Events - Ontario Heritage Trust



  • 1 First Mennonite Settlement

    During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a large number of German-speaking Mennonites emigrated from Pennsylvania to Upper Canada (Ontario). Pennsylvania had become crowded with settlers, whereas the Mennonites were offered cheap land and promised exemption from military service by the colonial British government in Canada. In 1786, a small group from Bucks County, Pennsylvania settled on land west of Twenty Mile Creek in the Niagara Peninsula. In 1799, Jacob Moyer (1767-1833), Abraham Moyer and Amos Albright (1759-1833) arrived from Pennsylvania and purchased land in the vicinity of Vineland and Jordan. Within two years, the Mennonite community along the “Twenty” had grown to approximately 30 families. On the advice of their former ministers in Bucks County, the community elected Valentine Kratz the congregation's first minister in 1801. This was the first Mennonite congregation organized in Ontario. Several Mennonite communities in other parts of Ontario were founded by members of this first settlement.

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