Ratzlaff family

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Ratzlaff (Raatslaf, Retzlaff), a family name found among the Mennonites of West Prussian and Danzig background in Russia and North and South America. The name appeared particularly among the Flemish Mennonites of Kleinsee (Jeziorka, Przechovka-Konopath, and Kazun) and is supposed to have been derived from the Slavic name Ratislav. The Przechovka-Konopath congregation had the following ministers: Berent Ratzlaff (ca. 1660), Peter Ratzlaff (1689-1775), Hans Ratzlaff (1727-88), Heinrich Ratzlaff (1742-1805), and Jacob Ratzlaff (b. 1765). At Kleinsee-Jeziorka Peter Ratzlaff (b. 1742) became elder and Berent Ratzlaff, minister, both in 1785. When the Przechovka Mennonite Church moved to Russia it was known as the Alexanderwohl Church. The Ratzlaffs spread in Russia, many of them later coming to America, particularly to Kansas. Abraham Ratzlaff (d. 1939) was a minister at Buhler, and Abraham K. Ratzlaff was a physician in Goessel, Kansas. Mary Ratzlaff had charge of the Salem Home for the Aged at Hillsboro, Kansas in the late 1950s.


Duerksen, J. A. "Przechovka  and Alexanderwohl." Mennonite Life X (April 1955): 76.

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam, 1766-1802.

Reimer, C.K. Familiennamen. Weierhof, Mennonitisches Geschichtsverein, ca. 1940: 116.

Unruh, Benjamin H. Die niederländisch-niederdeutschen Hintergründe der mennonitischen Ostwanderungen im 16., 18. und 19. Jahrhundert. Karlsruhe-Rüppurr: Selbstverlag, 1955: 369,  371.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Ratzlaff family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 Feb 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Ratzlaff_family&oldid=84328.

APA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Ratzlaff family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 February 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Ratzlaff_family&oldid=84328.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 255. All rights reserved.

©1996-2018 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.