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Van (von) Riesen, a Mennonite family found in a number of West Prussian churches (Danzig, Ladekopp, Tiegenhagen, Heubuden, Elbing) from the early 17th century. David von Riesen was a Mennonite preacher. Cornelius von Riesen (b. 1754) who in 1789 moved from Damfeld in the area of Marienburg, Prussia, to Neuendorf, Russia, was from 1794 a preacher of the Frisian Mennonite Old Colony (Chortitza) congregation.

Cornelius Jansen married Helena von Riesen, the daughter of Peter von Riesen, who printed Menno's writings. David Goerz also married a Helene Riesen. Some of the Riesens who joined the Kleine Gemeinde changed their name to Friesen. Many of them settled in Jansen, Nebraska, and Manitoba. Some of the Riesens established the Brudertal Mennonite Church near Hillsboro, Kansas, and others settled in Beatrice, Nebraska. Ronald von Riesen, a General Conference Mennonite minister, served as president of Freeman College 1951-1958.


Reimer, G. E. and G. R. Gaeddert. Exiled by the Czar. Newton, 1956: 4 ff., 191.

Reimer, Gustav E. Die Familiennamen der westpreussischen Mennoniten. Weierhof: Mennonitische Geschichtsverein, 1940: 116.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Riesen, van, family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 9 Feb 2016.,_van,_family&oldid=109947.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Riesen, van, family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 9 February 2016, from,_van,_family&oldid=109947.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 332. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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