Sepp family

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Sepp, a Dutch Mennonite family, whose ancestor (1) Christian Sepp was born about 1700 at Goslar, Germany, where his father was the assistant rector of the Latin school. Christian Sepp was a merchant, first at Hamburg, then at Amsterdam. Here he founded a bookshop and printing office, which for nearly one hundred years was leading in the Netherlands. It is not clear whether this Christian Sepp joined the Mennonite Church. He died in 1775 at Amsterdam. His son was (2) Jan Christiaan Sepp (1739-1811), whose first wife was Sara Focking (1745-73) and who was a renowned map engraver and bookseller in Amsterdam. He was well known for his fine collection of butterflies and insects, and he edited a number of famous books on flowers (Flora Batava), insects, and birds. In collaboration with Cornelis Nozeman, a Remonstrant minister of Rotterdam, he published Nederlandsche Vogelen in five volumes; after the death of Nozeman and Sepp this work was continued by Martinus Houttuyn. Sepp himself made some of the beautiful pictures in this book. Besides these and other books (Beschouwingen der Wonderen Gods) he also managed the publication of some Mennonite hymnals. Sepp was a man of great influence in Amsterdam; he was one of the founders of the association "Felix Meritis," which promoted public lectures on scientific themes, many of these lectures having been held by Sepp himself. In 1781 he was chosen as preacher of the Danzig Old Flemish (Bij de Kruikjes) congregation of Amsterdam; in 1787, when this congregation merged with the Zonist church, he became a Zonist minister until he retired in 1801.

Among his sons were: (3) Christian Sepp (1773-1835), who was superintendent of the police at Amsterdam, a pious man, who translated and published some works by Jung-Stilling into Dutch; (4) Jan Sepp (1778-1853), like his father the manager of the bookshop and printing office at Amsterdam, and (5) Hendrik Albert Sepp (1807-31), who was a lay minister at Knollendam 1830-31. (6) Cornelis Sepp (1810-68), the son of Jan Sepp (4), continued the printing and publishing business of his father and his grandfather. Another son of Jan Sepp (4) was (7) Christiaan (1820-90), a Mennonite minister and church historian. (8) Jan Sepp, a son of Cornelis (6) (born 1847 at Amsterdam, died 1905 at Beverwijk), studied at the Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary and served as minister at Witmarsum-Pingjum 1871-73 and Beverwijk 1873-1905. He published Gedachten des Bijbels (1876), Gedachtenis aan Doopbediening en eersten Avondmaalsgang (Beverwijk, 1889), and some sermons; his paper, "De nieuwe gezangbundels der Amsterdamsche gemeente," is found in Doopsgezinde Bijdragen of 1872. He and H. Boetje composed a new hymnal for the Dutch Mennonite congregations, usually called Leidsche Bundel.

(9) Alidus Anne Sepp (born 1881 at Beverwijk), a son of Jan Sepp (8), was at first an office clerk; after studying theology at the University and the Mennonite Seminary of Amsterdam he served as minister in the following Mennonite congregations: Witmarsum-Pingjum 1914-18, Edam 1918-26, Veenwouden 1926-30, Westzaan 1930-34, and Zaandam-Oost 1934-44. He published Achter de Maaiers (Hillegom, no date indicated), a few Biblical plays, and a set of catechetical booklets. In 1932-42 he was secretary of the Algemeene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit. Because of Nazi sympathies during World War II he took residence in Germany and never returned to Holland.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1898): 21 note 2; (1902): 12 and following; (1905): 208.

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: II, No, 1417, II, 2, No. 231.

Molhuysen, P. C. and P. J. Blok. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, 10 vols. Leiden, 1911-1937: III, 1168; V, 719-25.

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam, 1815: 49 f.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Sepp family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 21 Sep 2020.

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Sepp family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 September 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 501-502. All rights reserved.

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