Coolman family

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Coolman was a Dutch Mennonite family of mostly farmers. This family goes back, as far as is known, to Fiepke Fokkes, who is said to have been born in 1630, and who was a farmer at De Meeden in the Dutch province of Groningen. From the third generation on their descendants spread all over the province of Groningen, and are found as members of nearly all Mennonite congregations of this province. The name of Coolman does not appear, it seems, before 1790; in this year the records of the Mennonite congregation of Noordbroek mention the name of Fiepke Olferts Coolman, who seems to have assumed this name, which henceforth regularly was used by his sons and his further descendants.

The members of this family nearly all belonged to the Groninger Old Flemish Mennonites. Fiepke Olferts (1692-1729) of Midwolda married (1717) the great-granddaughter of the well-known Old Flemish Elder Uco Walles. Many members of the family have served as deacons, and Fiepke Harms (b. 1690, d. 1759), a farmer of de Meeden, was chosen as a preacher of the Meeden congregation in 1725.

In the course of time the Coolman family, which is known for its outstanding farming (agriculture), has become allied by marriage to other Mennonite families living in this province of Groningen, like Boer, van Calcar, ten Cate, van Cingel, Hesselink, Huizinga, Meihuizen, and others.

A collateral branch of the Coolman family (the name is in the 18th century also spelled Koolman) is the ten Doornkaat Koolman family.

Fiepke Olferts Koolman, first a farmer at Midwolda, then a distiller of brandy at Pekela, married (1771) Annegien ten Doornkaat, who was a daughter of Jan ten Doornkaat. (This Jan ten Doornkaat was originally from Hengelo, in the province of Overijssel, where his family is found from about 1650; he settled as a wood-dealer in Noordbroek, province of Groningen.) The son of Fiepke Olferts Koolman and Annegien ten Doornkaat was called Jan ten Doornkaat Koolman. He moved to Norden, East Friesland, Germany, where he married Antje Doedes Cremer (see Cremer family) and founded the still existing world-famed distillery.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1902): 113.

Huizinga, J.  Stamboek . . . van Fiepke Foppes en Diever Olferts. Groningen, 1887.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Coolman family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 15 May 2021.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1953). Coolman family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 15 May 2021, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 707. All rights reserved.

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