Courgenay (Canton Jura, Switzerland)

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Courgenay (German Jennsdorf), a village near Porrentruy (German Pruntrut) in the northwest corner of the canton of Bern, Switzerland, was the  location for the formation of an Amish congregation around 1900, largely of families coming from the Seigne congregation in France. Elder Pierre Ramseyer (ordained 1896) moved from Seigne to near Courgenay in 1903. Members lived on both sides of the Swiss-Alsatian border and the congregation was affiliated with the Alsatian conference. In 1916 the congregation numbered 55 souls, all farmers and scattered in six villages. Services were held in German, biweekly until the death of Elder Ramseyer in 1933. At that time the congregation ceased to exist, remaining members attaching themselves to the neighboring Swiss Mennonite congregations of Lucelle or Porrentruy (see below).

In the same area and the same period as the formation of the Amish Mennonite congregation of Courgenay, there took place an immigration of Swiss Mennonites from the Jura region into the Porrentruy area. Meetings were held monthly in homes, beginning in 1893. Between 1919 and 1939 a hall was rented in Porrentruy; after 1939 the congregation had its own chapel in the nearby village of Courgenay, and thus carried the name Courgenay without being directly related to the earlier congregation of the same name. Elders in the early period were Samuel Gerber (later moved to La Paturatte) and Henri Schmutz; the elder in 1952 was Christian  Schmutz. Services were held in both French and German at that time, the congregation belonging however to the (German-language) Swiss conference. The baptized membership in 1948 was about 70.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 376.

Author(s) John Howard Yoder
Date Published 1953

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MLA style

Yoder, John Howard. "Courgenay (Canton Jura, Switzerland)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 6 Dec 2021.,_Switzerland)&oldid=94262.

APA style

Yoder, John Howard. (1953). Courgenay (Canton Jura, Switzerland). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 December 2021, from,_Switzerland)&oldid=94262.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 725-726. All rights reserved.

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