Gerbens family

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Gerbens was a Mennonite family at Grouw, Dutch province of Friesland. Ruurd Gerbens, after 1680 elder of the Jan Jacobsgezinden at Leeuwarden, wrote Körte Belijdenisse des Christelijken Geloofs . . . (Leeuwarden, 1698, 2nd ed. Groningen, 1717; see Biographisch Woordenboek). In Grouw during the 18th century this family belonged to the Groote Huys (Waterlander) congregation. There some of them were deacons; e.g., Sjoerd Gerbens, who was among the first Mennonites to take a government office (1795) and who was an ancestor of the Binnerts family. About 1800 some members of this family adopted Grouw as their family name.

Ruurd Gerbens van Grouw (d. 1806), likely a brother of Sjoerd, was a preacher of his home church 1763-1797; in 1797 he moved to Berlikum. In 1796-1806 he served the congregation of Molkwerum, where he was the last untrained minister.   (DB)

Tjalling Gerbens van Grouw (another brother?) served the congregation of Zutfen 1762-1763, Middelharnis 1764-1770, and den Hoorn on the island of Texel from 1770 until his death in 1810 (Inv. Arch. Amst.; DB). Cornelis Gerbens van Grouw, apparently another brother, served as preacher at Berlikum in 1783-1790 and at Pieterzijl 1790 - ca. 1812.

Joanaes Gerbens van Grouw was a (untrained) preacher of Berlikum 1754-1760, Dokkum 1760-1771, and De Rijp 1771-1779. He died in 1779 of an epidemic raging in this town (DB).

Romke Gerbens (another brother?), who later assumed the family name of Zuiderbaan, served in 1785-1793 as a (untrained) minister in his home church (Groote Huys) at Grouw. He was active in the political movement of the Patriots and came in conflict with the district government and fled to Emden. Here, though he was already at an advanced age, he attended the Latin school, then studied at the Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary, and served the congregation of (unknown) 1797-1802 and of Blokzijl from 1802 until his death in 1803. Other ministers of this family were Kornelis Ger­ bens van Grouw, about whom nothing further is known, and Gerben Kornelisz van Grouw (died after 1815), preacher at Berlikum 1783-? and Pieterzijl 1790-ca. 1812.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1873): 145; (1881): 49; (1895): 116; (1917): 22, 61.

Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: II, Nos. 1971-1975, 2112-2115, 2117, 2417.

Pasma, F. H. De Doopsgezinden te Grouw. Grouw, 1930: 16 ff.

Visscher, H. and L. A. van Langeraad. Biographisch Woordenboek von Protestantsche Godgeleerden in Nederland. Utrecht, 1903-: III, 216.

Several issues of Naamlijst.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Gerbens family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 17 Sep 2021.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1956). Gerbens family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 September 2021, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 477-478. All rights reserved.

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