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Religious Records Research at the Archives & Library of the Ohio History Connection

Society of Separatists of Zoar

Zoar was settled in 1817 by German religious dissenters. German Separatists left southeastern Germany to escape persecution for their religious beliefs. The Separatists thought that the church should be simple, and they emphasized a mystical and direct relationship with God. In 1819, they organized a self-sufficient society—the Society of Separatists of Zoar—which operated in Tuscarawas County until 1898 when the group disbanded. The Zoarites of Tuscarawas County were among the many communal groups that rejected capitalist society. Citing private property as a source of discontent and jealousy, they held all property in common. In 1898, the few remaining members of the community divided the assets and disbanded.

Many materials related to the Society of Separatists of Zoar, including Hymnals, were written in German and have not been translated.

Below are lists of select archival and library materials related to the Society of Separatists, available for research at the Ohio History Connection Archives & Library. Review the catalog links below, or explore our Online Collections Catalog using a specific church name or related search terms for more information [example search terms: "Society of Separatists", "Society of Separatists of Zoar"].

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