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In Amish Culture, Why Does the Youngest Son Get the Inheritance?

The Amish are a Christian group from North America known to avoid certain technological advancements. Non-Amish people would often find their practices different and bizarre. Did you know that they leave their inheritance to the youngest son? 

The Amish believe that the elder sons had more time learning from their fathers to support their families. Unlike the youngest son, who had less time to learn skills that would help them. This is why they are chosen to get the inheritance instead.

Amish Origins

The Old Order Amish Mennonite Church traces back its roots to the followers of seventeenth-century Mennonite leader Jakob Ammann. Ammann caused separation among his people in Switzerland, Alsace, and Germany because of his controversial teachings.

Ammann insisted that anyone who lied should be excommunicated, and those individuals shall be shunned. Ammann further taught that church members should dress uniformly and that men’s beards should not be trimmed.

Soon after, the Amish began migrating to North America and found their way to easter Pennsylvania in the eighteenth century. In 1850, a schism broke out, dividing the community into the Old Order and the New Order, with the latter accepting social change and technological advancements.

To date, there are about 250,000 members of the Old Order Amish Mennonite Church living in more than 200 Amish settlements in the US and Canada. Most communities are found in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, and others in Wisconsin, Maine, Missouri, and Minnesota.

Amish settlements usually consist of 75 baptized members under a church district. When a settlement exceeds 75, it is again divided because members meet at their homes. (Source: Britannica)

Facts About the Amish Culture and Beliefs

The Amish’s core values are centered on humility, family, community, and separation from the world. They follow an unwritten code of behavior called the Ordnung and still practice Meidung, shunning its disobedient members.

Here are a few facts about the Amish practice. (Source: Teddy Feed)

Inheritance

Most cultures leave their inheritance with the eldest son, but the youngest son acquires the father’s estate in the Amish culture. The Amish believe that the eldest son has had more time learning from his father how to support his family and live his life, while the youngest had less time spent with his father. They believe that the youngest will struggle both financially and in life. Hence the inheritance is left to them to help them as they age. (Source: Teddy Feed)

Education

The Amish do not believe that education is beneficial to them after the eighth grade. As the Amish live simple and sustainable lives, boys are taught to work with their hands while girls tend their homes. (Source: Teddy Feed)

Technology

The rule of thumb for any Amish is to adopt a simple way of life, and with this, they do away with technology. Most Old World Amish prefer old cooking methods and rely on candlelight, but a few recognize that technology can enhance their way of living. (Source: Teddy Feed)

Fashion

To showcase their modesty and humility, the Amish adhere to strict dress codes. Women usually wear non-flashy colored dresses and bonnets. Men also dressed uniformly and would keep their beards long. (Source: Teddy Feed)

Language

Though the Amish usually know how to read, write and speak in American English, they typically speak Pennsylvania Dutch, also known as Low German, in their communities. (Source: Teddy Feed)

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