Bebber, Matthias Jacobs van (d. ca. 1730)

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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 immigrated 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.


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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
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Clemens, James R. "Bebber, Matthias Jacobs van (d. ca. 1730)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 29 Sep 2022.,_Matthias_Jacobs_van_(d._ca._1730)&oldid=143909.

APA style

Clemens, James R. (1953). Bebber, Matthias Jacobs van (d. ca. 1730). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 September 2022, from,_Matthias_Jacobs_van_(d._ca._1730)&oldid=143909.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 257. All rights reserved.

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