The Northern Amish Community: Johnstown Area, PA

Introduction by
Larry Pearce
with “The 1889 Johnstown Flood” by
Lois Ann Zook Mast
from Mennonite Family History*, January 2012 

My wife Susan’s Swiss-German Anabaptist ancestors emigrated to Berks County in Eastern Pennsylvania in the early 18th century. Some of that generation and many of the next moved west after the Ft. Stanwix Treaty of 1784 opened up new farmlands in the Allegheny Mountains. The same is true of Susan’s paternal German Lutheran and Reformed ancestors. We’ve made many  references to the City of Johnstown, Cambria County, just to the north of these emigre’s entry points in Somerset County. Johnstown and the adjacent townships of northern Somerset County became one of the four Amish-Mennonite settlements in this part of the country. The editor of the quarterly genealogical journal Mennonite Family History, Lois Ann Mast and her husband Lemar, paid a visit to this area and wrote about it to provide context for their readers on its Anabaptist history and the terrible tragedy that earned the Great Johnstown Flood of 1889 a dubious place in American history. Lois Ann tells what happened to the Anabaptist population after the disaster. For best viewing of the story, either click on the pages below or go to “View” in your toolbar above and select “Enter Full Screen.” To return, you may click on the Return arrow or go to View and select “Enter Actual Size.”

* The quarterly genealogical journal Mennonite Family History
is available by subscription at:

Masthof Press
219 Mill Road
Morgantown, PA 19543
(610) 286-0258

E-mail: (ask for 10% discount on 1st book purchase)

Please mention that you saw the offer on this website!

Last revised 3/13/18

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