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Quebec Amish Mystery: This is Three Years Old, But It's Interesting.....

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Jamy, one of our site regulars who lives in the great Canadian province of Quebec, recently alerted me to a story that was making the newspapers there about 3 years ago.  I really, really wish I had heard about this when it first hit the newswires because I would have really pursued it.  There are only two stories on the internet about the Quebec Amish, one is available here.   The other article is translated from French Canadian to English.  I think some things are lost in the translation but can be read here.   First of all, I want to be clear that I am not saying this story is untrue.  But there are some "red flags" that immediately jump out.   First of all, "Hunt" is a very unusual surname for someone Amish.  Do I know every single Amish last name?  Of course not.  So that in itself doesn't mean anything.   Another red flag, though, is that the family apparently hails from North Dakota.   I'm unaware of any Amish settlements in North Dakota.  If there is one, it is very, very tiny, but I feel pretty safe in saying that there are no Amish there (plenty of Hutterites).  Even the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online seems to confim that North Dakota, while once home to a small Amish settlement, hasn't seen any living there since the mid-1950s.   Other things that make me raise my eyebrows:  why would this one family come to Quebec?  Typically when a new Amish settlement is started, a group of families make the journey.  Why would they claim "refugee" status?  The Amish typical avoid such interactions on a governmental level.     There have been offbeat, offshoot "Amish" that just show up in strange places.   Erik Wesner on his blog has chronicled an Amish family of some sort that just showed in Poland to start a new life.   And a few years ago this site wrote about an Amish couple that showed up in rural Maine, but their story appeared to be discredited.    So who are the Quebec Amish?  I'm not sure, but if any of our site visitors are near Saint-Raphaël de Bellechasse in Quebec and can relay some more information it would be appreciated!  Thank you Jamy for passing along this fascinating story!

Re: Quebec Amish Mystery: This is Three Years Old, But It's ...

Hi I'm from Maine and yes there are a small community of Amish in ( Smyrna Mills) Its far North up by the border of Canada.. I've been there many times they have greenhouse a small store where they sell everything and in bulk and a bike shop and a wood shop.. U can google Smyrna Mills and come up with Amish..

Also some folks from there moved down to Unity Maine I don't know how many families.. Just thought I would share this would you..

Blessings Sister Brenda

Re: Quebec Amish Mystery: This is Three Years Old, But It's ...

Thank you, Brenda.  Yes, I'm aware of the Amish in Maine....I will likely be visiting there soon, I can't wait!!  But it's the ones in Quebec that I'm questioning!Laughing

Re: Quebec Amish Mystery: This is Three Years Old, But It's ...

Ok I'm sorry I miss understood you.. I would check it out first because I don't know how many are up in Smyrna Mills now some have moved to Unity and its very small so don't be disappointed..

I might be going up there next week its a 6 hour drive one way..

Blessings Sister Brenda

Re: Quebec Amish Mystery: This is Three Years Old, But It's ...

What if this family isn't Amish in origin, but wanted to move to Canada for whatever reasons, and claimed to be Amish seeking assylum, but really just needed to get out of this country for whatever reasons (maybe not so righteous).  I'm not familiar with religious persecutions in North Dakota, but who knows!  I think the stranger thing is if the family is seeking assylum (spelling?) why would such a story be printed, wouldn't it be more of a private matter? 

TomK's picture

Re: Quebec Amish Mystery: This is Three Years Old, But It's ...

I know another story we were discussing back in Sept. 2007 about Quebec Mennonites leaving for Ontario because of schooling differences. Wonder how that turned out? 

Re: Quebec Amish Mystery: This is Three Years Old, But It's ...

Last I heard, they were intended to leave, but the local mayor was going to bat for them to stay....I should do a follow-up...