Herman op den Graeff

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Herman op den Graeff
leader of the Mennonites
Personal details
Born November 26, 1585
Aldekerk, Germany
Died December 27, 1642
Krefeld, Germany
Nationality German
Denomination Christianity
Occupation Linen weaver
Profession merchant

Herman op den Graeff (Aldekerk, 26 November 1585 - Krefeld, 27 December 1642) was a Mennonite community leader from Krefeld.


The Op den Graeff stained window of Krefeld, containing a Swan

Herman op den Graeff was the first reported member of the Op den Graeff family. He was born November 26, 1585 in Aldekerk, Germany.


Poem op Herman op den Graeff and his wife Greitgen (Greitje) Pletjes: God is fruitful, devout and good to all sides ...

Herman op den Graeff was a wealthy linen weaver and merchant. In 1605 he removed to Kempen where he met and married on August 6, 1605 Greitgen Pletjes (or Greitje Pletjes) (1588–1643).

Krefeld Mennonite Church[edit]

In Krefeld Op den Graeff became a leader and of the Mennonite community, and in 1632 was one of two Krefeld Mennonite Church delegates to sign the Confessions of Faith. In 1637 he was named as the „der hiesigen Mennoniten Herr Bischof" of Krefeld.[1]


Some of Herman op den Graeff's descendents migrated to the United States. They are among the thirteen families often referred to as the Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Founders, who arrived on the ship Concord on October 6, 1683.[2][3][4] Among these families were three op den Graeff brothers, including grandson Abraham op den Graeff, a cousin of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Governor Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker was Herman's sixth-great grandson.[5]

The Legend of the Lohengrin Swan[edit]

A fictional book published in 2011 by Nancy Dellinger entitled the "The Legend of the Lohengrin Swan" plots Op den Graeff as a central figure leading during the tumultuous religious divisions and wars of the period.[6][7]


  1. ^ Google books; Taufgesinnte und großes Kapital: die niederrheinisch-bergischen Mennoniten und der Aufstieg des Krefelder Seidengewerbes, Mitte des 17. Jahrhunderts-1815. Peter Kriedte, p. 105 (2007)
  2. ^ "The Friend, Volume 48", The Friend., 1875. Harvard University. p. 67
  3. ^ "Ship Passengers Mentioned in Merion MM Minutes; Chester County, PA.", Yvonne Prough. U.S. Genealogical Web Archives. Accessed 29 sept 2011
  4. ^ "1683 Concord", Pro Genealogists. Accessed 29 sept 2011
  5. ^ "Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania", John W. Jordan. Genealogical Publishing Com, 1978. ISBN 0-8063-0811-7, ISBN 978-0-8063-0811-1. p. 486
  6. ^ The Legend of the Lohengrin Swan, Nancy Dellinger. Lulu Enterprises, Inc. 2011
  7. ^ "The Legend of the Lohengrin Swan", Nancy Dellinger. Apple. 2011. Accessed 29 sept, 2011

Further reading[edit]