.

Tea Party Winners: Carla Gade's winner is Becky Dempsey, Andrea Boeshaar's winner Caryl Kane, Gina Welborn's winner Jasmine A., Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners book copy -- Lynda Edwards, teacup and saucer -- Wendy Shoults

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Old Order Amish: Surviving against All Odds -- by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Anna's Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher - An Amish Colonial novel

CFPagels: We welcome our guest, Suzanne Woods Fisher today on Colonial Quills! Suzanne has a brand new release set during colonial times and we can't wait to read it!


The Old Order Amish: Surviving against All Odds


The story of the Amish is fascinating—mainly because their survival, right from the start, is so unlikely. To understand what I’m getting at, we need to make a quick trip back to 17th century Europe.
The Amish were the last branch on the Anabaptist family tree. A split among the Swiss Anabaptists developed in the 1690s, led by bishop Jacob Ammann, over his call for reforms. Tighter church discipline, he demanded (and he was the demanding type), and that included shunning. This little splintered-off group became known as Avoiders (for the social avoidance of shunning), Ammann’s followers, and eventually evolved into “Amish.”
Jacob Ammann was last heard of in 1712. Some scholars think he might have gone into hiding. Ponder this with me for a moment: this little young church, less than twenty years old, did not have central leadership or any kind of identity. It wasn’t an organized movement. It consisted of small groups of followers, probably families, who kept scattering around Switzerland, France, and Germany. As pacifists, they tried to avoid military consignment, but even if they were granted exemption by the governments where they lived, they were not allowed to own land. Land was, is, highly valued among the Amish. Their love of farming the land runs deep.  
            It was William Penn’s invitation to religiously oppressed Germans that brought the Amish to America. In Penn’s Woods (later known as Pennsylvania), they could own land. Unlimited amounts. The first group of Amish that had the ability to grow as a congregation (it had ordained leaders to allow for baptism and marriages, a critical necessity!) arrived in Port Philadelphia in 1737 on the Charming Nancy ship. And that is the story in “Anna’s Crossing.”
            Let’s get back to the against-all-odds survival of the Amish. From 1737-1770, more Amish trickled into the New World—right up to the Revolutionary War. More came in the 19th century. Today, there are no Amish left in Europe. Not one.
And in America, in the late 1800s, there were about five thousand Amish. Sociologists assumed that they would assimilate into the culture as so many other small religious groups had done.
But…they assumed wrong. The Old Order Amish—those who use horse and buggies instead of cars and aren’t connected to the public utility grid—are the fastest growing population in North America. At last count, they are closing in on 300,000. By 2050, scholars have predicted they will pass the one million mark.
Now, that’s a lot of buggies.

Author Suzanne Woods Fisher 
Bio: Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of 'The Stoney Ridge Seasons' and ‘The Lancaster County Secrets’ series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is a Christy award finalist and a Carol award winner. Her interest in the Anabaptist culture can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne hosts the blog Amish Wisdom, and has a free downloadable app, Amish Wisdom, that delivers a daily Penn Dutch proverb to your smart phone. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find Suzanne on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com. She loves to hear from readers!  


Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of Suzanne's new novel to one commenter!

55 comments:

  1. Thanks for visiting with us Suzanne! The German duchies in the 17th and 18th centuries sheltered Amish and Huguenots and they paid the price. They were invaded repeatedly by the French. Certain duchies became so beleaguered they wouldn't allow any more Amish and then they began going to the Netherlands. Protestants in general weren't accepted. Penn's mother was from the Palatinate of Germany.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Suzanne! Welcome! It's nice to see you here!

    I read your book and loved it! A great history lesson on ship life and what they endured by coming to America. I'm not sure I would have been strong enough to endure months on an overcrowded ship. And those rats! It sends shivers down my spine thinking of them!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Regina! I've wondered the same thing about myself...could I have endured it? Would I have left what everything/everyone familiar? Not sure! Thank you for reading my book and for your thumbs up, too! I think you left a customer review on Amazon...so grateful! XO

      Delete
    2. Yes I left a review on Amazon.

      Carrie, thanks for hosting Suzanne. I was able to meet her over a year ago. Suzanne is a lovely woman inside and out! Suzanne, you need to come to SD so my friends can meet you!

      Delete
    3. I agree, Regina! I've had the pleasure of meeting Suzanne at the ACFW conferences and we share the same agent! Joyce Hart has blessed us both!

      Delete
  3. Hi Suzanne and Carrie!

    Carrie, your post is very interesting. I always learn something from your posts.

    Suzanne, I love your books and your new book, Anna's Crossing, sounds wonderful. I so enjoy stories about that time in our history as well as the Amish. I have it on my to-be-read list.

    Blessings,Tina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is such a great guest post from Suzanne, Tina, thanks so much for coming by to read! I can't wait to read this story! Hers and one other are next on my reading list--can't wait!!!

      Delete
  4. My family migrated from Switzerland to Germany and then to America where they lived in a Mennonite community. I love Suzannes books. Sandi ansell

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi dear Sandi! Love that connection we have with history & books! XO

      Delete
  5. This sounds interesting, I don't often read historical books. Certainly would read this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Loretta! Hope you win a copy of it!

      Delete
  6. Love historical books about different groups who came to the new world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, Kim. They were made of strong stuff!

      Delete
  7. That's an interesting history! No wonder so many came to America. The book sounds good. It is on my tbr list now. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Karen! Hope you get a chance to read the story!

      Delete
  8. I have most of her books. My favorite genre of books - Amish Christian Fiction. Great post.
    Susan in NC
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susan! So glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for your encouraging words!

      Delete
  9. I read your book to Suzanne, and and with your other books was sad to put it down. Thank you for your research into this fascinating group of people. Their stories come alive with your telling!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mardell...you made my day! Thank you so much for your lovely words!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This book really sounds interesting. It was such a long, hardship journey for the Amish. Thanks for sharing. Can hardly wait to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Delete
  12. I am very interested in the Amish and in this book as it tells a different story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you get a chance to read it! Thanks for dropping by.

      Delete
  13. This book sounds so good, very anxious to read it. Thank you for the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  14. We were so lucky to go to Lancaster PA in August, 2014...we loved it...I read a set of books my friend gave me and thorougly enjoyed them....I love the Amish community, crafts, furn. quilt shops and am a history buff...so winning this book would be a GREAT thrill....I havent read any of your books yet...so this would be a great way to start....Thanks Kris 3gah1152@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kris! Glad you've had a chance to visit Lancaster County! Bet you saw a lot of tall corn in August. The landscape looks entirely different in winter. Wide open. Hope you get a chance to read one of my books! Thanks for commenting. Warmly, Suzanne

      Delete
  15. Thank you for all the information Suzanne. I love to read historical fiction, and especially Amish history. I also like the Amish quilts and crafts. I can't wait to read your book!
    Sharon at sab99@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sharon! Hope you get a chance to read "Anna's Crossing." If you like Amish history, I'm pretty sure you'd like this story. Especially the end notes! Warmly, Suzanne

      Delete
  16. Such interesting history! Thank you for sharing this wonderful guest post. I am eager to read Anna's Crossing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a familiar name to me! Thanks, Britney, for stopping by to read the post. Let me know what you think of "Anna's Crossing!" Hope you like it. XO

      Delete
    2. Guess what, Britney, some of the members of my readers' group, like yourself, will be gifted with a copy of Suzanne's book because it takes place ten years earlier than mine and in similar locales, which is so cool! So I intend to give away copies of her book and recommend people read it before reading mine! Blessings!

      Delete
  17. Thanks for sharing all this wonderful information about the old order Amish, Suzanne. I had no idea they were the fastest growing population in North America. What an excellent example of being in the world, but not of the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janet! Thanks for reading the post and leaving a thoughtful comment. Glad you enjoyed it! Warmly, Suzanne

      Delete
  18. I don't know why I have trouble seeing my comments when I first send them on this page. I don't know what I am doing wrong. However...I am persistent because I loved this history lesson from Suzanne and would so LOVE to win "Anna's Crossing". it sounds and looks excellent. Thanks for the contest.
    flowersmarylou85(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mary Lou! So glad you were persistent!!! Hope you'll be rewarded for it and win a copy of my book! Thanks for not giving up. XO Suzanne

      Delete
  19. Hello Carrie and Suzanne. Two of my favorites. I love the Amish books. I love hearing about the history. I think it would be so hard in this awful kind of weather to be out in a buggy, instead of a warm car. Of course when I was growing up we only had a wagon and horses to go anywhere. Brrrr! Thats how we went to church, into town from out in the country, for groceries, or to see my grandparents.And, we had the non electric things till I was 8 or 9, but mom was only 15 when she married and I was the 7th child, so she and dad did this for many years, as did all of our ancestors. But sure glad don't have to now. But, they are more able to make it in hard times than we would. Especially younger generations. I thought the mexicans were the fastest growing group. So was wrong.All of my neighbors are Mexicans except a couple. And, most don't even learn English, so I have no friends to visit with. First time in my life of being grown. I so love hearing about the Amish tho and have been addicted to the Amish books ever since I saw one of Beverly Lewis' books that a friend had. The Shunning. I sure hope this will be a lucky day for me for I've never been lucky about winning her books. GOD bless both of you. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, dear Maxie! Thank you for sharing your own story...I hope you're writing down your memories. They're very unique and very special. Hope you win, too! I know you've been a faithful supporter. XO Suzanne

      Delete
    2. Hi sweet Maxie! You are such a sweetheart and I wish I could come over and visit with you. Hugs and love to you and I don't think you need luck.

      Delete
  20. Suzanne, this is a topic I'm very familiar with, having grown up Mennonite with parents who were raised Amish. Anna's Crossing sounds fascinating! Thank you for adding to the understanding of who the Amish are and where they came from in what I consider to be the best way of teaching history--historical fiction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. J.M....I love your remark about historical fiction! Thank you for reading the post and for sharing a little bit of your own story. Bet you've got a lot of stories from your family history. Your last name says it all! Warmly, Suzanne

      Delete
  21. It sounds like a must read book! What a wonderful way to learn some history while enjoying Suzanne's wonderful book! I have read Suzanne's books for years and have loved everyone that I have read. Looking forward to reading this book!
    Keep up the wonderful writing Suzanne!

    CherylB1987 AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, Cheryl! If you keep reading, I'll keep writing! XO Suzanne

      Delete
  22. I loved the history! And this sounds like a great book. I love that it was set in Colonial times. Definitely adding to my TBR pile. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carrie! It was fun to go back to the colonial era...I had to pay attention to so many little details. Loved it!!! Hope you get a chance to read the story.

      Delete
  23. Such an interesting post, Suzanne - thank you!! I have long admired the Amish for their simplicity, strength, discipline, convictions, craftsmanship and ingenuity. I love touring Amish communities - admiring their woodwork and crafts, eating their delicious foods, viewing their beautiful farms and purchasing from their roadside stands. I've also had the opportunities for a guided tour in a horse-drawn wagon and eating in two Amish homes. I enjoyed learning more about their history.

    Shared post!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bonnie! Thanks for letting me know about your visits to Amish homes. There is NOTHING like a first hand experience, is there? The sights, the sounds, the smells. So rich! Warmly, Suzanne

      Delete
  24. Wonderful article They sure were determined God bless you for writing about them.
    Have a terrific, wonderful, blessed week
    Chris granville
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank for stopping by to read the post, Chris! You're so right...those early pioneers were very determined. Amazing people...and most of us have those brave ancestors in our family tree. XO Suzanne

      Delete
    2. Chris, congrats! Per random.org you are our winner for a copy of Suzanne's new book! Blessings!

      Delete
  25. Hello! Thanks for sharing the history behind the book especially about The Avoiders. So glad that our Lord also doesn't shun people who stumble like me! This book has been on my list since I saw it featured in a Christian fiction catalog...thanks for the opportunity to win it! elise_jehanATyahooDOTcom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elise...what a great insight. Loved it! Thanks for reading my book! Warmly, Suzanne

      Delete
  26. Hi, I love your books. I would love to win your book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tammy! Hope you get a chance to read Anna's story.

      Delete
  27. Thank you for sharing with us about the Amish history in your book, Suzanne. Its been a pleasure to have you on Colonial Quills!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting, please check back for our replies!