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Pannabecker (Pannebacker, Pennebacker, Panabaker, Pennypacker, and Pfannebaker), a Mennonite family name going back to the Dutch "pannen-bakker" or tile baker. Samuel W. Pennypacker, former governor of Pennsylvania and historian, traces the name back to 1568 at Gorcum, Holland, where Jan Pannebakker and his wife were executed as Anabaptist martyrs, the former at the stake and the latter by drowning. Members of the family fled to Germany whence, c1695, Hendrick Pannebecker of Flamborn near Worms in the Palatinate immigrated to Germantown, PA. There he married Eve Umstadt who had arrived in 1685, and became the progenitor of most of the Pannabeckers in America. A brother Frederick is said to have located in Kentucky about the same time but was not so well known. Hendrick Pannebecker located on the Skippack in Montgomery County, PA, working as a surveyor for William Penn, where he is said to have surveyed the van Bebber tract. His grandsons Matthias and Henry Pannebecker were Mennonite preachers, the former being bishop at Phoenixville, PA. Matthias was zealous in the pulpit and in practical life and took his nonresistant belief so seriously he is reported to have taken the bolts and bars off his house doors and never locked drawers or cupboards. Cornelius Pannebecker, blacksmith and preacher, a great-grandson of Hendrick, migrated in 1810 from Montgomery County to Waterloo County, ON, and became the ancestor of the numerous Pannebacker families in Ontario. In 1957 S. F. Pannabecker was president of Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Chicago and his brother R. P. Pannabecker was an elder of the United Missionary Church in northern Indiana.


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Panabaker, D. N.. "Panabaker Family History." in Waterloo Historical Society, Twenty-Fifth Annual Report . . . 1937. Kitchener, 1939.

Pennypacker, S. W. Annals of Phoenixville and its Vicinity. Philadelphia, 1872.

Pennypacker, S. W. Hendrick Pannebecker. Philadelphia, 1894.

Author(s) S. F Pannabecker
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Pannabecker, S. F. "Pannabecker." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 12 Aug 2022.

APA style

Pannabecker, S. F. (1959). Pannabecker. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 12 August 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 114-115. All rights reserved.

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