Written by Forrest Moyer on December 1, 2017
This series of posts highlights families descended from 18th-century Mennonite immigrants to eastern Pennsylvania, in connection with the MHC’s exhibit Opportunity & Conscience: Mennonite Immigration to Pennsylvania, on display through March 31, 2018. The stories reflect the enrichment brought to communities over centuries by the descendants of immigrants.
Hans Jacob, Hans George, and Abraham
A number of immigrants with the Swiss name Bechtel came to Pennsylvania in the colonial era. Two of these, Hans Jacob Bechtel (d. 1739) and Hans George Bechtel
Written by Forrest Moyer on July 12, 2017
Last year Alma Shelly of North Newton, Kansas donated several family Bible registers that belonged to her late sister-in-law, Griselda Gehman Shelly (1925-2014), wife of Mennonite minister and author Maynard Shelly. The registers document four generations of Griselda’s ancestors, a unique and gifted family of the Berks-Lehigh community.
Griselda Gehman was an only child, born in Newark, Delaware to parents of Pennsylvania Mennonite origin. Her grandfather, William Hiestand Gehman, had moved from Lehigh County, Pennsylvania to the state of Delaware, where
Written by Forrest Moyer on February 8, 2017
Souderton Mennonite Meetinghouse, circa 1910
Another article from the first year of the MHEP Newsletter features entries from the diary of William S. Hemsing (1866-1940) about his experiences at Souderton Mennonite Church. The full diary, subtitled An Intimate Look at Souderton, Pennsylvania, was published by Union National Bank in 1987 and is available to purchase in the Mennonite Heritage Center library for $8.00.
William Souder Hemsing, later to be Burgess of Souderton, was a teenage teller in the Union National Bank of
Written by Joel Alderfer on January 25, 2017
Several quilts in our current “Riot of Color” exhibit have interesting family stories or anecdotes that add a human dimension to the artifacts. We’ll feature a number of these stories in this post. The exhibit includes thirty quilts, mainly from the Mennonite Heritage Center collection, selected for their color, condition and design content.
Wedding or Dowry Quilts
These are quilts that were made, according to the family stories, either as wedding gifts for a young couple or were