Last name origins & meanings:
- South German and Swiss German: occupational or status name from
Amtmann ‘official’, dialect Ammann (Middle High German
ambet man, literally ‘retinue man’, ‘retainer’). This came to
denote various kinds of administrator, including a tax farmer.
- Jakob Ammann (c. 1644–1730), for whom the Amish people are
named, was a 17th-century, strict Alsatian-Swiss religious reformer
of the Anabaptist Mennonite Church. His followers began emigrating to
North America in the 1720s, settling chiefly in PA, where they are
still present in large numbers, having also spread to OH, Ontario, and
elsewhere. They are noted for their conservative life style (generally
including avoidance of modern inventions such as automobiles and
telephones), distinctive dress, and close-knit community.
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