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are pennsylvania dutch amish

Are Pennsylvania Dutch People Amish?

What’s the deal with the Pennsylvania Dutch? We hope you won’t be too shocked to find out that they’re not actually Dutch! 

But are Pennsylvania Dutch people Amish? It’s actually a fairly common question, and the answer isn’t quite as straighforward as you might think. 

These two groups are so similar. They both have German heritage and speak a dialect of the German language, which often trips people up.

In this article, we'll clear up the confusion and explore the differences and similarities between the Pennsylvania Dutch and the Amish.

What this article covers:

Who are the Pennsylvania Dutch?

As we’ve already mentioned, the Pennsylvania Dutch aren’t actually from the Netherlands. They speak a dialect of German and have German ancestry.

amish vs pennsylvania dutch

They arrived in America during the 17th and 18th centuries from German-speaking countries such as Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. They came for different reasons, like wanting to practice their religion without persecution or looking for good farmland and work opportunities.

difference between pennsylvania dutch and amish

Nowadays, you can still find Pennsylvania Dutch communities in Pennsylvania and other parts of the USA. They have an incredible culture that mixes German and American traditions, and they're known for being good at farming and crafting items, such as picnic baskets, easter baskets, and bread baskets.

are pennsylvania dutch and amish the same

The Amish Community

Overview of the Amish Community and its History

The Amish are Christians who like to keep things simple and traditional. They go way back to the 1500s and are part of this movement called the Anabaptists. 

In the 1700s, they started coming to North America to avoid persecution and find some land to farm. Today, you can find many Amish communities in America, especially in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.

Amish Beliefs and Practices

The Amish believe in keeping things simple. When it comes to their appearance, they like to keep things pretty simple too. Men wear plain shirts and black pants, and women wear long dresses, aprons, and head coverings in public.

are amish and pennsylvania dutch the same

They're Christians who believe in getting baptized as adults. They don't have church buildings for worship services. Instead, they hold regular worship services in people's homes or barns.

The Amish are huge on family and community. They believe in working together and helping each other out whenever they can. They're also about forgiving, being nonviolent, and doing good for others.

One thing that separates the Amish is their rejection of modern technology, like electricity or computers. They believe these things can get in the way of their religious beliefs and sense of community.

It might not surprise you that, with all their rules and regulations, the Amish are lauded for being hard workers and sticking to their beliefs and traditions.

Differences Between the Amish and Other Mennonite Groups

There are some differences between the Amish and other Mennonite groups. They're all part of the Anabaptist movement. However, the Amish are usually even more traditional.

The Amish are generally more conservative in their style and dress code. They wear simple clothes and head coverings, while other Mennonite groups might dress more like non-Mennonites.

The most significant difference lies in their attitudes toward technology. The Amish avoid most modern tech. Other Mennonite groups are more open to using things like electricity and cars.

difference between amish and pennsylvania dutch

Are Pennsylvania Dutch People Amish?

The Amish population in Pennsylvania 

Pennsylvania has the biggest Amish population, with over 85,000 residents as of 2023. They've been in Pennsylvania since the 1700s, and the state is an important center of Amish life and culture.

Distinctions Between Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish Communities 

The Pennsylvania Dutch and the Amish have some key differences. To start, some Pennsylvania Dutch people are Christians, like the Amish. However, not all of them follow the same religious beliefs. They also live more modern lives than the Amish.

If you decided to join an Amish community, you'd have to embrace a more simple and plain style of clothing. The Amish dress more plainly and uniformly, while the Pennsylvania Dutch can have more variety in their style. 

We’ve found that the Pennsylvania Dutch embrace modern technology and live in rural and urban areas. The Amish strictly live in rural areas and forbid their members to use technology unless necessary.

pennsylvania dutch amish

Commonalities Between Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish Communities 

Despite their differences, these communities also have a few similarities. They both have some cultural practices and traditions that reflect their German heritage. They also have an excellent reputation for being good at crafts like woodworking and quilting. We’re particularly fond of their wicker hampers, wooden bread boxes, and wicker sewing baskets.

pennsylvania vs  amish dutch

Both the Pennsylvania Dutch and the Amish have a strong sense of community. Both groups are known for being close-knit, with people looking for each other and working together.  

difference between amish  and pennsylvania dutch

They also value traditional things like hard work, simplicity, and family and believe in being kind and forgiving. 


So, in the end, being Pennsylvania Dutch doesn’t necessarily equate to being Amish, even though they share some cultural practices and traditions. 

In a nutshell, the Amish are a specific religious group with strict rules. The Pennsylvania Dutch are a cultural group with varying religious beliefs and lifestyles.

If you're still curious, and have burning questions like “Are there black Amish communities?” or “Can you join the Amish if you have tattoos?, we always recommend visiting our website to find all the answers you need!

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