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Featured Article: "Plett, Delbert F. (1948-2004)"

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Delbert F. Plett. Source: D.F. Plett Historical Research Foundation, Inc, Image Collection.

Delbert F. Plett, QC: historian, land developer and lawyer; born 6 March 1948 in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada to Jacob R. and Gertrude (Friesen) Plett. He was the fourth child in a family of three sons and two daughters. In 1975 Delbert married Doreen Thomson of Winnipeg; they had no offspring and were divorced in 1998. Delbert died 4 November 2004 in Steinbach.

Delbert was baptized on 7 June 1964 in the Ridgewood Evangelical Mennonite Church and in 1985 joined the Steinbach Mennonite Church. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a law degree in 1972. Plett started his own law firm and in 1975 joined with Ernest R. Goossen to form Plett, Goossen & Associates. He was named Queen’s Counsel in 1992.  Plett continued in his law practice with various associates until the year of his death.

Plett’s poured his extraordinary energy into the study of Mennonite history. From 1981 to 2003 he wrote and compiled 14 books, including seven on his beloved Kleine Gemeinde, which he thought had been neglected and treated unfairly by mainstream Mennonite historians. Plett published letters, memoirs, sermons, and family histories until the Kleine Gemeinde actually became the best-documented Russian Mennonite group. He then undertook to do the same with other under-represented groups: Old Colony, Chortitzer, Sommerfelder, Reinlaender, and Hutterites. Plett edited and contributed extensively to Preservings magazine, which found a large, international readership.  He founded the Hanover-Steinbach Historical Society (later Flemish Mennonite Historical Society) in 1988, served on a variety of committees and boards, and organized five heritage tours to Europe and Russia. Plett was given the 2004 Award of Excellence by the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada.

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The Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online provides reliable, freely-available English-language information on Anabaptist-related congregations, denominations, conferences, institutions and significant individuals, as well as historical and theological topics. Secular subject articles from an Anabaptist perspective and full-text source documents are also included.

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Other Mennonite Encyclopedias

GAMEO works together with the editors of other Mennonite encyclopedias to make their content available in the English language. These encyclopedias include:

Mennonite Historical Agencies

As a volunteer organization, we are unable to respond to questions on Mennonite history or genealogical questions of any kind.

For questions of that type, please contact a local genealogical society, or check with a Mennonite historical library or archives. For a list of Mennonite historical society or archives near you, please consult the Directory of North American Mennonite Historical Agencies.

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GAMEO falls under the umbrella of the Mennonite World Conference Faith and Life Commission. Members of the Management Board include: Mennonite Historical Society of Canada, Mennonite Church USA Archives, Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission, Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite World Conference, Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism, and the D. F. Plett Historical Research Foundation