About Us

Lancaster Roots

Lancaster Roots is the combined cultural events of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society and the 1719 Herr House & Museum.

Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society

In 1710, nine Mennonite families purchased land along the Pequea Creek in Pennsylvania. With Native Americans as their closest neighbors, they built the first permanent European settlement in what is today Lancaster County.

The Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society preserves and interprets the culture and context of Anabaptist-related faith communities connected to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: both those first settlers and groups that followed later.

It seeks to be a gathering place where people can explore stories, ideas, and legacy for themselves and with each other.

With the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, one can uncover:

  • Genealogy: Trace family history with published genealogies, cemetery transcriptions, Lancaster County court and tax records, access to Ancestry.com, and a unique card file with data on thousands of families.
  • History and Theology: Browse volumes on Lancaster County; Mennonite and Amish history and theology; and Lutheran, Reformed, Brethren, and Quaker records from southeastern Pennsylvania.
  • Music: Explore extensive church-music resources, including the Martin E. Ressler Collection of over 4,500 hymnals.
  • Pennsylvania German Arts and Culture: Study photographs, fraktur, furniture, or fabric art from the archives and museum, and read books on decorative arts, cooking, language, literature, and agriculture.
  • Rare Books and Unpublished Manuscripts: Examine collections of early family Bibles, the Ausbund, the Martyrs Mirror, records of Atlantic Coast Mennonite Conference and Lancaster Mennonite Conference, and more.

Some archival collections are available by appointment only.

Become a member today!

Society members receive free use of the library, archives, and online resources; a 10% discount on new books and other select store items; reduced fees on field trips, folk-art classes, and the Lancaster Family History Conference; a subscription to the quarterly magazine, Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage, and the bimonthly newsletter, the Mirror; and free admission to the museum.

1719 Herr House & Museum

The 1719 Herr House, built by Christian and Anna Herr, is the oldest surviving house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It has been restored to showcase the life of Lancaster’s first European settlers.

The Lancaster Longhouse hearkens back to a time before European contact when the Conoy, Lenape, Susquehannock, and other tribes made their homes in Lancaster County. Come to understand the culture and customs of those who met European settlers in this unique interactive outdoor exhibit.

The 1719 Herr House & Museum offers much more than the two houses. Exhibit halls showcase the development of agricultural implements and farm life, including woodworking tools, furniture from the Herr House, and even a Conestoga wagon.