Decker (Dekker) family

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Decker (Dekker) is a Mennonite and Hutterite family name of Old Flemish background in West Prussia. It was first mentioned at Schönsee (Sosnovka) in 1695. From here it spread to Poland and Russia. The name is now found among American Mennonites of Polish and Hutterite background.

The Klein-Geschichtsbuch (ed. Zieglschmid, 1947, 369) gives a brief account of how the Deckers joined the Hutterites. In 1783, two Hutterite brethren from Russia visited the Mennonites in Prussia, and were well received by Elder Gerhard Wiebe of Ellerwald. From there they traveled along the Vistula to visit Abraham Nickel, deacon of the Schönsee Mennonite Church (now Poland). It was at this place that 15 Mennonites joined the Hutterite delegation to unite with their community at Vyshenka, Russia. Among these 15 was Els Decker, a widow with five small children. The Klein-Geschichtsbuch mentions particularly Benjamin Decker as a member of a delegation to the authorities in Odessa, petitioning for more land (about 1842). When the Hutterian Brethren began their emigration to the United States in 1874, a Johann Decker is named among the first group to leave Russia. These people then settled in South Dakota, known there as the Schmiedeleut Hutterites. David Dekker, a grandson of Johann D., was the Vorsteher of the Tschetter Bruderhof, Mount Olivet, South Dakota, which is also the home of four other Dekker families (Michel, Paul, Jacob, Joseph). Another Dekker family was among the pioneers of the Old Elmspring Colony, founded by the Lehrerleut Hutterites. A Samuel Dekker was preacher at Rock Lake Colony, Alberta.

See also Dekker (Decker) family


Zieglschmid, Andreas Johannes Friedrich. Das Klein-Geschichtsbuch der hutterischen Brüder. Cayley, Alta.: Macmillan Colony, 1974: 369.

Author(s) Robert Friedmann
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Friedmann, Robert. "Decker (Dekker) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 15 Aug 2022.

APA style

Friedmann, Robert. (1956). Decker (Dekker) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 15 August 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 25. All rights reserved.

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