Announcing the Mennonite History Project
November 3, 2022
About This Project
In the early 1950s, Mennonites began migrating from Mexico to this part of Southern Ontario. The families who stayed put down deep roots. Their legacy can be found in every corner of Aylmer and Malahide. This is evident in strong church communities, commerce, industry, and civic engagement.
As time passes and one generation follows another there is always the risk that essential parts of family and community history may be lost, forgotten or discarded. The Aylmer-Malahide Museum and Archives (A.M.M.A.) would like to partner with interested groups and individuals in preserving Mennonite stories, photographs and artifacts for future generations.
This phase of the project is focused on immigration to our area before 1972.
We hope to receive the following items from the Low German Mennonite communities of Aylmer and Malahide:
- Completed questionnaires
These questionnaires can be submitted online or in person.
- Historical photographs
We would be happy to scan and return the photographs. We’re also happy to consider photographs for donation to our collection.
- Audio/video recordings
Please review our scheduled events to record an interview or statement in person.
All donations to our collection (e.g. tools, utensils, clothing, heirlooms, etc.) are eligible for a charitable tax receipt.
How These Materials Will Be Used
- Museum display
The A.M.M.A. has previously hosted exhibits focused on the experience of Mennonite migrants. One part of the proposed plans for our new building includes a dedicated room for a permanent exhibit on the Low German Mennonite experience. There may also be special exhibits in the main gallery area from time to time.
- Research and genealogy
The A.M.M.A. has archived tens of thousands of documents, photographs & artifacts covering the length and breadth of our shared history. These materials are made available to academics, social groups, members of the media and family historians to carry out research. The new facility will include a dedicated research room to allow for the examination of online and physical materials.
The A.M.M.A., in conjunction with community partners, will often publish books or contribute to other publications which highlight some specific aspect of our history. In 2012, as part of a summer-student project, a book was published based on the settlement history of the Low German Mennonites in Aylmer and Malahide. This book focused on the stories and photographs of eight local families. This is just a small sampling of the rich and diverse history of the Mennonites.