Snep family

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Snep, a former Mennonite family at Haarlem, Holland. Jan Snep in the early 17th century settled at Haarlem, probably coming from Goch, Germany. In Haarlem he joined the High German-Frisian Mennonite congregation, but during the troubles in this congregation he left it to join the Flemish congregation of "den Blok." His son was Isaac Snep, born at Goch in 1612, died at Haarlem 1681, married to Grietje Teyler (died 1681), who was from before 1649 an elder of the Flemish Den Blok congregation. Serving in a period in which the Flemish Mennonites partly became more progressive, Isaac Snep was throughout life a champion of the old Mennonite doctrines and practices. In June 1660 he attended the "Leydse Synode,” a Flemish conference of conservative leaders who wished to face the growth of liberalism, which under Collegiant influences was propagated by such ministers as Galenus Abrahamsz of Amsterdam and Willem van Maurik at Utrecht. At this meeting in Leiden Snep and three other preachers were appointed to draw up a new confession of faith out of the four outstanding Dutch Mennonite confessions; this new confession, however, never appeared. In 1661 Snep was among the "buitenmannen" (ministers from elsewhere) who took measures to suspend four progressive preachers at Utrecht. When in 1664 (see Lammerenkrijgh) a part of the Flemish congregation bij't Lam in Amsterdam led by the preacher Samuel Apostool left this church, Snep conducted the first service of this group on 22 June 1664, at the Oude Teertuinen. They were then called "Apostoolsen," but the name was soon changed to “Zonists.” In his own congregation at Haarlem Snep also became involved in complications with a progressive group; he and Preacher Pieter Marcusz, defending the old principles and the authority of the Mennonite confessions, were opposed by two other preachers of the church, namely, Koenraad van Vollenhoven and Jan des Rameaux, who were followers of Galenus. After a few years of mutual reproaches and accusations the conflict exploded; in vain the burgomasters of Haarlem tried to reconcile the embittered opponents. Finally in 1670 the conflict ended in a schism; most of the members (1360) sided with Snep, while 508 took the part of van Vollenhoven. A brick wall was built in the meetinghouse, dividing it into two separate meeting places. Isaac Snep seems to have been a popular preacher, and often conducted services in other congregations, some as far away as Hamburg in Germany.

His son Thomas Snep (Haarlem, 1636-1692), married in 1655 to Magdelena Bontemps, served the church of his father as a preacher. In 1680 he had some difficulties with his co-preacher Jan Evertsz, who with the majority of the members separated from the main body and began to hold meetings on the Bakenessergracht, later at the Kruisstraat. Though Jan Evertsz seems to have been a troublemaker, Snep's conduct was not the best either; it seems that Snep, who was well-to-do and had influential business relations, played up Evertsz' financial weakness. Thomas Snep also preached at times at Hamburg.

In the 18th century some members of the Snep family at Haarlem were deacons of the church and trustees of the Mennonite orphanages.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1863): 131-59, passim; (1898): 65; (1900): 33; (1916): 170, 176,190.

Meihuizen, H. W. Galenus Abrahamsz Haarlem, 1954, 72, 98.

Roosen, B. C. Geschichte der Mennoniten zu Hamburg und Altana I. Hamburg, 1866, 42, 60.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Snep family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 6 May 2021.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Snep family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 May 2021, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 556. All rights reserved.

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