Wedel (Wedell, Weedel, Wedler, Wiedel, Wadel) family

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Wedel, a family name that was originally found among the Mennonites of Prussia, was particularly common at Schönsee, Przechovka, and Konopat, but also occurred in Thiensdorf and Montau-Gruppe. H. H. Schroeder assumes in the book Russlanddeutsche Friesen that the ancestors of this family came from East Friesland. According to the Alexanderwohl church record the first representative of the Przechovka or Alexanderwohl church in Prussia was Frantz Wedel, who was present when the village was leased in 1640. Benjamin Wedel (1766-1813) and Peter Wedel (1792-1871) were some of the early members of the group. Jacob Wedel (1754-1791) was elected elder in 1785. He started the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church record entitled Die Erste stamm Nahmen Unserer Bisher so genante Oude Vlamingen oder Groningersche Mennonisten Sozietaets alhier in Preusen and traced it back to 1669. It's one of the oldest Mennonite church records.

From Prussia the name Wedel was transplanted to Russia where it was found primarily in the Alexanderwohl church. From there it moved again to the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church at Goessel, Kansas. C. H. Wedel (1860-1910), the first president of Bethel College, was raised in this community, as was his brother, Peter H. Wedel (1865-1897), a Mennonite Brethren evangelist and missionary in Cameroon. C. H. Wedel's son was Theodore O. Wedel (1892-1970), a canon of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and one-time President of the House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church. Also in this family branch is Cornelius C. Wedel, minister of the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church (1898-1957). His son, David C. Wedel, was president of Bethel College starting in 1952. Frank F. Wedel was manager of Salem Deaconess Hospital.

A Low German-speaking Wedel of the Przechovka group married into the Swiss Volhynian group that later settled near Moundridge, Kansas. From this family line came a number of well-known General Conference Mennonite Church members: Peter J. Wedel (1871-1951), a professor at Bethel College; his son Waldo Rudolph Wedel (1908-1996), an archaeologist; Philip Arnold Wedel, a minister of the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church; Edward B. Wedel, a professor at the University of Wichita; his son, Arnold Wedel, a professor at Bethel College. Members of the Wedel family who served as ministers in the Mennonite Brethren Church include Herbert Wedel of Fresno, California; J. Wedel of Abbotsford, British Columbia; and Ruben Wedel of Premont, Texas.


Diocesan Press Service. "Rev. Canon Theodore O. Wedel Dies at 78." The Archives of the Episcopal Church: Episcopal Press and News 1962-2006. 23 July 1970. Web. 26 September 2013.

Duerksen, J. A. "Przechowka and Alexanderwohl." Mennonite Life 10 (April 1955): 76-82.

Reimer, Gustav E. Die Familiennamen der westpreussischen Mennoniten. Weierhof, 1940: 120.

Schroeder, H. H. Russlanddeutsche Friesen. Döllstädt, 1936: 99.

Wikipedia. "Waldo Rudolph Wedel." Web. 26 September 2013.

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Krahn, Cornelius. "Wedel (Wedell, Weedel, Wedler, Wiedel, Wadel) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 20 Apr 2019.,_Weedel,_Wedler,_Wiedel,_Wadel)_family&oldid=135332.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius. (1959). Wedel (Wedell, Weedel, Wedler, Wiedel, Wadel) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 April 2019, from,_Weedel,_Wedler,_Wiedel,_Wadel)_family&oldid=135332.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 907, 1148. All rights reserved.

©1996-2019 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.