Donner, Johann (1771-1830)

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Johann Donner: the son and successor of Heinrich Donner as elder of the Orlofferfelde Mennonite Church, West Prussia, 1805-1830; born 26 September 1771 in Schönsee, Prussia, the son of Heinrich Donner (14 September 1735, Danzig - 2 January 1805, Orlofferfelde, Prussia) and Elisabeth (Stobbe) Donner (ca. 1745 - 18 November 1805, Orlofferfelde, Prussia). Johann was married for the first time on 28 October 1794 in Orlofferfelde, Prussia to Helena (Bestvater) Quiring (d. 1798, Beiershorst, Prussia). They had at least two children. Johann was married for the second time in 1799 to Maria Grunau (1779 - 18 October 1810); they had five children. Johann died 4 May 1830 in Beiershorst, Prussia.

Johann was baptized in 1788 in the Orlofferfelde Mennonite Church, where his father was the elder. Johann was elected to the ministry on 24 February 1805 and as elder on 29 September 1805. He equaled his father in importance to the Mennonite churches in Prussia. He possessed an education quite unusual among the rural population of the time, knew the Bible from memory so that he could locate any passage at once, wrote much in the interest of his fellow believers, was their spokesman in five different deputations sent to Berlin to present the Mennonite cause to the king or the cabinet. He continued the chronicle his father had begun. By his warm, pious, upright personality he contributed to the elimination of friction between the Frisian and Flemish churches in West Prussia.

Johann Donner owned a farm in Beyershorst, and died there in 1830. His valuable autobiography is published in the Gemeinde-Kalender for 1932, pp. 74-103.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.02 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2010: #694635.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 463.

Author(s) H. G. Mannhardt
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published December 2010

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MLA style

Mannhardt, H. G. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Donner, Johann (1771-1830)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2010. Web. 24 Jul 2024.,_Johann_(1771-1830)&oldid=118087.

APA style

Mannhardt, H. G. and Richard D. Thiessen. (December 2010). Donner, Johann (1771-1830). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 July 2024, from,_Johann_(1771-1830)&oldid=118087.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 84. All rights reserved.

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