Veer, de (De Fehr, Fehr, Defehr, Devehr, Dever, Devaehr, Du Verre) family

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A widely ramified Mennonite family of Dutch origin, de Veer has been found among Mennonites in the Netherlands, Prussia, Russia, and North America. The first Mennonite member of this family of whom there is exact information was Gysbert Jansz de Veer, b. 14 May 1556, at Schiedam, South Holland. He was a grain merchant, who ca. 1580 may have settled at Danzig, Prussia, moving back to Amsterdam a bit later, where he obtained his citizenship in 1601, and finally back to Danzig again, where he died on 17 May 1615. One of his sons was Nicolaes (Claes) de Veer (1583-ca. 1650), who was a merchant at Amsterdam and married Margaretha Looten. Other sons of Gysbert were Abraham de Veer, who lived at Danzig, and Gysbert de Veer (Amsterdam 1600 - Danzig 1646), who was married first to Anna van Buygen (Bergen?), then to Maria van Dijck. Gysbert de Veer, a son of Abraham and grandson of the original Gysbert, was a cloth merchant at Danzig. Cornelis de Veer (Danzig 1636 - Neugarten 1699), a son of the latter Gysbert, had a lace business at Danzig. His brother, Gysbert, is the ancestor of a Mennonite branch in Prussia, Canada, and Mexico. A son of Cornelis was the Mennonite elder of Danzig, Isaac de Veer. Abraham Gustaf de Veer, b. 28 August 1815, at Danzig, who was a preacher of the Neuwied Mennonite congregation 1843-58, was also a member of this family.

In Amsterdam the de Veer family came to great wealth. Some of its members were deacons of the church and a few served as preachers. Claes de Veer (son of the original Gysbert), was a minister of the Danzig Old Flemish congregation at Amsterdam starting in 1632, as was Cornelis Abrahamsz de Veer (d. 1777), who served this church 1737-75. Cornelis de Veer Jr. and Johannes de Veer, both of whom served the Amsterdam congregation as deacons, in 1850-54 and 1855-59, 1865-69 respectively, were among the last male Mennonite members of this branch of the family. The branch that chose to leave the Mennonite Church in the 18th century still had descendants living at Amsterdam in 1959.

In Prussia the de Veers were found mostly at Danzig, but also at Elbing, Rosenort, and Königsberg. Among the first emigrants from Prussia to Russia was Benjamin de Veer in 1793. He settled at Neuendorf in the Chortitza settlement. Members of this family emigrated from Russia to North and South America after 1874. Cornelius A. DeFehr of Winnipeg was a lay leader of the Mennonite Brethren Church.


Church records of Amsterdam.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 320.

Hoop Scheffer, J. G. de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente te Amsterdam I. Amsterdam, 1883-1884: No. 1615; 11, 118-21, 128; 11, 2, No. 450.

Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter (1956): 29, Nos. 113-15.

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam, 1829.

Nederl. Patriciaat 25 (1939): 270-313.

Reimer, Gustav E. Die Familiennamen der westpreussischen Mennoniten. Weierhof, 1940: 119 f.

Unruh, B. H. Die niederländisch-niederdeutschen Hintergründe der mennonitischen Ostwanderungen im 16., 18. und 19. Jahrhundert. Karlsruhe-Rüppurr, 1955: 211, 247, 252.

Who's Who Among the Mennonites. North Newton, KS, 1943" 43.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Veer, de (De Fehr, Fehr, Defehr, Devehr, Dever, Devaehr, Du Verre) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 20 May 2019.,_de_(De_Fehr,_Fehr,_Defehr,_Devehr,_Dever,_Devaehr,_Du_Verre)_family&oldid=145785.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Veer, de (De Fehr, Fehr, Defehr, Devehr, Dever, Devaehr, Du Verre) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2019, from,_de_(De_Fehr,_Fehr,_Defehr,_Devehr,_Dever,_Devaehr,_Du_Verre)_family&oldid=145785.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 802. All rights reserved.

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