Toens family

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Toens, a Mennonite family living at Haarlem, Holland. Symon Eduards Toens, married to Geesje Pieters Suiker, of Blokzijl, was from 1696 a preacher and from 1713 an elder of the Danzig Old Flemish congregation at Haarlem. He died there ca. 1758. His son Eduard Toens, like his father the owner of a yarn spinnery, was a preacher of the same congregation 1740-c53. Another son of Symon Eduards was Pieter Toens (Haarlem 1724 - Hoogezand shortly after 1800). He was first married to Cornelia Mabe (1716-57) and after her death to Anna Reckmann (1732-after 1800), both of Haarlem. At first he owned a weaving mill and ran a small shop; later he was a partner in a thread factory with his cousin Pieter Loos. About 1765 in a period of economic decline he left this business and started a florist business, which, however, he had to give up in 1776, because it did not pay. Since life was expensive in Haarlem he moved to Hoogezand in the province of Groningen in 1776. In 1753 Pieter Toens had been appointed preacher in the Danzig Old Flemish church of Haarlem, but after four or five years of serving he resigned, and joined the more liberal Peuzelaarsteeg congregation. The reason for this transfer is that he was more progressive than the Danzig Old Flemish Mennonites in general; Toens was particularly averse to banning because of outside marriage, as was still the practice in this group. He then also frequented Collegiant meetings and later became interested in politics as a warm Patriot. At the end of his life he played an important political role: in 1795 he was elected to represent Groningen in the Dutch Second Chamber, of which, being the oldest member, he was the provisional president in 1798. Belonging to the radical Republican party, he was not re-elected in this year. His descendants during the 19th century were found at Hoogezand, some of them being members of the Sappemeer Mennonite congregation.


Diary of Pieter Toens, by the courtesy of Prof. Engelbrecht, Pretoria, South Africa.

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Toens family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 13 Apr 2024.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Toens family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 April 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 734. All rights reserved.

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