Cate, ten, family

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Ten Cate (ten Cathe, or ten Kate) is an extensive family in the Netherlands, originally residing in the district of Twenthe, province of Overijssel, many of whose members belonged to the Mennonite Church. The genealogy of this family has been only partly written. H. A. Vorsterman van Oyen assembled a number of data about the ten Cate family in Stamen Wapenboek van aanzienlijke Nederlandsche Familiën II, 144, 145. The genealogy of the descendants of Teunis Lammerts ten Cate of Borne, Twenthe, then migrating to Friesland, has been written and published by G. ten Cate in Geslachtslijst van den Frieschen tak der familie ten Cate (1896). It seems that there are four or five branches of this family, but it is not clear if and how these branches are connected and go back to one ancestor. It is said that in the 16th century the original residence of this family was a farm at Zenderen near Borne, but they may have lived also at other places in Twenthe.

Rather well known is the genealogy of a branch living at Almelo, Twenthe, from about 1600. This branch was entirely Mennonite; the first known member of this branch is Jan Hermansz ten Cate, b. about 1575. A descendant of this Jan ten Cate is Hendrik ten Cate, b. 1743, who was the founder of the now world-famous textile factories at Almelo, Fa H. ten Cate Hz en Co. In his old notebook this Hendrik ten Cate, who was a cloth merchant, tells how he bought pieces of linen from the farmers in Twenthe, who were weavers during the winter. In 1760 he began to send bales of cloth to the Caribbean Islands, which the captains of the sailing vessels traded for gold and coffee; in the next century they sold the linen here and elsewhere for cash. This kind of trade, selling the linen which was bought from Twenthian home-weavers, lasted until 1860. In this year Egbert ten Cate, a great-grandson of Hendrik, founded a weaving factory at Almelo; the products, now chiefly cotton, were sent to many countries and especially to the Dutch East Indies. The business continued to expand, and in 1898 a second steam-powered weaving mill was founded in Almelo, in 1912 a third one, and in 1929 a fourth one. In 1924 a thread manufactory was founded, the yarns having previously been imported from England. A second spinning mill was put into use in 1929. After 1945 important modernizations, improvements, and enlargements were made, and in 1952 a merger of the Royal Steam Powered Weaveries at Nijverdal with the Almelo factories took place. The large and modern factories conducted by the descendants of the ten Cate family had more than 4,000 looms and 157,000 spinning spindles in the mid-1950s. The annual consumption of cotton amounted to some 6 million kilograms; every week more than three quarters of a million yards of cloth were produced and found their destination both on the home market and in some 30 countries all over the world. The number of employees at that time was more than 5,000.

From olden times weaving was the occupation of the ten Cate family, and not only of the Almelo branch.  The first known members of this family were home-weavers, who at the same time were engaged in agriculture. According to a family tradition they had some contacts with Waldensian weavers in Flanders as early as the 15th century. But this tradition is not very probable. Another tradition states that they had some contacts with Westphalian Anabaptists. This may be possible, though it has not been proved.

Many members of this family since about 1600 have been members of the Mennonite Church. A petition of 10 October 1612, which was sent in the name of "the congregation, who are called Mennonites in Twenthe" to the magistrate of Deventer (Blaupot ten Cate, Groningen II, 59), was signed among others by Arent ten Cate of Goor, Wolter Lammerts (ten Cate) of Enschede, Gerrit Tonnis (ten Cate) en Tonnis Gerrits (ten Cate) of Borne, while Berent Lammerts and Willen Berends of Almelo, who also signed the petition, are supposed to have been members of the ten Cate family too. All these men must have been preachers or deacons of the Mennonite Church. In the baptismal books of all four congregations which now exist in Twenthe (Almelo, Borne, Hengelo, Enschede) the ten Cates are numerous; in the records of other congregations such as Amsterdam bij't Lam, Deventer, Sneek, IJlst, and many others, their names are also found in large numbers.

Many members of this family have served as ministers in Mennonite congregations: Jan Lammerts ten Cate (1638-1678), married to Geertje Kops, was a minister of the Old Flemish congregation of Deventer from 1669 to his death (Doopsgezinde Bijdragen 1919, 49, 60-61); about the same time Jan Jansz ten Cate, b. about 1625 and married to Maria Willink, was preacher at Almelo. Hendrik ten Cate was preacher of the Amsterdam Lamist congregation 1677-1694, and Jan ten Cate at the same church 1677-1679. Wolter ten Cate, minister and elder; Jan Teunis ten Cate (d. 1798) served at Middelie 1781-1783 and Alkmaar 1783-1798; Gerardus ten Cate Thzn, minister at Almelo 1753-1755, West-Zaandam 1755-1772, and again Almelo 1772-1810(?), author of Antwoord op een brief (n.p., n.d.); De wederdoop gewraakt ((n.p., n.d.); Antwoord op de aanspraak van Justus Benevolens (Zaandam, 1758); Kort berigt wegens den Heer Anth. van der Os . . . (n.p., 1765); Historisch Verhaal id, . . . (Zaandam, 1766). In 1777 this Gerardus ten Cate made a proposal in the meeting of the Zonist Sociëteit to unite all the Dutch Mennonites in one conference (Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de., I, No. 940); Isaac ten Cate, b. at Goor, d. 1839 at Noordbroek, was minister there from 1796 to 1839; Egbert David ten Cate, minister at Almelo 1811-1838; Herman Izaaksz ten Cate, d. 1858, minister at Ouddorp, 1824-1828,  Pieterzijl 1828-1858; Herman ten Cate, Herm, zn. (1804-1864), married to Judith Paschen, minister at Hengelo 1829-1864; Lambertus ten Cate Coster, d. 1877, minister at Zwolle 1833-1858; Steven Blaupot ten Cate; Isaac ten Cate Fennema (1810-1886), married to Evadina ten Cate, served at Nijmegen 1834-1860; Herman ten Cate Hoedemaker (1823-1902), married to Geertruid ten Cate, served the following congregations: Mensingeweer 1849-1850, Noordbroek 1850-1852, Grouw 1852-56, and Deventer 1856-89; Gerrit ten Cate; A. Hermansz ten Cate (d. 1920) served the following congregations: Zijldijk 1857-1866, Gorredijk 1866-70, Dantumawoude 1870-1877, Midwolda 1877-1883, Warns 1883-1893, and Oudebildtzijl 1893-1899, in which year he retired. He published De Roeping der kerk (Oosterwolde, 1867), which was a sermon he preached on 7 November 1867 when he dedicated the church of the newly-founded congregation of Appelsga. E. M. ten Cate; Frederik ten Cate (1878-1944), served at Broek op Langendijk 1903-1907, Leermens-Loppersum 1907-1912, Purmerend 1912-1916, Sappemeer 1916-1935, and Leiden 1935-43.

Izaak ten Cate, d. 1839 at Noordbroek, was trained for the ministry by pastor A. S. Cuperus at Knijpe, and appointed ministerial candidate by the church board of Knijpe. He was the father of Steven Blaupot ten Cate and of Herman Izaaksz ten Cate. A Hermansz ten Cate was Herman Izaaksz ten Cate's son.

See also Kate, ten, family


Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Groningen, Overijssel en Oost-Friesland, 2 vols. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff en J. B. Wolters, 1842: II, 59.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1919): 49, 60-61.

Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. I, No. 940

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1953

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Cate, ten, family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 6 Jul 2022.,_ten,_family&oldid=120944.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1953). Cate, ten, family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 July 2022, from,_ten,_family&oldid=120944.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 525-526. All rights reserved.

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