Venema family

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Venema, a Dutch Mennonite family particularly found in Friesland, both Mennonite and non-Mennonite. Arnoldus (Nolle) Abelsz Venema, b. ca. 1739 at Buitenpost, d. 1801 at Ameland, married to Sientje Kramer, at first a peddler, later a shopkeeper, was a preacher of the Mennonite congre­gation of Rottevalle ca. 1761-1762, the Flemish (Foppe Ones) church on the island of Ameland 1762-1768, at Norden in East Friesland, Germany, 1768-1774, Aalsmeer 1774-1783, Rottevalle 1783-89, Ameland again 1789-d.1801. Returning from Nes, where he had preached on a winter night, he vanished with­out trace; he probably drowned in the sea in the darkness. Being a self-made man, he was one of those untrained preachers who with great love and no less ability served the church with much blessing. His brother Aldert Abelsz Venema was a preacher at Rottevalle ca. 1774-d.1788. Another member of this family was Tjebbe Wiegers Venema, b. 1789, d. 29 February 1856, at Aalsmeer. In 1818 he was ap­pointed ministerial candidate by the Conference of Friesland, serving 1819-d.1856 in the Aalsmeer Zijdweg congregation. He was a man of little educa­tion; by private study he learned some German, French, and English. But under his leading the con­gregation flourished. In Gorter's Doopsgezinde Lectuur of 1856 he published a paper, "Overzicht van alle Doopsgezinden op aarde." A Venema was for many years a secretary-treasur­er of the Dantumawoude congregation in the early 20th century.


Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Friesland. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff, 1839: 233.

De Zondagsbode XXIV (1910-11): Nos. 49, 51, and 52.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1872): 38 f.; (1889): 17, 18, 25; (1890): 26; (1895): 81 f., 84.

Gorter's Doopsgezinte Lectuur. Kerknieuws (1856): 29 f. (1858): 3 f.

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, Nos. 1441, 1451, 1486-89, 2214-16, 2265, 2846.

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam, 1829: 25.

Date Published 1959

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Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 806. All rights reserved.

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