Meersch, van der, family
van der Meersch, (sometimes Vermeersch), is a family originally found in Flanders and at Antwerp, both Reformed and Mennonite. Pieter van der Meersch, born at Meenen, married to Maria van der Molen, who was probably a sister of the noted Flemish Elder Jacob Pietersz van der Meulen, was a preacher of the Mennonite congregation at Meenen. In 1564 he fled to Haarlem, Holland. His son, also Pieter van der Meersch, born 1560 at Meenen, died before 1608 at Haarlem, a grain dealer, married to Maeyken Boutens, was a preacher of the Haarlem Flemish congregation, as was his grandson Arent van der Meersch, born 1601 at Haarlem, died 1667 at Amsterdam. Like his father, Arent was a grain dealer. He was married to Sara de Veer of Amsterdam, and some of this family served as deacons at Amsterdam. Abraham van der Meersch, probably belonging to the same family, studied at the Mennonite Theological Seminary at Amsterdam and in 1733-1748 served as a Mennonite preacher in Dordrecht. Another Abraham van der Meersch (born 1643 at Amsterdam, died 1728 at 's Graveland), a son of Arent, was a wealthy linen merchant in Amsterdam, and a deacon of the Lamist Mennonite congregation in 1681-1686 and again in 1691-1696. In this capacity he tried to found a theological seminary, but found little sympathy for this idea among his co-deacons. In 1721, at the age of 71 years, he wrote an autobiographical sketch, the original manuscript of which is still found in the Amsterdam Mennonite archives. It gives important information not only concerning his business and his family, but also on several pages expounds his views concerning the Mennonite doctrines of the non-swearing of oaths, believers' baptism, and nonresistance, with which he wholeheartedly agreed. In Amsterdam most of the van der Meersch family belonged to the Lamist church, but a few of them were Zonists. A branch of this family lived at Rotterdam. Here Pieter van der Meersch was a deacon of the Old Flemish Mennonites, and Elisabeth van der Meersch was married to Michiel Comans. In the 16th century a van der Meersch family was found at Hoorn, of which Israel Jacobsz van der Meersch, the author of Gewyde Poezie, a volume of devotional poems, was a member. Israel Jacobsz, however, left the Mennonite church in 1605 and joined the Reformed. Pieter van der Meersch, of Amsterdam, published in 1713-1744 a number of devotional books translated from the English. In the 18th century most members of the van der Meersch family left the Mennonite church. Abraham van der Meersch (1720-1792) was a noted Remonstrant preacher. He was a grandson of the linen merchant Abraham van der Meersch mentioned above, who wrote his autobiography for this grandson.
A branch of probably the same van der Meersch family is found in Prussia from about 1668, at first at Danzig. Cornelius van der Meersch was about 1750 a (Mennonite) distiller of brandy and merchant of lace at Königsberg in East Prussia. It is possible that the Vermeersch family at Harlingen, Friesland, one of whom was Gillis Vermeersch (died 1721), originally belonged to the same branch.
Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam. 2 v. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: I, No. 772.
Mennonite archives of Haarlem and Amsterdam.
Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter VII (1956): 22, 27, No. 62.
Nederlands Patriciaat deel II (1911): 330-333.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 556-557. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Meersch, van der, family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M447.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1957). Meersch, van der, family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M447.html.