Epp (Eppe, Ep, Epps) family
A Mennonite family name, Epp was found in the Old Flemish congregations of West Prussia, mainly in rural areas. Records from 1584, now found in the Danzig archives, mention the name. In 1586 an Epp, born at Losendorff, Dutch province of Groningen, lived at Langgarten near Danzig. Forty-six families with this name were counted in 1776 (without Danzig), 131 persons in 1910, and 121 persons in 1935. Members of the family immigrated to Russia and North America. The Epps have been numerous in Kansas, Nebraska and Canada.
In the Dutch Naamlijst, the name Epp is first found among the ministers in 1766; Peter Epp (1725-1789) and Cornelius Epp were preachers of the Flemish congregation of Danzig. Peter served from 1758 as a preacher and became elder in 1779, serving until about 1790; Cornelius was a preacher until at least 1810. Hendrick Epp was a preacher of the Old Flemish congregation of the Grosse Werder in the Bärwalde district of West Prussia from 1765 until around 1780.
Later members of the family who provided leadership in Mennonite communities in Russia included David Epp (1750-1802), co-elder of the Chortitza Flemish congregation 1793-1802 and one of the delegates to St. Petersburg in 1798-1800 who obtained the Privilegium from the Tsar. His son David Epp (1781-1843), was a minister of the same congregation and his son Heinrich Epp (1827-1896), an administrator and teacher became elder of the Chortitza congregation. Heinrich's sons included David H. Epp (1861-1934), teacher, elder and publisher of the Botschafter, and the teachers in the Zentralschule Heinrich H. Epp (1873-1942?) and Dietrich Heinrich Epp (1875-1955); the latter emigrated to Canada and was editor of the Bote, 1924-1955.
Other well-known family members in Russia included Bernhard Epp (1852-1926), elder of the Lichtenau congregation; Claas Epp, Jr. (d. 1913), chiliastic leader of the ill-fated migration to Central Asia; and Heinrich Epp (1827-1896), a teacher and elder of the Chortitza Zentralschule.
North American leaders included Abraham P. Epp (1871-1941), minister in the Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church in Fairview, Oklahoma; Jacob B. Epp (1874-1945), a missionary to the Hopi people; his son Theodore H. Epp (1907-1985), who conducted the radio program, "Back to the Bible Hour"; Peter G. Epp (1888-1954), professor at Bluffton College and Ohio State University; Gerhard G. Epp (b. 1895), minister in Rosthern, Saskatchewan; Johann P. Epp (1854-1917), long-time minister and for years elder of the church in Henderson, Nebraska; John H. Epp (b. 1877), long-time pastor of the Hillsboro Mennonite church; Peter P. Epp (b. 1861), long-time minister of the Henderson MB Church in Henderson, Nebraska; Kornelius P. Epp (1863-1944), leading minister of the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Church in Henderson, Nebraska; and Frank H. Epp (1929-1986), a prominent Canadian Mennonite historian.
Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden (Amsterdam, 1731, 1743, 1755, etc.).
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 233. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Reimer, Gustav and James Urry. "Epp (Eppe, Ep, Epps) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2001. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/E659ME.html.
APA style: Reimer, Gustav and James Urry. (2001). Epp (Eppe, Ep, Epps) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/E659ME.html.