Württemberg Minorities

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Waldensians in Württemberg[edit | edit source]

The Waldensian religious refugees from the French Val Cluson and Piedmont region of Italy settled early in and around Württemberg. The origin of their faith, arguably, began in France with evidence of earlier followers in Italy after their founder Peter Waldo, during the 12th century, became a pre-reformation period Protestant leader. He lived in Lyon, France and his followers were later greatly persecuted during the Counter-Revolution. Some of the localities where they settled by the end of 1699, were the villages of Pinache, Durrmenz, Nagold, Perouse, Nordhausen, Gochsheim, Wiernsheim and others, including Stuttgart and Cannstatt. These Protestant religious refugees fled from Louis XIV. They were given land in Württemberg to build their homes.

The older French settlers maintained their French language while the younger soon adapted to the German language and dialects of the Schwarzwald area that they settled into. The Waldensians maintained their own schools and churches in the early German years.

Many later immigrated to Pennsylvania along with other early German immigrants after having climatized to their new German home.

If your ancestor was a Waldensian some interesting articles to read can be found at the following links and in the following books: