Doubs is a department in eastern France on the Swiss border, formed from the province of Franche Comté. In 1816 most of the county of Montbéliard was added to it, which was ceded by Prince Eugene of Württemberg to France in 1796. Count Leopold Eberhard of Montbéliard and Württemberg had accepted Mennonite refugees from Switzerland and Alsace in the first half of the 18th century as renters on his numerous farms. Into the 20th century there was sporadic immigration. In the southwest part of Doubs, which was not a part of the county of Montbéliard, the intolerance of the French kings prevented any Mennonite settlement.
Their proximity to the Swiss border and ties of relationship enabled the Mennonites here to keep the German language for a long time in the French environment. In religious respects they also had the advantage of living among a Lutheran population. The French language was not used in religious services until the 20th century.
Mennonites in the department of the Doubs formed the two congregations of Montbéliard and Seigne. At the beginning of the 20th century the latter had decreased to a few families because members moved away, some into Switzerland and Alsace (see Courgenay). Montbéliard is thus today the only Mennonite church in the department of Doubs.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: I: 470.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 95. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Schowalter, Paul. "Doubs (France)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/doubs_france.
APA style: Schowalter, Paul. (1956). Doubs (France). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/doubs_france.