Mulder family

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Mulder, a common Dutch family name, both Mennonite and non-Mennonite, the Dutch word mulder meaning miller. There have been a number of Mennonite ministers by this name, among whom were Claes Mulder, a mason, who was a (lay) preacher at den Burg on the island of Texel until 1710, and at Rotterdam 1710-1725, and Abraham Mulder (born 1893), who at first was an archivist and then became a Mennonite (lay) pastor and served at Aardenburg 1932-1941, Giethoorn 1941-1946, and Dordrecht 1946. He published some papers on Mennonite history; e.g., "De oudste bewaard gebleven brieven van onze Middelburgse gemeente," "Voordopers Doperdom," and "Menno Simons' Uitgang uit het Pausdom," all published in Doopsgezind Jaarboekje, 1930, 1934, and 1936. He also wrote Uit Verleden en Heden van de Doopsgezinde Zending (n.p., 1947), a booklet to commemorate the centennial of the Dutch Mennonite Mission Association. -- vdZ.

Of special interest is the Mennonite Mulder family found in the "peat colonies" district in the Dutch province of Groningen. Its ancestor (1) Hindrik Wichersz moved from Giethoorn to Veendam to break up the peat moors (the peat being used as fuel), as did the two following generations, being at the same time landowners and farmers. From about 1750 the members of this family are also engaged in business. Most of them then lived at Sappemeer. Since about 1860 many of them have been in the professions as engineers, bankers, teachers, and lawyers, spreading all over the Netherlands, and even migrating to South Africa. This Mulder family is related by marriage to other Mennonite families such as Calkema, Van der Goot, Meihuizen, Romkes, Ubbens, and Verveld.

Two grandsons of (1) Hindrik Wichersz were Mennonite preachers at Sappemeer; viz., (2) Hendrik Jacobsz, a farmer, serving the Waterlander congregation 1700-1733, and his brother (3) Harm Jacobsz, a tanner, serving the same congregation 1730-1772 and the united Waterlander and Groningen Old Flemish congregation 1772-1780. The eldest son of (3) Harm Jacobsz, (4) Jacob Harms, was the first to take the family name of Mulder. He had a textile shop at Hoogezaod. His brother (5) Heike Harms Mulder, an oil miller, was a preacher of the Sappemeer congregation 1786-1833, with which both the Old and New Swiss Mennonite congregations of Sappemeer had merged. He was the last unsalaried minister of this congregation. Great-grandsons of his were (6) Edsge Marten Mulder (1844-1922), who after studying at the Mennonite Theological Seminary served the congregation of Wormer-Jisp 1869-71, and then resigned to study medicine, afterwards being a physician at Graneker, and his brother (7) Marten Edsge Mulder (1847-1928), professor of ophthalmology at the University of Groningen. A great-grandson of (4) Jacob Harms Mulder was (8) Alje Mulder (born 1846 at Groningen, died 1919 at Groningen), who after studying at the Mennonite Theological Seminary served as pastor at Wormer-Jisp 1873-74, Zijldijk 1874-88, and Leermens-Loppersum 1888-1905, retiring in 1905.

A number of members of the Mulder family in the 19th century left the Mennonite Church, joining the Reformed and the "Gereformeerde" (Calvinist- Reformed) churches. -- GNS


Huizinga, J. Stamboek van Fiepke Foppes en Diever Olferts. Groningen, 1887.

Huizinga, J. Stamboek . . . van Samuel Peter en Barbara Fry. Groningen, 1890.

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam, 1731, 1743, 1755, 1757, 1766, 1769, 1775, 1780, 1782, 1784, 1786, 1787, 1789, 1791, 1793, 1802, 1804, 1806, 1808, 1810, 1815, 1829.

de Waard, E. et al. De Waarden en het Geslacht de Waard. n.p., n.d.—Groningen, 1937.

Family papers.

Author(s) G. N. Schutter
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Schutter, G. N. and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Mulder family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 21 Jun 2024.

APA style

Schutter, G. N. and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1957). Mulder family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 June 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 767. All rights reserved.

©1996-2024 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.