American Folk Art Museum Archives

Scrapbook of Pennsylvania German Religious Communities Edit




  • 1933-1956, 1971-1977 (Creation)


  • 1 linear feet (Whole)
    (1 container)



  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Margaret and Wesley Zeigler

  • Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research. Access to sensitive materials may be restricted at the discretion of the American Folk Art Museum.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    The Scrapbook of Pennsylvania German Religious Communities is owned by the American Folk Art Museum. The collection is subject to all copyright laws, and is dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship.

  • Preferred Citation

    [item description], [date], [page number], Scrapbook of Pennsylvania German Religious Communities, American Folk Art Museum Archives, New York

  • Biographical Note

    Wesley Zeigler was a descendent of Abraham Ziegler (who used the original Germanic spelling of the name, with the "i" preceding the "e"). Abraham Ziegler, a Mennonite, moved from Lehigh County in eastern Pennsylvania to Butler County in western Pennsylvania. There, he purchased 5,000 acres in the Connoquenessing Valley from the Harmony Society, a religious group that had settled the area in 1804.

    Wesley Zeigler was interested in connecting the descendents of Abraham Ziegler to the founders of the town Zieglerville, PA, close to where he lived in Bethlehem. Indeed, the founder of Zieglerville was a pioneer settler named Andrew Ziegler, and it was Andrew's son, Abraham, who moved west.

  • Scope and Contents

    The Scrapbook contains mostly newspaper and magazine clippings related to various Pennsylvania German religious communities, including the Amish, Mennonites, Moravians, and the Harmonites. The first part of the scrapbook, dated in the 1930s, also contains correspondence between Wesley Zeigler and his grand-aunt Kate about their family genealogy, notes about the history of Zieglerville and Harmony, presumably by Wesley Zeigler, and correspondence between Wesley Zeigler and Elsie Ewing Rayburn, who was also a Ziegler descendent. These primary source documents are followed by some newspaper articles related to the Harmonites and the Zieglers. Together, this material accounts for about one quarter of the scrapbook.

    The remainder of the scrapbook contains secondary source newspaper and magazine clippings related to the Amish and to Mennonites. These range in topic from "Amish Drop Farm Labors to Attend Many Weddings" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/8/1937), "The Moravian Christmas Putz" (Pennsylvania Farmer, 12/11/1954), to "Let's Dutch it: Or How a Young Couple Made a Home in the City" (American Home, 5/1942) about decorating with Pennsylvania German furniture. There are a few articles about fraktur art, several about tourism in the area, and some ephemera including holiday cards from Pennsylvania German communities, menus from restaurants in the area, and postcards with images of the Amish.

  • Arrangement

    The scrapbook was deassembled but is in the original order. Each page is encapsulated in mylar and in the original order they appeared in the scrapbook. There are also printed digital photographs of each page of the assembled scrapbook, for reference to the original order.

  • Separated Materials

    Along with this scrapbook, Margaret and Wesley Zeigler gave the American Folk Art Museum a collection of books related to the Pennsylvania Germans. These can be found in the library catalog.


  • Type
    Graphic Materials
    Container 1 Type
    Container 1 Indicator