Mats is a Mennonite family found in Westzaan and Zaandam, Dutch province of North Holland. Arian Cornelisz Volger (1) of Akersloot in North Holland, who died in 1609, is said to have belonged to the Catholic Church; while he was still a young man, he went to Alkmaar to buy a vest, and came back with a Bible; soon after, he joined the Mennonites. His son Jan Ariansz Volger (2) settled at Westzaan and changed his family name to Mats (the reason is not known). Aerjan Jansz Mats (3), the son of (2), became a preacher of the Frisian Mennonite congregation of Westzaan and Zaandam until 1667. His son Klaes Aerjansz Mats (4), d. 1694, was a preacher of the "Oude Huys" (Frisian) congregation of Westzaandam and Westzaan 1681-ca. 1694. Other members of this family were deacons of the Mennonite congregations of Zaandam and Westzaan until the 20th century.
Most members of this family were wood dealers and shipowners. In the early 18th century they moved from Westzaan to Zaandam and greatly contributed to the prosperity of this town. Gradually the Mats family, which by marriage was related to many well-known families of Zaandam and the Zaanstreek (Zaan district) like Schoen, Duyvis, van Gelder, Ouwejan, Rogge, Corver, and van de Stadt, came to great wealth. So for example Jacob Dirksz Mats (about 1716-1753), a grandson of Klaes Aerjansz (4), equipped a fleet of seven sailing vessels ("Groenland-vaarders") for whaling near Greenland.
Lootsma, S. Het Nieutue Huys. Zaandam, 1937: 189-200.
van Gelder, J. M. Stamboek der familie van Gelder. Amsterdam, 1899: 193 ff.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 538. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Mats family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M38216.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1957). Mats family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M38216.html.