Martens family

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Martens is a Dutch Mennonite family, of whom there are still a number of descendants. Marten Martens of Sexbierum, a blacksmith at Leeuwarden, Dutch province of Friesland, living there from about 1720, was married to Jitske Hendriks, a daughter of Hendrik Klazes, Mennonite preacher at Leeuwarden. Of their 12 children, the youngest, Sibrant Martens (1741-1816), educated in the Collegiant orphanage "D'Oranjeappel" at Amsterdam, became a Mennonite minister. He served the congregations of Hijum, Friesland, 1776-1783, Noordeind van Graft en Rijp 1783-1784, and 1784-1816 Friedrichstadt on the Eider, then belonging to Denmark, now Germany. He was married to Elsje Woudbeek. Of their three sons, Marten Martens (d. 1852), after training at the Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary, was minister of the congregation of Holwerd, Friesland, 1798-1849. He wrote Feestrede of Dankbare uitboezeming op het eerste Eeuwgetijde der Kweekschool. . . (Groningen, 1836), a rhymed sermon held at Holwerd. A number of letters which he wrote to his father while he was a student and soon after, and which contain important information on this period of Dutch history and on the seminary, are now in the possession of the author of this article. Marten Martens was married to Amelia Johanna Brouwer, a daughter of Petrus Brouwer, Reformed minister of Blija near Holward (this Petrus Brouwer was of Mennonite descent; one of his ancestors was Minne or Menno Brouwer, who was about 1640 a Mennonite preacher in Kollumerland, Friesland, and who, according to a family tradition, was a grandson of Menno Simons, his mother being a daughter of Menno Simons). It is not clear whether Hero Martens of Hijum, who in the early 18th century was a preacher of the Mennonite St-Annakerk-Biltzijl congregation, belonged to this family. Whether E. M. Martens-Dupuy (Amsterdam, 1841-1931), who was a warm promoter of missions and friend of the Gemeetedagbeweging, belonged to this family is uncertain.

There have been a number of Dutch preachers bearing this name, who are known not to have been related to this Martens family: Reinier Martens, ca. 1610 at Molkwerum, Cornelius Martens, elder of the Groningen Old Flemish congregation at Bierum ca. 1625-d.1685, Berend Martens, elder of the Ukowallists in the province of Groningen from 1653.

A widespread Martens (Martensz, Martensen, Martin, Mertens) family, probably not related to these families, but undoubtedly of Dutch descent, was found in West Prussia (Thiensdorf, Orlofferfelde, Rosenort, Elbing, Tiegenhagen, Ladekopp, Fürstenwerder, Heubuden, Danzig, and Königsberg) and later also in Russia and America. In 1930 Heinrich Martens from Russia was the leader of the Mennonite emigration to Brazil. Simon Martensz (d. ca. 1612) was a Mennonite elder at Danzig.


Doopsgezind Jaarboekje (1850): 45 f.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1874): 70 (1879): 3, 9, 10, 13, 87, 92, 111 (1895): 107, 115 (1919): 125, 139-141 (1917): 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: v. II, 1942, 2026, 2925.

Martens family papers.

Reimer, Gustav E. Die Familiennamen der westpreussischen Mennoniten. Weierhof: Mennonitische Geschichtsverein, 1940: 113.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Martens family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 16 Jun 2021.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1957). Martens family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 June 2021, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 512. All rights reserved.

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