Friesen, Johann (1857-1944)

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Johann Friesen: pioneer farmer; born on 25 January 1857 in Russia to Martin and Susanna (Suderman) Friesen. He was the youngest of three children from his father's second marriage. His mother died less than a year after Johann's birth, and his father died the following year. After his father's death, Johann lived with Bernhard and Aganetha (Berg) Dyck. Johann immigrated to Canada with the Dyck family, arriving in Quebec on 20 July 1875. He was baptized into the Chortitzer Church in Manitoba on 26 July 1877. On 30 November 1879 he married Maria Abrams (1860-1925). The couple had 14 children, all of whom survived childhood.

Johann Friesen grew up in Neuanlange, Borosenko Colony, Russia, as part of the Dyck family. Johann was 17 years old when the Dycks and their ten children, together with many other Mennonites, decided to leave Russia for Canada. His adopted father, Bernhard Dyck died in Minnesota en route to Manitoba where Johann settled in Altona with his recently widowed adopted mother. After marrying Maria Abrams, daughter of Heinrich and Maria (Heinrichs) Abrams, who had also immigrated to Canada with the Mennonites from Russia, the couple began farming in Neuanlage in the Manitoba Mennonite West Reserve. In 1906 Johann and Maria Friesen acquired a homestead in the Lobethal School district of Saskatchewan near Main Centre where they continued to be farmers. They were active in the Sommerfelder Mennonite Church in Saskatchewan.  After Maria's death in 1925, Johann moved back to Manitoba, where he settled near Gretna and married Maria’s sister, Aganetha H. Abram (1863-1950) on 21 January 1926. She was a widow with ten children from her previous marriage. Johann's health worsened and he died on 15 August 1944. He was buried at the Eigenhof graveyard at the Rudnerweide Sommerfeld Mennonite Church in Manitoba.


Barkman, Cathy Friesen. "Johann Friesen 1857-1944." Preservings No. 13 (December 1998): 94-97.

GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.03 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2007: #179726.

Author(s) Susan Huebert
Date Published 2007

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Huebert, Susan. "Friesen, Johann (1857-1944)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2007. Web. 21 Sep 2018.,_Johann_(1857-1944)&oldid=81058.

APA style

Huebert, Susan. (2007). Friesen, Johann (1857-1944). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 September 2018, from,_Johann_(1857-1944)&oldid=81058.

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