Amish Myths

Amish facts/history, Amish fiction, plainmiracles Comments: 16

I’m so excited about the release of my new collection: Plain and Simple Miracles. These stories are very near and dear to me. Brian’s Choice (a novella) is already available, and Anna’s Healing (a full length novel) will begin shipping in a few weeks. So I thought now would be a good time to DEBUNK some of the myths surrounding the Amish.

My first Amish book released in 2010. I’ve visited communities in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma since then. I’ve walked through barns, shared meals, and visited schoolhouses. Here are a few of the myths I’ve learned are not true–at least not in the places I’ve been.

  1. Amish only walk or ride in buggies. Nope. I’ve seen Amish folk on bicycles and scooters. And of course they ride in cars when they’re traveling farther than a few miles.
  2. Amish quilt but they don’t do any other handiwork. Wrong! I’ve seen Amish women knit and crochet as well as do some embroidery work for wedding gifts.
  3. Amish homes are like a log cabin. I don’t know why I thought this! In fact, the homes I’ve been in look very similar to mine–minus carpet, curtains and electricity. Many now have modern bathrooms although the water flows slowly without an electric pump.
  4. Amish don’t read. Ha! The Amish men, women, and children I’ve met love to read. Many Amish visit their local library, and they love to receive books as gifts. It’s true they stop public school at the 8th grade, but they continue learning long after that.
  5. Amish are very serious, somber people. I’m sure some Amish are serious, but I’ve met many who were downright friendly, quite a few who like to tell jokes, and one or two who are real chatter-boxes.

That’s just a few of the myths I’ve found are not true. What about you? Do you have a question about the Amish? Or do you have a myth that you can bust? Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.




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16 thoughts on “Amish Myths

  1. Patricia Schmutz

    I met an Amish couple at the hospital the day I was there for preop testing. We probably talked a half hour or so. They have 7 children and 29 grandchildren and they all come home every Thursday to have supper together – amazing!! They were so nice I would have loved to have sat and talked all afternoon. She told me if I ever got over their way, Berne, IN, I believe, she’d love to cook for me…. Cooking is quite a passion of hers! Loved our meeting and I had one of Amy Clipston’s book with me lol!!

  2. Juanita Cook

    Love reading about the Amish and seeing the all the lovely pictures you post. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  3. Laura Wiles

    I thought the Amish only ate natural foods that they grew themselves- until we moved to Todd County, KY, which has a large Amish/ Mennonite population. I frequently saw Amish women (and occasionally men) in the grocery store with carts piled high. They almost always had sugary cereals, processed lunch meats, Jello, etc. I still think they have a more natural diet than your average American, but they definitely are willing to eat processed foods, too.

    1. vannettachapman Post author

      That’s interesting, Laura. Folks always seem surprised to see the Amish at Walmart, but like us they need some things from the store. 🙂

  4. cherylbbookblog

    Love the blog post Vannetta. I loved seeing the Amish and the Mennonites when I went away last month. They were in an area that I didn’t expect to see them. They were as friendly as could be.

  5. Alice Boor

    I just have a question; do the ladies wear their prayer cap all the time? When do the little girls start wearing theirs?
    Love your books! I have learned so much reading them.

    1. Shirley Chapel

      I love reading Amish fiction because I learn so much from them. Even the Amish language to a certain degree. Mind you if I heard them speak in their own dialect I might not understand them. But when reading books I can pick out the Pennsylvania Dutch and know what it means.
      We have an Amish community about 35 miles from where we live. It is Adams County Ohio. We have gone to shop in their bakery or bulk goods stores or furniture stores. There is one gigantic Amish store that has everything under one roof. We really enjoy this.
      As for myths, I think that each group of Amish are different in some ways than their neighboring groups. I have seen the younger ones using cell phones. I love to see their horse and buggies out and about on the country roads. Even drove behind one a time or two. I was very surprised to see some with turning blinkers like you see on cars.

    2. vannettachapman Post author

      Hi, Alice. No. I don’t believe they do. Now they will if they’re outside the house, but they don’t sleep in them or anything like that.

      1. vannettachapman Post author

        Hi Shirley. You know, that’s funny. When I started writing Amish I already knew a fair bit of their words because my dad would speak German to us at home–usually when we were in trouble or he was teasing us. He was born here in the US, but I believe his grandparents were born in Germany.

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