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Gorter is a common Dutch family name, both Mennonite and non-Mennonite. Not all the bearers of this name are related. Foeke Wiglers Gorter was, for example, not of the same family as Simon Gorter and his descendants. A large number of Gorters have been Mennonite preachers. The first one mentioned is Tys Oenes Gorter (1670-?), a preacher at Alkmaar (DB 1891, 5, 8). Feiko Wybes Gorter served as a preacher in the congregation at Stavoren in the first quarter of the 18th century. Jan Gorter was the preacher at Bolsward from 1761 to about 1788.

Klaas Oenes Gorter, not a preacher, was treasurer of the Friese Societeit from 1788 to 1805, in which year he died. K. Tigler dedicated a Funeral Song (Grafdicht) to him (DB 1895, 30).

A number of preachers of this name were descendants of Simon Gorter (1778-1862), who lived in the Zaan district (Dutch province of North Holland) as had his ancestors. Two of his sons, Douwe Simons and Klaas Simons, a grandson Simon Gorter (son of Douwe), a great-grandson Klaas Gorter (1849-89, minister at Borne 1875-1879, Zijpe 1879-1885, and Hoorn 1885-1889), and two great-great-grandsons, S. H. N. Gorter and Klaas Gorter (b. 1911 at Uithuizermeeden, minister at Ternaard 1937-1939, Texel 1939-1941, Groningen 1941-1945, naval chaplain 1945-1947, Hengelo after 1948) were Mennonite pastors.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1891): 5, 8; (1895): 30.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 137.

Author(s) Karel Vos
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Vos, Karel and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Gorter family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 1 Oct 2016.

APA style

Vos, Karel and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1956). Gorter family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 October 2016, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Kitchener, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 544-545. All rights reserved.

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