Rutgers, a common Dutch family name, formed as a patronymic from the Christian name Rutger, of which there are many branches in the Netherlands, both Mennonite and non-Mennonite.
Since the 16th century there have been two Mennonite Rutgers families in Amsterdam, not related to each other. (1) A Rutgers family which belonged to the Flemish Lamist branch. The genealogy of this family is rather well known and has partly been published in Nederlandsch Adelsboek. The ancestor of this family as far as is known, was Nicolaes Rutgeers, surnamed Pels (probably because he was a fur dealer). He was a citizen of Antwerp, Belgium, and died there in 1561. His son David Rutgers (born circa 1520 at Antwerp, who died 1587 at Cologne, Germany), married Agneta de Bie, of Antwerp, and was a silk merchant. He apparently was a Mennonite and left Antwerp on account of persecution. From father to son the name David was passed on; they were all Mennonites. David Rutgers I (Antwerp, 1555- Amsterdam, 1623), married Jostyntje Lambers, a Mennonite of Rees, in 1585, was a textile merchant, at first at Cologne, where he was a member of the Mennonite Church and apparently a deacon; he signed the Concept of Cologne for the Cologne congregation. In 1595 he was expelled from Cologne because of his Mennonite faith. He thereupon moved to Haarlem and later to Amsterdam. David Rutgers II (Haarlem, 1601-Amsterdam, 1668) was a cloth merchant at Amsterdam, also engaged in banking. He married Suzanna de Flines, of Amsterdam. From 1654 he was a deacon of the Amsterdam Lamist congregation; during the disputes between the ministers Galenus Abrahamsz and Samuel Apostool (see Lammerenkrijgh) he sided with Galenus and published a pamphlet in which he urged reconciliation: Vredes-presentatie (Amsterdam, 1664). David Rutgers III (Amsterdam, 1629-1706), married Margaretha Blok, of Amsterdam, ran a mill weaving velvet and flowered silk materials. He was a rather wealthy man; in 1697 he was knighted by Emperor Leopold I and received for himself, his oldest son, and further descendants the title jonkheer, the family name becoming Rutgers van Rozenburg (after his country estate Rozenburg near Amsterdam). David Rutgers III was a deacon of the Lamist congregation of Amsterdam in 1684-89, 1694-99, and 1704-6. He lived in a stately home on the Singel at Amsterdam and later in the splendid country home called Groenenvecht, near Breukelen. David Rutgers IV van Rozenburg (Amsterdam, 1658-1731) was a wealthy merchant and banker, living at the Heerengracht at Amsterdam. He was married to Cornelia van Hoeck and served as deacon in 1689-94, 1700-5, and 1712-17. David Rutgers V van Rozenburg (Amsterdam, 1682-1757), married Maria de Neufville, was a silk merchant at Amsterdam and also a loyal member of the church, as were also Leonard Rutgers I van Rozenburg (Amsterdam, 1723-91, a son of David Rutgers V) and Leonard Rutgers II van Rozenburg (Amsterdam, 1760-1831, a son of Leonard Rutgers I), both merchants and bankers. Other members of the family serving as deacons of the Lamist congregation were Abraham Rutgers 1678-83, Adriaan Rutgers 1707-12 and 1717-? and Dirk Rutgers (1667-1781) 1708-?
A number of members of this Rutgers family rendered valuable service to the oppressed Mennonites in the Palatinate and Prussia. David Rutgers II was for some time treasurer of the Mennonite Committee of Foreign Needs and in 1687 and 1694 collected funds for the Swiss Mennonites who had immigrated to the Palatinate. Isaac Rutgers, a son of David Rutgers II, who lived at Danzig, West Prussia, as an agent of the banking firm of his father and later of his brother, in 1680 represented the Dutch Committee of Foreign Needs on behalf of the Prussian Mennonites. He received a considerable sum of money from Holland, which he distributed among the Mennonites at Montau and other congregations, who had suffered severely from floods and crop failure. His grandson Isaac Rutgers, also living at Danzig for business in 1767, served as an intermediary of the Amsterdam committee in supporting the Mennonites of the Klein-Werder, especially at Thiensdorf, who had been struck by several calamities and in the spring of 1767 by a terrible flood. In 1776 he sent support to the people of Kleinsee (Jeziorka), who, on account of war and pillage, were unable to pay their rent. In 1779 he was still active in relieving the needs of the Kleinsee congregation. Nothing is known concerning his private life. Until about 1790 all of this family was Mennonite; but after 1800 nearly all of them joined the Reformed Church.
(2) A Rutgers family which belonged to the Waterlander (Toren) congregation at Amsterdam until 1668 and after the merger of this congregation with the Lamists in 1668, to the United Lam and Toren congregation at Amsterdam. Concerning this family only scant information is available. The ancestor of this branch was Rutger Willemsz (died 1630 at Amsterdam), who was a cabinetmaker; he had moved from Kampen to Amsterdam, where he was received into the Waterlander congregation without baptism about 1612 and served as a deacon from 1620. In 1623 he sided with Nittert Obbesz in the conflict between Obbesz and the preachers. Among his descendants who bear the family name of Rutgers there were a number of craftsmen who were loyal members of the church until the family died out in the last decades of the 18th century.
Amstelodamum. Yearbook. Amsterdam, 1928: 85, 100.
Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. II, 1257, 3175.
Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis van de Doopsgezinden in Nederland II. 1600-1735 Eerste Helft. Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willink & Zoon n.v., 1940: 165, 168, 174.
Nederlandsch Adelsboek (1916): 421-30; 1950: 388-90.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 393-394. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Rutgers family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/rutgers_family.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Rutgers family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/rutgers_family.