The parents or Mother of the Mountain Dulcimer brings it's roots from German immigrants. The instrument is called a "Scheitholt" and looks similar to a Mountain Dulcimer but without the hourglass design and tone. The immigrants improved on this design and its sound.
The Scheitholt may have derived from an ancient Greek instrument for theoretical education in music and physics, the so called monochord (an oblong wooden box with only one string). Scheitholt originally referred to firewood cut into logs (Scheit = piece, chip; Holz or lower German Holt = wood). Since the 16th century at the latest, the instrument came to be called by this name, presumably because it had a similar shape or size. The best known description of this instrument is by Michael Praetorius in 1619. A number of regional names for the instrument exist.'Hummel' is the predominant Northern German name, meaning bumble-bee (a reference to the humming sound of the drone sounds. Note that the same name was also used of a small kind of German bag pipe for the same reason). In the Bavarian/Austrian region the Scheitholt can be traced back to the 14th century. The fact that similar instruments are found in Asia as well may suggest that there was a common ancestor from the Caucasus that was brought west to central Europe in the Migration Period.