Kunders, Thones (ca. 1653-1729)

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Thones Kunders was the head of one of the first 13 German Quaker-Mennonite families from Krefeld, Germany, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 6 October 1683 beginning the German immigration to America. Kunders, who later called himself Anthony Conrads and still later Cunard, and was also called Dennis Conrad, was born in Gladbach, Germany, and was a citizen of Krefeld. He was Quaker, but had formerly been a Mennonite. In his house in Germantown were held the first German services in America, attended by both Mennonites and Quakers. (Pastorius says Kunders and his wife were Mennonites, as was also her brother, William Streypers, who had immigrated with them, but Hull has shown this to be an error.) It was in Kunders' home that the first protest against slavery in America was signed in 1688. Kunders was one of the eleven citizens to whom Penn granted the charter of Germantown in 1689, and was appointed as one of the first burgesses, proof that he could not have been a Mennonite. He died in 1729.

A descendant of Thones Kunders in the fifth generation was Sir Samuel Cunard (1787-1865), who founded the first steamship line between England and America, known as the Cunard Line.


Cassel, Daniel K. Geschichte der Mennoniten : von Menno Simons’ Austritt aus der Römisch-Katholischen Kirche in 1536 bis zu deren Auswanderung nach Amerika in 1683 ; mehr speciell ihre Ansiedlung und Ausbreitung in Amerika. Enthaltend: kurze Skizzen der einzelnen Gemeinden mit den Namen ihrer Prediger vom Jahre 1683 bis zur gegenwärtigen Zeit. Philadelphia: J. Kohler, 1890.

Die Heimat 10 (Crefeld: 1931): 86.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 585.

Hull, William I.  William Penn and the Quaker Migration to Pennsylvania. Swarthmore, PA: Swarthmore College, 1935: 218 et passim.

Smith, C. Henry. The Mennonite Immigration to Pennsylvania in the Eighteenth Century. Norristown, 1929.

Author(s) Christian Hege
Harold S. Bender
Date Published 1958

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MLA style

Hege, Christian and Harold S. Bender. "Kunders, Thones (ca. 1653-1729)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1958. Web. 19 Sep 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kunders,_Thones_(ca._1653-1729)&oldid=144261.

APA style

Hege, Christian and Harold S. Bender. (1958). Kunders, Thones (ca. 1653-1729). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 September 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kunders,_Thones_(ca._1653-1729)&oldid=144261.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 258. All rights reserved.

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