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Janjacobsgezinden, a branch of Dutch Mennonites, the followers of Jan Jacobsz, who in 1599 separated from the Old Frisians. This schism is described in Noodwendighe Verclaringhe van 't verscheel ende Questie geresen tusschen Ian Iacobsz van Harlinghen met sijne medehulpers ende tusschen Pieter Ielties van Collum met sijne medestanders. The Janjacobs group was a conservative, austere group, who did not allow their members to have contact, either in trade or in private conversation, with "worldly" people. They were severe in banning and for this reason they often had difficulties with the magistrates (Leeuwarden, Bolsward, Ameland, Terschelling). As in the days of Menno Simons their elders traveled around to administer baptism and communion. The names of most of them have been preserved: first Jan Jacobsz himself, then Zille Douwes, Hans Janssen, Seerp Sybrands, Cornelis Jarichs, Jacob Theunis, Laurens Jansen, Jacob Claassen, Jacob Gerrits, Sikke Tjerks, Jan Tjerks, Joris Jacobs, and Jacob Jansen. The baptismal lists of some of them, in which they noted down the number of persons they baptized in each congregation, have been preserved; Cornelis Jarichs baptized no fewer than 1,040 persons. Some of the elders also visited Prussia and baptized there, but it is not yet known which Prussian church belonged to the Janjacobs group. The Janjacobsgezinden adopted their own hymnbook in 1613: Eenighe Gheestelijcke Liedekens made by Jan Jacobsz, and a sequel to it, Eenighe Nieuwe Gheestelijcke Liedekens. This hymnbook was used until the 18th century. The Janjacobs group numbered at first about 20 congregations, all but two, Hoorn and Amsterdam, in the province of Friesland. Most of them were always small in membership, except Ameland, which as late as 1804 numbered 432 members. The total number of male baptized members in 1666 in Friesland is said to have been 643. By 1700 eight of their congregations had disappeared, and in the 18th century, when the Janjacobsgezinden were usually—erroneously—called Old Flemish Mennonites, all their congregations were dissolved but Ameland, which did not unite with the other Mennonites on this island until 1855.


Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Friesland. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff, 1839: 311.

Cramer, Samuel and Fredrik Pijper. Bibliotheca Reformatoria Neerlandica. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1903-1914: VII, 213-215.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1861): 87; (1874): 59; (1889): 6-13, 16, 18 f, 28-50; (1890): 1-38.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 389.

Loosjes, J. "Jan Jacobsz en de Jan-Jacobsgezinden." Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis 11 (The Hague, 1914): Issue 3, 185-240.

Mennonitische Blätter (1890): 125 ff.

Rues, S. F. Tegenwoordige Staet. Amsterdam, 1745: 71.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Janjacobsgezinden." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 26 Sep 2023. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Janjacobsgezinden&oldid=145507.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1957). Janjacobsgezinden. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 September 2023, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Janjacobsgezinden&oldid=145507.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 86-87. All rights reserved.

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