Stinstra family

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Stinstra, a former Dutch Mennonite family, now died out. Its origin is at Harlingen, Friesland, where most of them lived and where they were found from at least the early 17th century. Until about 1680 this family bore the family name of Gerlof(s). Symon Johannes (1673-1743) was the first to take the family name of Stinstra. He was born at Harlingen, and conducted an important lumber business there. He was well-to-do, a mem­ber and apparently a deacon of the Harlingen Men­nonite congregation, and in 1722-39 treasurer of the Mennonite conference of Friesland (FDS). He was married to Trijntje Gooitjens Braam, of an old Harlingen Mennonite family. Among their children were the preacher Johannes Stinstra and Gooitjen (Goethius) Stinstra (1705?-1764), who was a physician at Harlingen. Their daughter Grietje Stinstra was married to Evert Heeres Oosterbaan and was the mother of the Mennonite professor Heere Oosterbaan. Simon Stinstra (circa 1735-1782), married to Anna Braam, was a son of Gooitjen Stinstra and like his father a physician at Harlingen. Another son of Gooitjen Stinstra was Pieter Stinstra (1747-1819), who studied theology at the University of Franeker and the Amsterdam Mennonite semi­nary and served as pastor of the Mennonite church of Franeker in 1770-1800. He was a man of great learning. In 1786 he was asked to take a professor­ship at the Amsterdam Mennonite seminary, but he refused. The Amsterdam archives have a number of handwritten sermons by Pieter Stinstra. In 1800 he retired and settled in Harlingen, where he died.

Other members of this Stinstra family were A. Stinstra, died 1847, burgomaster of Franeker; both Johannes Stinstra of Franeker, died 1842, owner of brickworks, and Simon Stinstra, a lawyer at Har­lingen, were trustees of the Dutch General Mennon­ite conference (ADS), in 1840-1842 and 1844-1863 respectively. Miss Sytske Stinstra, died 26 February 1900, at Franeker, willed to the congregation of Franeker her stately house and a considerable sum of money.

By marriage the Stinstra family was related with other Mennonite families, particularly of Harlingen, such as Braam, Oosterbaan, Schellingwou, Wybenga, Huidekoper, Fontein, and Yzenbeek.


Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Friesland. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff, 1839: 187, 221, 237 f.

Crane, J. W. de. Hulde aan de Nagedachtenis van P. Stinstra (no place of publication and no date of publication indicated).

Doopsgezind Jaarboekje (1850): 122.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1868): 94; (1895): 30; (1900): 225.

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: v. I, Nos. 1032, 1103, 1161, 1181; v. II, Nos. 1731-33, 2504.

Wumkes, G. A. Stads- en Dorpshroniek van Friesland (1700-1800) (Leeuwarden, 1930); II (1800-1900) (Leeuwarden, 1934), here and there throughout.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Stinstra family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 21 Sep 2021.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Stinstra family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 September 2021, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 634. All rights reserved.

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