start a circle letter with other couples who are doing organic goat farming and gardening.”

“Is there anyone else out there that would like to join our ‘Ellen’ circle letter?”

Letter-writing may be on life support in English society, but it looks to be a lot healthier among Amish, who use the written word to maintain ties across space and time.

In Amish society, connections come about in different ways.  Some of them are deep, meaningful, even pre-ordained–formed via family ties, church relationships, or common interests.  And as we see here, others come about in the most arbitrary manner–based on your name matching someone else’s, or the particular day you happened to make your first appearance on the planet.

Letter photo: Wim Mulder/flickr

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    42 Comments

    1. Jean

      I’m 42 and I’ve YET meet my twin! Close, yes, but not exact same as mine.

    2. Roxanne

      That sounds like fun! Wonder if an Amish person would consider an English twin?

      1. Good question! It would be fun!

    3. Carolyn B

      3 "twin-like" people in my life

      I have 3 similar to “twin” experiences. 1) Even though we weren’t born the same year, my friend, Danny, and I share the same calendar day for birthdays. We’ve exchanged birthday cards forever. 2) I have met only 1 woman who shares the same first and middle name as me. 3) Even though I am in a wheelchair and easily recognizable, for many years I had friends tell me “I saw you at….” and it wasn’t me. Finally 1 day in our big shopping mall, I saw the rear view of a young woman in a wheelchair: brown hair in a bun, fat muscled arms for pushing,.. I never got a frontal look but from the back, I could believe I was seeing myself.

      Very entertaining post today, Erik. I can hardly wait to see the other comments to come in.

    4. Peggy

      searching for a twin

      What a fun concept
      I have not met my twin. I have met my Mom’s twin actully triplet. i know at least 2 other people who share her bday. Funny thing her sisters bday is the day after hers. There brother married a girl who was twins with my Aunt.
      My brother has a twin. He shares a bday with my husbands best friend. Two of my kids each share a bday with an Uncle.

    5. Karen Pollard

      Twins

      I would love to find a “twin” who loves quilting like I do to correspond with. I love sharing ideas and patterns with friends!
      So, if you have a passion for quilting, write to me!!!

      Karen Pollard
      KarenP3720@aol.com

    6. Richard from Amish Stories

      Can the world really do with another one of me!

      Erik can the world really do with another one of me,lol. So for everyone’s sake i hope the madness stops with yours truly. Richard

    7. Jane Reeves

      I must have more than one twin. I have been asked a number of times even while on vacations in another state if my name is so n so. They will say you looked just like them.

    8. That sounds like a fun idea! When I was a kid/teen I had tons of pen pals. A horse magazine I received had a pen pal section. I recently re-connected to one of my pen pals on Facebook. How fun to see what we are alike now that we are adults! 🙂

      On a funny side note – my brother-in-law and I are born on the same day! He is about 4 hours older but I tease him and say I should be the older one because he was premature.

      I also wonder if an Amish person or anyone(!) would be willing to write. I miss writing letters.

    9. Twins

      My mother and my father’s late uncle shared a birthday — the most famous birthday of all, December 25th.

      I used to have neighbors that had four children and two birthdays. The oldest and second oldest girls were born on the same day two years apart (the dad was concerned that people would think he and his wife had a “breeding season”). The youngest two, and boy and a girl, were twins.

      1. Christopher Roscher

        Strange how the World works...

        Hi, James !

        After laboring together for the past six years, we found out last night that we were “twins”. Then, looking into the Amish pen-pal notion, I found your comment here, on the first site I looked at !!!

        Best of luck to you in your coming year in the East… you’ll do fine !

    10. Maggie

      I have a ‘twin.’ It is my cousin. When we lived close to each other as kids our families always celebrated our birthdays together (our fathers were brothers). We always thought it was neat that we had the same birthdays — he was born early in the day, and I was born just before midnight.

      The last time we saw each other was just last month at our aunt’s funeral. We are facebook friends, so we do keep up with what is going on in our lives. And, we think it is pretty neat that we both are ministers now — our grandfather was a minister, too.

      I would love to find an Amish ‘twin.’ That would be very special!

    11. Alice Aber

      Greetings!!

      I’ll have to share this story with two of my school classmates as we three would be triplets. All of us born on the same day. In fact one of the girls and I were born just minutes apart and her mother and my mother were in the same hospital room when we were born. We did not meet until the 6th grade. We keep in touch currently via facebook. Such a small world!! My ex- mother-in-law and I also share the same month and day but of course not the same year.

      Richard, you are right, I don’t think the world could handle more than one of you, LOL. But we love you!!

      Blessings, Alice

    12. Elizabeth Snoke

      I have the address for The Diary and would love to subscribe but don’t know what they charge. Maybe other readers here would like to subscribe, too. Can you give the address and cost of a subscription here?

      1. Theresa H.

        Elizabeth, I found a mailing address for The Diary Newspaper;

        The Diary
        P.O. Box 98
        Gordonville, PA 17529

        I am going to send a letter requesting subsciption rates and I would be more than happy to let you know, what I find out.

        Love the idea of finding a birthday twin 🙂

        1. Thanks Teresa, actually on the cover the price is listed as $25.00 per year.

    13. Jennie

      twins

      I have met my twin in 2nd grade, but i never knew he was, I think that is ok because we didnt get along. I had a teacher in highschool who had 3 other brothers 2 yrs apart and all 4 had the same birthday. really enjoyed readding Searching for twin,

    14. Great twin stories from everyone. I’ve known about my own twin Leonard since I was 14 or so. Born on the same day and also happened to be one of my best friends 🙂

    15. carebear57

      twins

      First time commenter here. When my husband’s grandmother passed away several years ago, we were reading her obituary & spotted the obit of another woman who not only died the same day, but was born the same day & year as his grandmother–“twins” who lived in the same county but never met.

    16. Lin

      Truth is stranger than fiction!

    17. Lee Ann

      What about twinning here?

      I think it’s a great idea, and am wondering if this forum could be used to find twins for like-minded, Amish-interested individuals.

      1. Kim Hine

        Yes please!

        @lee ann who said this would be a great place to find friends who are Amish or not.. I am not but i would very much like to have an Amish friend even if she doesn’t share my birthday. I am an avid penpaller, many hobbies, 5 children and I’m from Australia, I would love to learn more about the Amish way of life.
        Kimlhine@yahoo.com.au is my email if any Amish are interested.

    18. Melissa H

      What a great way to start a friendship...

      The idea of writing to a “twin” is a great idea for starting a friendship. I’ve met a number of people over the years with my month and day, but never the same year. The latest one I met was at our church in Virginia. Alice and I shared the same month and day, but our years were off–her kids are my age. I LOVED having her around, especially when our birthdays fell on a Sunday.

      I missed my own grandma’s month and day by just a few hours, as I was born the day before she turned 39. As the oldest of her grandchildren, I wish I could have “cooked” for one more day, so that we could share an even closer bond.

    19. Heidi Sawyer

      family twins

      This is such an interesting way of looking at “TWINS”. I was born on my cousin’s 5th birthday. My daughter was born on my mother’s 66th birthday. I have a close friend who’s like the sister that I never had … her son was born on my dad’s 44th birthday. My son was born on Elvis’ birthday.

    20. Marilyn from MI

      Twins

      After living in our present home for ten years, I found my twin right next door last year when we were all talking about hitting a big year. Five neighbors all turned sixty last year (three houses in a row) and one of them was born the same day and year as I. As a side note my almost twin is my husband. He is only two days older than I am.

    21. Nat

      LOL…read this on June 2nd and thought…bummer….but looked at the posting date…May 24th! My day! This was my “big year” to turn half a century! It slid by with hubbie ( of 30 years in a few days) making me a cake the night before & a meal we made together & shared with our family. We aren’t “plain” but have a large family (7 boys and 1 girl ages 27-7, with one married, no grands…yet) Love to garden, read, write, conservative & Christian. Any takers?

    22. Tracy

      twins

      Hmmm wondering if there is a twin.
      Wonder if they are like me. Lol!
      That poor twin! Have they done what I’ve done?
      Went through what I have? Live like I do?
      Are we doing things like we should?
      Doesn’t this give you something to think about!

    23. Annmarie

      Never heard of referring to someone with your same birthdate as a ” twin”. Mu son has two other players on his baseball team with the exact same birthday. One the same exact year and one a year older. But what really surprised me is when I contacted my son’s soon to be middle school with concerns about him being a December baby, rendering him the baby of the school year….the assistant principal replied ” my son is December 21st and he did just fine” …I knew it was a sign to send him to the school this coming September..as I prayed for a sign…and there it was…the SAME EXACT birthday as my son:)

    24. Rose

      Comment on searching for a twin

      Yes, it’s called “A birthday twin”,I have yet to meet mine as well and it would be great to meet whoever it may be… It’s a great idea for on here, I would like to meet and have an Amish twin if there is one for me!!

    25. Kelly

      Looking for a Twin too

      My birthday is September 2 and is 49

      I like to cook, clean, sew, crochet, knit, gardening, singing(I write songs and play guitar) any twin any age

    26. Karen Pollard

      Twin

      My birthday is Sept 15, 1949. I taught school for 30 years. In all those years, only one child ever shared my birthday. If anyone else shares my birthday, let me know!

    27. just found a twin

      Last night, I found out that a man I have known for six years shares my birthday. I immediately thought of this post.

      1. James, do you mean Christopher above? Looks like you both had the same idea!

    28. Christopher Roscher

      LOL 🙂 Yep… I’d say so 🙂

    29. Yes, he is the one. I didn’t see his comment before I made mine.

    30. Judith Grober

      Sunday,January 20th,1935,11:15 A.M. Anybody else out there? Would be interesting to find out!

    31. Angela Holland

      I would love to find my twin.

      My birthday is June 11, 1972, I have a love of books, mostly historical fiction, cozy mysteries and Amish as well as I scrapbook and make cards

      This was such a good article and love this idea of writing to your twin.

    32. Karen Pollard

      Finding your Twin

      My birthdate is September 15, 1949

      I taught for 30 years and in all those years only came across one student who shared my birthday.

      I love to read~historical fiction, romance, mysteries, Amish fiction, human interest and pet stories.

      I also quilt, can, love to cook, knit, crochet and crafts.

      It would be interesting to see if anyone else shares my birthdate.

    33. Judith Grober

      I think I forgot to check the “notify of comments”box-January 20th,1935.Sunday,11:15 A.M. Thank you.

    34. I was lucky to meet my twin early on, in high school, and we became good friends. I was born Aug 21, 1978 in NC, he the same day in SC.

    35. Kim Hine

      Birthday twin

      I am an avid penpaller and i’d love to have a twin to write to, even better would it be if she were Amish.
      My birthday is October 11th 1967. Have many many interests and hobbies.
      Kimlhine@ yahoo.com.au for more info.

    36. Ada/KJV

      On the subject of twins and "family"...

      Not to sound morbid (or disrespectful to the dead/my family), but I went up to some relatives’ graves near Hoboville, Alabama (no kidding, there is such a place!). 1st, I found out:

      No burying dead after 9:00 p.m. (seriously)
      and

      2) I think we own the graveyard.

      At least 2/3 of the people buried were…ahem!…I can’t disclose my last name, or I just might find my twin 🙂 !

      No, seriously, I don’t think I’d find a ‘name twin’- even though my family is named like the George Forman family, I’m the only girl named ——.

      On the other hand, my mother was almost my twin, as I am only two days older than her, on the calendar! My brother was almost my father’s twin: he is only one day older than my father, on the calendar.

      HAVE ANY OF YOU BEEN IN HOBOEVILLE, AL OR COVINGTON COUNTY, AL?

      In Christ,

      Ada

      By the way, come visit my new blog: plainpathwaytohim.wordpress.com