Matthias Jacobs van Bebber (d. ca. 1730), one of two sons of Jacob Isaacs van Bebber of the Krefeld group of early Mennonite-Quaker immigrants, is believed to have emigrated to Germantown with a group of Palatinate Mennonites about the year 1687. Little of his background is known except that he is designated as a merchant in several documents pertaining to land grants he made in Pennsylvania in 1703. In 1689 (one report says 1702) he bought the land of Dirck Sipman in Pennsylvania (5,000 acres), who had taken over the property (1,000 acres) of Govert Remke. Both were among the first six Krefeld land buyers in America, but had not emigrated. Van Bebber's property covered the present Perkiomen Township. In 1717 he sold a tract of 100 acres to a group of Mennonite settlers for a nominal sum and specified that it should be set aside as a site for a church and a schoolhouse. About 1725 the first Mennonite church in the Skippack district was erected on this tract; it was the second Mennonite meetinghouse in America. Van Bebber himself, however, never lived in his own township but moved to Cecil County, Maryland, where he continued his life as a merchant and gentleman and was even a justice of the peace in that community. In 1699 he translated a letter of H. J. van Akon, who wrote to William Penn in Europe asking that the latter plead for more toleration for the Dutch Quakers in the yearly High Dutch proclamation.
Cassel, Daniel K. Geschichte der Mennoniten: von Menno Simons’ Austritt aus der Römisch-Katholischen Kirche in 1536 bis zu deren Auswanderung nach Amerika in 1683 ; mehr speciell ihre Ansiedlung und Ausbreitung in Amerika. Enthaltend: kurze Skizzen der einzelnen Gemeinden mit den Namen ihrer Prediger vom Jahre 1683 bis zur gegenwärtigen Zeit. Philadelphia: J. Kohler, 1890: 78, 81-86.
Grund und Lager Buch of Germantown: 189, 277, 289, 306.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 148.
Hull, William Isaac. William Penn and the Dutch Quaker Migrations to Pennsylvania. Swarthmore, PA, Swarthmore College, c1935: 215, 235, 254.
Pennypacker, Samuel W. Genealogische aantekeningen omtrent het geslacht van Bebber. Handwritten manuscript in English listed in Catalogus der werken over de Doopsgezinden en hunne geschiedenis aanwezig in de bibliotheek der Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam. Amsterdam: J.H. de Bussy, 1919: 344.
Pennypacker, Samuel W. The settlement of Germantown, Pennsylvania, and the beginning of German immigration to North America. Philadelphia : W. J. Campbell, 1899: 141-142.
Wenger, J. C. History of the Mennonites of the Franconia Conference. Telford, PA: Franconia Mennonite Historical Society, 1937. Reprinted: [Lititz, PA? : Publication Board of the Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church], 1985: 96.
|Author(s)||James R Clemens|
 Cite This Article
Clemens, James R. "Bebber, Matthias Jacobs van (d. ca. 1730)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 11 Mar 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bebber,_Matthias_Jacobs_van_(d._ca._1730)&oldid=107104.
Clemens, James R. (1953). Bebber, Matthias Jacobs van (d. ca. 1730). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 11 March 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bebber,_Matthias_Jacobs_van_(d._ca._1730)&oldid=107104.
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