Mom’s ancestors are from Germany. They settled in Pennsylvania, and then moved to the Ohio Valley. Years ago, I found a restaurant near me that had a lot of dishes like Mom used to make for us. When Mom visited, I took her there. They had a deli in back and Mom was so excited. She talked to the owners, who said the cuisine was Pennsylvania Dutch. So Mom and I began researching. She had visited Pennsylvania with Grandma Rohr, visiting cemeteries and towns that Shimp, Friend, Oldfather and Protzman families had lived in the 1800s before they moved to the Ohio Valley.
When these Germans immigrated to America, they said they were from “Deutschland” which was the German name for Germany. They were deemed “Deutsch” or Dutch by those at Ellis Island. Since most settled in Pennsylvania as the land was a lot like Germany for farming. They were called Pennsylvania Dutch, and had their own unique behavior, cuisine and language.
Mom and I had fun learning about the background and history because so much that we learned she remembers about relatives at family reunions. I had a source for buying Scrapple, Lebanese Bologna and other Pennsylvania Dutch foods at the deli.
Today, I read an article on Family Tree about Pennsylvania Dutch. Mom and I would have had fun reading it together!
Read more in this Family Tree article.