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Mennonite Ancestors Immigration & Genealogy

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Menno Simons (ca 1496-1561) was a Dutch religious reformer. In 1536 he left the Roman Catholic priesthood because of his disagreement of infant baptism and other Catholic teachings. He organized and led the less aggressive division of Anabaptists in Germany and Holland. The name Mennonites is derived from his name, although he did not actually found the sect. The Mennonites were a Protestant sect which arose from Swiss Anabaptists. They were also called Swiss Brethren.

Spotlight On Mennonite Genealogy
Many Mennonites settled in Pennsylvania. Large numbers immigrated further into Ontario Canada especially Waterloo County
During the sixteenth century, the Mennonites and other Anabaptists were relentlessly persecuted. By the seventeenth century, some of them joined the state church in Switzerland and persuaded the authorities to relent in their attacks. The Mennonites outside the state church were divided on whether to remain in communion with their brothers within the state church, and this led to a split. Those against remaining in communion with them became known as the Amish, after their founder Jacob Amman. Those who remained in communion with them retained the name Mennonite

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A few Dutch Mennonites began the immigration to America in 1683, followed by a larger immigration of Swiss-German Mennonites beginning in 1707. In the 1870s Dutch Mennonites, who had settled in the German Kingdom of Prussia and then Russia, moved to the United States and Canada where they became known as Russian Mennonites.

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