Gilse, van, family

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Van Gilse is a Dutch Mennonite family. As early as 1415 Jan van Gilse is found in the neighborhood of Breda, Dutch province of North Brabant. Obviously he or one of his ancestors received his name after the village of Gilse (now Gilze), situated in the same area. After the Reformation the van Gilses, are found in Rotterdam and Schiedam. In the 17th century they are said to have been Remonstrants.

The first Mennonite of this family seems to have been (1) Cornelis van Gilse, b. 1717 at Schiedam, d. 1796 at Rotterdam. He was a surgeon, married to Geertruy van Maurik from Utrecht, and a deacon of the congregation of Rotterdam in 1749-1753. His son was (2) Jan van Gilse, b. 1756 Rotterdam, d. 1782 at West Zaandam, who was trained for the ministry by Pieter Beets, the preacher of the Hamburg-Altona Mennonite Church, and appointed ministerial candidate in 1774 by the church board of this congregation. In December 1774 at the age of only 19 years he was called to the ministry by the congregation of West Zaandam, where he served until his early death in 1778. He was married to Agatha Middelhoven. His philosophical essay, Over Gods Voorzienigheid, was given an award by the Teyler Theological Society. He also published a sermon, preached 8 July 1781, on 1 Thessalonians 5:12- 13, Redevoering over de Agting . . , (Amsterdam, 1781).

His only son, (3) Jacob van Gilse, b. 1779 at Zaandam, d. there 1835, was a lumber dealer and owner of a sawmill, married Jannetje van Neck, and was the father of (4) Jan van Gilse (1810-1859), Mennonite preacher and professor at the Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary. Of the children of this Jan we name (5) Jacob van Gilse (1836-1917), Mennonite minister, and (6) Alexander Gerard van Gilse, b. 1847 at Amsterdam, d. 1928 at Hilversum, served as Mennonite pastor of Wormer-Jisp 1871-1872, Westzaan-Zuid 1872-1878, Leer in East Friesland 1878-1890, and Zwolle 1890-1922. In 1922 he resigned. He was married (1880) to Henriette J. Brouer of Leer. Jacob's children were (7) Jan van Gilse (1861-1935), a lawyer and member of the Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives), (8) Johan Adam van Gilse (1863-1931), a grain merchant at Groningen, and (9) Jacob van Gilse (1868-1946), police inspector at Rotterdam. A son of Alexander Gerard (6) is (10) Peter H. G. van Gilse, who was born at Leer, 13 May 1881. He was for many years professor of medicine at the University of Leiden, until he resigned in 1951, and a member of the church board of the Mennonite congregation at Leiden, and curator (governor) of the Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary 1941-1951; his son (11)  Alexander Gerard, b. 1923 at Haarlem, was the Mennonite pastor of Joure 1947-1951 and Amersfoort 1951-1953, and after 1 November 1953, director of the Mennonite International Center of Heerewegen at Zeist.


Visscher, H. and L. A. van Langeraad. Biographisch Woordenboek von Protestantsche Godgeleerden in Nederland. Utrecht, 1903-: III, 253 f.

Catalogus der werken over de Doopsgezinden en hunne geschiedenis aanwezig in de bibliotheek der Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam. Amsterdam: J.H. de Bussy, 1919: 253 f.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1864): 105 f.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 115.

Nederland's Patriciaat XXXIX (1953): 87-99.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Gilse, van, family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 24 Mar 2019.,_van,_family&oldid=145248.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1956). Gilse, van, family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 March 2019, from,_van,_family&oldid=145248.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 519-520. All rights reserved.

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