Kolb, a Mennonite family, probably of Swiss origin. Caspar Kolb, a peasant of Walkringen in the canton of Bern, attended the disputation at Bern in 1538 as a leader of the Swiss Brethren. Barbara Kolb(in) was in prison at Zürich with three other Anabaptist women in 1639 because of their faith. However, not all the Kolbs in Switzerland were Swiss Brethren. One of the representatives of the Reformed Church with whom Hans Pfistermeyer had to debate in the prison at Bern on 19 April 1531, was Franz Kolb. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries the Kolbs are found also in the Palatinate; some were preachers and elders in the congregations at Mannheim, Kriegsheim, and other places, among them Peter Kolb, elder at Mannheim.
This family, of slight importance in Europe, has produced numerous leaders in the Mennonite Church in America, particularly in Eastern Pennsylvania. In 1707 four children of Dielman Kolb (1648-1712) of Wolfsheim in the Palatinate came to Germantown as the very first forerunners of the large migration from that region to Eastern Pennsylvania, and one Dielman came in 1717. They settled early in Skippack (1709). Peter (1671-1727), the oldest of the children, remained in Mannheim where he was a Mennonite preacher. Martin (1680-1761) was ordained preacher at Germantown in 1709, but served at Skippack. Henry (d. 1730) was a preacher at Skippack. Dielman (1691-1756) was a preacher at Salford and an associate with Henry (Henrich) Funck in the supervision of the publication of the Ephrata edition of the Martyrs' Mirror. Other prominent leaders in the Franconia Conference (MC) have been: Isaac (1711-1776), first bishop of Rockhill; Amos (1879- ), bishop at Vincent (Spring City); Elias W. Kulp (1880- ), preacher at Bally. A total of 15 Kolbs have served as ordained men in the Franconia Conference. Most of the members of the Vincent congregation are direct or related descendants of Jonathan Kolb (1825-97), long-time deacon at Vincent. Jacob Kolb (17691858), preacher, was the founder of the Kolb's and Longenecker's congregation in Holmes County, Ohio. A. B. Kolb (1862-1925), of the Waterloo County, Ontario, Kolb line, was a prominent layman at Elkhart, Indiana, and an editor for many years of church publications in J. F. Funk's Mennonite Publishing House there. J. Z. Kolb (1836-1921), his father, was a long-time influential deacon in Waterloo County, Ontario. His younger brother, A. C. Kolb (1871-1937), who lived at Elkhart in 1888-1904, was the first secretary of the Elkhart Institute and of the Home and Foreign Relief Commission.
Cassel, D. K. A Genealogical History of the Kolb Family. Norristown, PA, 1895.
Strassburger, R. B. "The Kolb Family," in The Strassburger and Allied Families of Pennsylvania. Geweynedd Valley, PA, 1922: 391-413.
Gratz, Delbert. Bernese Anabaptists. Scottdale, PA, 1953.
Bender, Harold S. "The Founding of the Mennonite Church in America at Germantown, 1683-1708." Mennonite Quarterly Review 7 (October 1933): 227-250.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 213-214. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Wenger, John C. and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Kolb family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K6435.html.
APA style: Wenger, John C. and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1955). Kolb family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K6435.html.