Gross is a Mennonite family name. On the basis of historical inference, and in the absence of published genealogies, the Gross family name may have had its inception in the Austrian Tyrol among the early Hutterites, although this has not been firmly established. The name appears among the Hutterites in Russia after the migration of 1770. When the practice of community of goods was abandoned at Radicheva in 1819, there were Grosses among those who abandoned the practice. During the immigration of Hutterites to North America following 1874, the name Gross appeared among those who settled on non-communal farms in South Dakota.
In the following years independent churches were organized, composed entirely of non-colonist Hutterites. Some of these churches joined the General Conference Mennonite Church (GCM), and a number of their members, moving from rural to urban centres or marrying Mennonites, joined GCM congregations. The Gross name appears predominantly among South Dakota Mennonites. One member of the family, Harold H. Gross, was dean of Freeman College.
A different branch of the Gross family originated with Jakob Gross (ca. 1743-1810) who emigrated from either Switzerland or Germany to eastern Pennsylvania about 1763. Jakob became a Mennonite preacher at Deep Run in the Franconia Conference of the Mennonite Church (MC) by 1775, and was later ordained bishop. He was the father of Christian Gross (1776-1865), a minister of Deep Run; John K. Gross (1786-1864), minister of Doylestown; Jacob Gross (1780-1865), bishop in Ontario; and Daniel Gross (1784-1875), deacon of Deep Run. A number of other men named Gross have served in the ministry of the Franconia Conference, including bishops Samuel G. Gross (1839-95) and Joseph L. Gross (b. 1904) of Doylestown. Of considerable influence in the Franconia Conference was Mahlon Gross (1873-1937), who left the Methodist Church in which he was a local preacher to return to the Mennonite faith of his ancestors; he was chosen as minister in Doylestown on 25 May 1920.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 598. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Gross, Harold H. "Gross family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G766ME.html.
APA style: Gross, Harold H. (1956). Gross family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G766ME.html.