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Dirk Thiessen: Ältester of the Gross Werder Mennonite Church; born 4 September 1727 in Prussia, the fifth of sixth children of Johannes Thiessen (1690 - 20 November 1750) and Sara (Siemens) Thiessen (1691 – 13 November 1749). Dirk’s first wife was Maria Harder (d. 23 March 1771, Petershagen, Prussia), whom he married on 18 April 1852 in Prussia. Dirk’s second wife was Mrs. Margaretha Wiens (ca. 1745 – 10 September 1801, Petershagen, Prussia), whom he married in July 1771. It appears as though Dirk did not have any children from either marriage. Dirk died on 11 June 1806 in Petershagen, Prussia.

Dirk became Ältester (Elder) of the Gross Werder Mennonite Church on 1 February 1767, succeeding Abraham Penner of Rückenauerfeld. His home congregation was the Tiegenhagen Mennonite Church, located near his home in Petershagen.

Thiessen is best known as the person who started the Tiegenhagen Mennonite Church register and the Gross Werder Mennonite Church baptismal register. These were started after a fire caused by wet hay had destroyed all of his buildings, including the church records in his possession. Thiessen was also Ältester during the major migration of Mennonites from Prussia to South Russia at the end of the 18th century to the Chortitza Mennonite Settlement and at the beginning of the 19th century to the Molotschna Mennonite Settlement.



Author(s) Richard D Thiessen
Date Published May 2013


Cite This Article

MLA style

Thiessen, Richard D. "Thiessen, Dirk (1727-1806)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2013. Web. 25 Jul 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Thiessen,_Dirk_(1727-1806)&oldid=68677.

APA style

Thiessen, Richard D. (May 2013). Thiessen, Dirk (1727-1806). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 July 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Thiessen,_Dirk_(1727-1806)&oldid=68677.




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