Kornelsen, Anna Doerksen Barkman (1854-1937)

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Anna Doerksen Barkman Kornelsen ca. 1926. Preservings photo.

Anna Doerksen Barkman Kornelsen: Mennonite pioneer and diarist; born on 28 December 1854 in the village of Fischau, Molotschna Colony, South Russia.  She was the second of seven children born to Gerhard Doerksen (1825-1882) and Helena Dick (1832-1910), and their oldest surviving child. Anna was baptized in the spring of 1874 by Ältester Jacob Toews in the Lichtenauer Mennonite Church. She died on 10 October 1937.

After immigrating to Canada with her parents in 1875, she joined the Kleine Gemeinde church in Manitoba. Later that year she married Martin G. Barkman (1853-1900). Together they had five children, four of which survived to adulthood. Anna and her husband purchased a homestead in Hochstadt, Manitoba where they farmed until 1883. Then they farmed in Heuboden until 1893. Anna was living on a farm just south of Steinbach when her husband Martin died in 1900. She continued farming with the help of her son Cornelius until 1911. Anna Barkman then married farmer and a school teacher, Gerhard E. Kornelsen (1857-1933) in 1912.

Of all the things Anna Kornelsen accomplished during her life—coming to Canada, homesteading and raising a family—perhaps her greatest legacy was the record she left of her family's journey from Russia and her description of what life was like for 19th century pioneers in Canada. Her stories of "sleeping under God’s free heaven" in a railway station or passing icebergs on their voyage across the Atlantic, brought to life the historical record of the Mennonite migration of which she was a part.


Dueck, Ben B. "Anna: Woman of Strength." Preservings No. 10 Part II (June 1997): 1-6.

Author(s) Sharon H. H Brown
Date Published June 2006

Cite This Article

MLA style

Brown, Sharon H. H. "Kornelsen, Anna Doerksen Barkman (1854-1937)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2006. Web. 17 Sep 2019. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kornelsen,_Anna_Doerksen_Barkman_(1854-1937)&oldid=92342.

APA style

Brown, Sharon H. H. (June 2006). Kornelsen, Anna Doerksen Barkman (1854-1937). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 September 2019, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kornelsen,_Anna_Doerksen_Barkman_(1854-1937)&oldid=92342.

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