Noë family

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Noë, a Mennonite family of Belgian Brabant, lived in Antwerp. François Noë and Pereira de Mol were married there and about 1568 fled to Hamburg from Alba's catchpolls. François, the oldest of their children, became a rather wealthy man in Hamburg. Closely connected with the name of his son François Noë II is the first blossoming of the village of Altona and also the formation of a Mennonite congregation in Altona. For it was François Noë II to whom Count Ernst von Schauenburg translated into action his proclamation of freedom to practice the crafts. The count assigned to Noë a place near Altona where he could build houses and settle people of all faiths, without the guilds being permitted to object. Under Ernst's successor the boundaries were more sharply defined. By thinking of his brethren in inviting settlers, Noë laid the foundation of the Altona congregation; for freedom of religion went hand-in-hand with freedom of crafts. Services were, of course, held in private. At the same time Noë had become a wealthy landowner, building nine houses in three years, many more than any other "privileged" person.

Little is known of Noë's business. He delivered to the count a sort of plush. The craftsmen he had brought in did not work for him, but only paid him rent, which in Hamburg was more expensive than in Altona. Nor is much known of his life. He died before 1636, for in that year his name in the record is followed by "deceased." None of his descendants showed his skill. They were soon lost to the Mennonite brotherhood.

Joost Noë, also a Mennonite, perhaps a relative of François, who later fled from Antwerp to Franeker in Friesland, was a friend of the martyr Lenaert Plovier (Martyrs' Mirror, where he is erroneously called Nose). Other members of the Noë family, of which there are still some Mennonite descendants, are found in the 17th century at Danzig, in West Prussia (Kordt Noweh von Hamburg was a member of the Danzig congregation in 1681), Leeuwarden, and Amsterdam.


Bolton, Johann Adrian. Johann Adrian Bolten's Historische Kirchen-Nachrichten von der Stadt Altona und deren verschiedenen Religions-Partheyen, von der Herrschaft Pinneberg und von der Grafschaft Ranzau. Altona, gedruckt von Eckstorff dem Jüngern. Verlegt von J. F. Hammerich, 1790-1791: I.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doopsgesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, 1685: Part II, 270.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 641. Available online at:

Dollinger, R. Geschichte der Mennoniten in Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg und Lübeck. Neumünster i. H.: K. Wachholtz, 1930.

Ehrenberg, R. "Gewerbefreiheit und Zunftzwang in Ottensen und Altona 1543-1640," in Altona unter Schauenburgischer Herrschaft (1892).

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 264 f.

Roosen, B. C. Geschichte der Mennoniten-Gemeinde zu Hamburg und Altona: erste Hälfte, die ersten anderthalb Jahrhunderte. Hamburg, 1886: 10 f., 25, 29, 32 f, 36, 44.

Wumkes, G. A. Stads- en Dorpskroniek van Friesland. Leeuwarden, 1934: 86, 313, 554.

Author(s) Otto Schowalter
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

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MLA style

Schowalter, Otto and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Noë family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 20 Jul 2018.

APA style

Schowalter, Otto and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1957). Noë family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 July 2018, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 889-890. All rights reserved.

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