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Messchaert is an old Dutch Mennonite family, whose progenitor Dirk Messchaert (born 1555) came from Meenen, West Flanders, Belgium, and settled in Haarlem, Holland, in 1580. Later the family was distributed in Rotterdam and Hoorn and several villages in North Holland. In Rotterdam, more than 20 members of this family have served as deacons since 1658. They belonged to the Waterlander congregation. Dirk Jans Messchaert, who had been chosen as deacon with some other members, opposed the church board about 1665 because of their complacent attitude to the Collegiants. In Hoorn the Messchaert family belonged to the strict conservative Mennonites. In the 18th century some of them were in sympathy with the pietistic views of the Moravian Brethren (Herrnhuter). Dirk Messchaert of Hoorn, married to Janneken Beets, in 1736 joined this group and sent their son Peter to the Moravian school at Herrnhut. Nicolaas Messchaert of Hoorn in 1771 received a visit from the Count von Zinzendorf. To this family also belonged Nicolaes Messchaert, born 19 July 1774, at Hoorn, died of the plague 13 July 1833, at Utrecht, who had not studied at a university or the Amsterdam Seminary, but was trained by P. van Dokkumburg, pastor of Koog-Zaandijk; he was pastor of the Mennonite church at Noordzijpe (Oude Sluis) 1794, Blokzijl 1796, Grouw 1800, and Rotterdam 1802-1833, and was also a writer and school inspector. In the [[Amsterdam Mennonite Library (Bibliotheek en Archief van de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente te Amsterdam)|library of the Amsterdam Mennonite Church]] some of his sermons are found. He published De zegen van den openbaren Godsdienst (Rotterdam, 1825) a sermon preached at Rotterdam on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the church; a sermon preached at Rotterdam 6 May 1827, commemorating his 25 years as a minister in Rotterdam entitled De Aanmoediging en het Loon van den Getrouwen Evangeliedienaar (Rotterdam, 1827); Leerredenen ter verklaring van het Evangelic van Johannes (Delft, 1825-31); and Onderzoek naar den inhoud en het wezen des Christendoms (Rotterdam, 1835).

Willem Messchert, born 3 March 1790, at Rotterdam, died there 14 February 1844, was a brewer, later a book-dealer, also writer and poet of mediocre talent. He joined the Réveil, a revival movement in Holland, about 1825, and leaving the Mennonite Church he joined the Reformed Church in 1829.

Johannes Martinus Messchaert, born 22 August 1857, at Hoorn, baptized there in 1876, was a concert singer, professor at the conservatory in Amsterdam (1881-1905), the conservatory at Frankfurt (from 1905), the University of Berlin (from 1911), and at the conservatory of Zurich (from 1920). He was a high-minded, gifted, and distinguished artist, who made incomparable achievements in the field of the oratorio as well as the song in all the capitals and music centers of Europe and earned great fame. In Hoorn a monument was erected to him on 24 May 1930; a street had already been named for him both in Hoorn and Amsterdam. His portrait by Jan Veth is in the museum at Amsterdam. In 1885 he married Johanna Jacoba Alma, of an old Mennonite family in Friesland. He died at Zurich, Switzerland on 10 September 1922.


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Author(s) H. F. W. Jeltes
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Jeltes, H. F. W. and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Messchaert (Messchert) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 24 Jun 2017.

APA style

Jeltes, H. F. W. and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1957). Messchaert (Messchert) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 June 2017, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 657. All rights reserved.

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