Clemens (Clemons, Clemmens, Cleman, Clementz) family

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Clemens is a Mennonite family name which appears in the early Palatine Mennonite census list. The list indicates that as early as 1664 a person named Jan Clamens was living at Niederflörsheim. (Some researchers trace the name back to Clement of Toft, England, of the 16th century.) In 1672 Johann Clemeintz as deacon signed a letter of appeal sent to the Amsterdam Mennonites. In 1685 he is listed as still living as an old man at the same place. The first member of the family to come to North America was Gerhardt Clemens, who was probably born in 1680. He left the Palatinate and arrived in Pennsylvania in 1709, settling in Skippack, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Some of his descendants moved to adjacent Chester County. In 1809 another of his descendants, Abraham Clemens, migrated to Waterloo Township, Ontario, where a number of descendants continued to live. Several of these Canadian Clemenses moved to the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Although some Clemens families continued to be found in Michigan and Missouri as well as a few other states, by far the largest number has been concentrated in Montgomery County.

Four deacons named Clemens served the Mennonite churches in the Waterloo Township, Ontario, district during the 19th century. They were Abram C. (1803-72), Abram L. (1781-1845), Abram S. (1790-1867), and Henry L. (1802-76). A very active member of the Clemens family in Mennonite Church (MC) affairs was Jacob Cassel Clemens (1874-1965), who served as the first secretary of the Franconia Conference 1909-1950, a minister in the same conference beginning in 1906, a member of the Mennonite Publication Board for many years, and author of the Clemens family history listed below.


Clemens, Jacob C. Genealogical History of the Clemens Family and Descendants of the Pioneer, Gerhart Clemens. Lansdale, Pa: The Clemens family, 1948.

Hallman, E. S. The Hallman-Clemens Genealogy with a Family's Reminiscence. Tuleta, TX: E. S. Hallman Family, 1950?

Eby, Ezra E., Joseph Buchanan Snyder, and Eldon D. Weber. A Biographical History of Early Settlers and Their Descendants in Waterloo Township. Kitchener, Ont: Eldon D. Weber, 1971. Available online at or in multiple electronic formats at

Author(s) James R Clemens
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Clemens, James R. "Clemens (Clemons, Clemmens, Cleman, Clementz) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 13 Apr 2024.,_Clemmens,_Cleman,_Clementz)_family&oldid=119463.

APA style

Clemens, James R. (1953). Clemens (Clemons, Clemmens, Cleman, Clementz) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 April 2024, from,_Clemmens,_Cleman,_Clementz)_family&oldid=119463.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 621. All rights reserved.

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