Thursday, August 7, 2014


I am Old Order Mennonite, on my Mom's side. Her last name is Shantz, which is wildly popular in the Waterloo region of Ontario, amongst Mennonites/Mennonite descendants. We took a little detour Sunday morning before the family reunion to drive through the "old parts" of Kitchener. (My personal branch of the family tree is not "old order" anymore, as my Grandpa's (Katie & Sylvanus) parents broke away from that faith, in favour of a more "mainstream" Christianity - like, they didn't believe all those rules were actually sins. They were shunned because of their "heretical beliefs", but unlike most shunnings (absolutely zero contact with family forevermore), they did keep in touch with certain family members, and were permitted to adopt their nephew, after his mother died in childbirth, and all children in the family that were not old enough to work the farm were given away (Approx 4 children given away). They adopted Menno Hintz, at around the age of 2 years old, and changed his name. He is my Great Uncle Carl Shantz, my Grandpa's older brother (and cousin:-). We went and saw different family history last year.
Church, in service

The parking lot was totally packed out!

A cornbroom outside of every door. A Mennonite "thing". Gotta keep a tidy space!

The house my Great Grandma Katie Shantz (nee Hintz) grew up in. This was the Hintz farm

Farm house. Built in the 1800's. Katie was born in 1900, and she died in '81. My earliest childhood memory is of her. I was  about 18-20 months old. This house had some additions added to it, Grandpa said, from the original house.

Passing by a church of "black bumper" mennonites. They have cars. But they are all black:-)

Lots and lots of plain black cars:-)

Ooops! One lonely horse and buggy amid all those cars:-)

Such a contrast between new and old. It's incredible to me how these folks remain so steadfast and simple in our crazy world.

Heading home
Another part of the Hintz farm

The property of the school where Great Grandma Katie attended, through grade 5. That was all the education she ever got. I believe that Great Grandpa Sylvanus Shantz (her husband), also only ever went up to grade 5.

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