Classification scheme: 

Title: Old Order Amish collection

Dates of creation1964-1976, 2016

Physical description: 7 cm of textual records

Administrative history: The Old Order Amish in Canada descend from two streams of Amish Mennonites. The original Amish Mennonite settlers in Ontario arrived in the 1820s directly from Europe. At the end of the 19th century there was a division between Amish who wished to retain the practice of meeting for worship in homes, and Amish who wished to build meetinghouses like their Mennonite neighbours. The “house Amish” came to be called Old Order Amish like their religious cousin the United States. They use horses and buggies for transportation and do not have electricity in the home. The primary settlement of this group is in the Milverton-Millbank area of Ontario.

The second stream of Old Order Amish in Ontario descend from Old Order Amish immigrants from the United States who began to settle in Ontario in the 1950s. These communities came from a variety of existing Amish settlements in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, etc. They range from the very traditional Swartzentruber Amish to groups that accept slightly more technology.

The Old Order Amish collection includes documents and clippings related to various Old Order Amish subjects as identified in the file list below.

For the history of the Old Order Amish in Ontario see Orland Gingerich, The Amish of Canada, 1972 and Samuel J. Steiner, In Search of Promised Lands: a religious history of Mennonites in Ontario, 2015.

Custodial history: An eclectic collection of files have come to the archives over time from a wide variety of sources including Jesse B. Martin, J. Winfield Fretz, and others.

Scope and content: See file list, below.

Encyclopedia entries for Old Order Amish may be found in GAMEO.
Original archival description created September 2017 by Sam Steiner

File List:

  1. Amish opposition to consolidated schools (includes clippings and correspondence with Elven Shantz, 1964-1965, also includes “Minutes of Old Order Amish Steering Committee from 1973-1976" (U.S.))
  2. Indiana Amish attempted move from Indiana to Prince Edward Island/Newfoundland, 1956-1958 (correspondence with Mennonite Central Committee and copies of clippings)
  3. Attempted move from Aylmer, Ontario settlement to Prince Edward Island, 1968-1969 (typescript of Joseph Stoll’s diary, correspondence and clippings)
  4. “Recent Amish Immigration to Ontario” by Joseph Stoll, 1966
  5. Opposition to transition from milk cans to bulk milk cooling in Ontario, 1976-1978 (correspondence and copies of legal documents)
  6. Pathway Publishing (Aylmer, Ontario) – catalogs, clipping, Pathway newsletter from 1967 and 1968, Heritage Historical Library brochures (1986, 1994, 1995, 2009, 2017), article offprints re library holdings, map of local Amish farms
  7. Description of an Amish wedding and photocopy of Amish wedding song, n.d.
  8. “Articles of faith of the Old Order Amish Mennonite Church, Berne, Indiana”, n.d.
  9. Several popular periodicals with articles on the Old Order Amish, 1969, 1970
  10. Letter describing the history of an Elmo Stoll Amish community in New Brunswick that existed from 1994-2000. (2016, donated by Fred Lichti, 7 Nov 2016)
  11. Old Order Amish membership in Ontario, 2011-12
  12. Two reference booklets for Amish ministers
    An untitled manual for minsters, [before 1934]
    "An Account of the Sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ as Taken from the Gospels" (English translation of one of the sermons from the manual)
    Note on provenance and context by Fred Lichti, 2021
  13. Amish and Seventh-Day Adventists


Generally 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238