Thiessen (Thiesen, Tiessen, Tyssen, Tieszen) family

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The Thiessen family name is common among Mennonites of Prusso-Russian background, and was first entered in the Danzig record in 1685. The name was common in Tiegenhagen, Ladekopp, Rosenort, Fürstenwerder, Heubuden, Elbing, and Königsberg. Bernhard Thiessen was a minister at Ibersheim, Germany. Dirk Tiessen was a preacher of the Old Flemish Grosswerder congregation, serving as elder of the Petershagen district, and of the entire Grosswerder congregation from 1767-1806. Peter Thiessen Sr. and Peter Thiessen Jr. were preachers in the Danzig Flemish church from 1774 and 1800. 

From Prussia the name was transplanted to Russia. B. H. Unruh lists seventeen bearers of the name who moved to Russia. Outstanding among them was Johann Thiessen, who owned a flourmill in Ekaterinoslav and was a benefactor of Mennonite causes. He was killed in 1920. Julius J. Thiessen, of the Molotschna, Russia, was an outstanding minister and teacher. Jacob Thiessen, b. 1888 at Olgafeld in Fürstenland, Russia, immigrated to the Netherlands in 1914, and served as minister in the Mennonite congregations of Ouddorp 1939-45 and Blokzijl 1946-1953. John Thiessen, of North Newton, Kansas, was a missionary in India and in 1958 was executive secretary of the Board of Missions of the General Conference Mennonite Church (GCM). Jacob J. Thiessen, pastor of the First Mennonite Church of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was chair of the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization and president of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada for many years. Franz C. Thiessen was an able educator and minister of the Mennonite Brethren in Canada. Dirk P. Tieszen was a minister (GCM) at Marion, South Dakota. His son Edward D. Tieszen was the owner of the Tieszen Clinic at Marion.


Reimer, Gustav E. Die Familiennamen der westpreussischen Mennoniten. Weierhof, 1940: 119.

Töws, A. A. Mennonitische Märtyrer I. N. Clearbrook, BC, 1949: 151.

Unruh, B. H. Die niederländisch-niederdeutschen Hintergründe der mennonitischen Ostwanderungen im 16., 18. und 19. Jahrhundert. Karlsruhe-Rüppurr, 1955.

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Krahn, Cornelius and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Thiessen (Thiesen, Tiessen, Tyssen, Tieszen) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 24 Jun 2018.,_Tiessen,_Tyssen,_Tieszen)_family&oldid=61308.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1959). Thiessen (Thiesen, Tiessen, Tyssen, Tieszen) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 June 2018, from,_Tiessen,_Tyssen,_Tieszen)_family&oldid=61308.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 711-712. All rights reserved.

©1996-2018 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.