“Anabaptist,” Mennonite and Doopsgezind Women in Early Modern Dutch History (ca. 1570-1800)

Updated: 3 Jan. 2023. The basic message of this post is: Check out the Vrouwenlexicon!!! There are lots of fascinating details here about the lives of women from adult baptizing backgrounds before 1800. Look below for more details. I cite this post in my 2023 article “The Year 1625, the Dutch Republic, and Book History” (https://www.academia.edu/93269154/The_Year_1625_the_Dutch_Republic_and_Book_History_Perspectives_for_Reframing_Studies_of_Mennonites_and_Early_Modernity_2023_).

Updated: 18 Feb. 2023. In “The Year 1625, the Dutch Republic, and Book History” (Jan. 2023) I provide reasons for preferring “adult baptizers” to “Anabaptists” or even “Mennonites” as a general term. In short, the people who baptized adults in the early modern world were diverse. In addition to Mennonites, they included people from Mennonite milieus who rejected that name, and they included Baptists (of course), as well as some Socinians and Collegiants. With this diversity in mind, I have expanded the list below to include women who do not fit into the general framework of Mennonite church history.

On the technical front, I have also updated the URLs from http the https (it looks like the website has been updated).

Names that I have added in Feb. 2023 I have marked with an *. In an older version of this post I had two lists, and I have now integrated these lists into one.



The list below is derived from the Digitaal Vrouwenlexicon van Nederland (http://resources.huygens.knaw.nl/vrouwenlexicon). So far (by my count), it includes (35) 47 profiles of noteworthy women for the period from about 1570-1800 who are related to adult baptizing history, broadly defined. In most cases I have found these names using the search term “doopsgez*”, but the expanded list (early 2023) includes women with Collegiant and Socinian links. Most of these women were from wealthy families. Much more on this subject can be said. For now, this is a preliminary list that is meant to start more research.

One of the women in modern Dutch Mennonite history that I would like to highlight is

Among the reasons Van Eeghen is important is that she did so much to highlight the accomplishments of early modern Dutch book culture, including Mennonite book production.

Besides I.H. van Eeghen, there are so, so many women who stand out for the period after 1800 in “Ana/Baptist” history! Check out the Vrouwenlexicon!!!

For more about early modern Mennonite women’s history, also check out Sisters: The Myth and Reality of Anabaptist, Mennonite, and Doopsgezind Women, ca 1525-1900 (2014) (https://brill.com/display/title/26203)