Fretz (Frätz, Fraetz) family

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Fretz was the name of a Mennonite family in the Palatinate, Germany, in the 18th century, likely of Swiss origin. A Markus Frätz was a deacon at Ziehmerhof in the Upper Palatinate in 1731. Three years later a Christian Fraetz arrived in North America. Most of the families bearing the Fretz name in the Mennonite Church have lived in the Franconia Conference area or in Ontario. Most Mennonite North American Fretz family members have descended from two brothers, John and Christian Fretz, who emigrated from near Mannheim in the Palatinate to Deep Run in Bucks County, PA between 1710 and 1720. The former's son John Fretz (1730-1826) moved to Ontario in 1800, where he was ordained a deacon in the Moyer congregation in Vineland in 1801. A number of ministers and deacons named Fretz have served in the Franconia and Ontario Mennonite Church (MC) conferences. A very influential and vigorous General Conference Mennonite Church (GCM) minister from this family was the Eastern District minister, Allen M. Fretz (1853-1943), ordained as preacher in Deep Run in 1883, and elder in 1892. Clarence Y. Fretz of the Franconia area served for a number of years as minister of the Norris Square Mennonite Church in Philadelphia, and was also a missionary in Luxembourg, serving under the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities (MC). A. J. Fretz has written at least ten family histories of Mennonite families such as Fretz, Funck, Kratz, Meyer, Nish, Oberholtzer, Rosenberger, Swartley, Stauffer, and Wismer. J. Winfield Fretz was a professor at Bethel College and Conrad Grebel College.  J. Herbert Fretz was a pastor (GCM) at Freeman, South Dakota. J. C. Fretz (d. 1956) of Kitchener, Ontario was a historian of the Ontario Mennonites.

Author(s) John C Wenger
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Wenger, John C. "Fretz (Frätz, Fraetz) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 30 Jun 2022.,_Fraetz)_family&oldid=119532.

APA style

Wenger, John C. (1956). Fretz (Frätz, Fraetz) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 June 2022, from,_Fraetz)_family&oldid=119532.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 395-396. All rights reserved.

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