Male speaker interviewed by Wilfried Schabus (for Wolfgang W. Moelleken), 1984, Franklin County, Pennsylvania

The most famous Amish settlement is Lancaster County, PA. Because of a combination of pressures, including decreased availability of farmland and high birth rates, many Amish have been moving out of Lancaster County, to other parts Pennsylvania and adjoining states, and as far west as Wisconsin. The migration of Lancaster Amish is not exceptional, however; Amish people have been historically quite mobile in order to adapt to changing external circumstances, often economic. This middle-aged Amish man tells of living in four different communities in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Dialect: PA Amish,Pennsylvania Dutch

Location: Franklin, Pennsylvania

[Tell us a little about yourself and your background.]

Well, I was born in Lancaster County. When I was 14 years old my parents moved away from there and we moved down to St. Mary’s County [MD]. I ran around [was a teenager] there and got married there. Then we moved to Gettysburg, and then we moved to Franklin County [PA]. We have a big chicken house and bunch of hogs. I go to the farmer’s market three days a week. I handle a lot of money, but I haven’t got any. We’ve got a good corn crop this year. We do all our plowing and cultivation with horses. I just built myself a new barn, and I’ve got my horse and buggy in there. It’s not finished yet. I sell meat and cheese at the farmer’s market, and eggs.