Neeltje Claessen Smit

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Neeltje Claessen Smit

Also Known As: "Lake", "Classen.Claasdr"
Birthdate: (43)
Birthplace: Gravesend, Kings Co., Long Island New York
Death: January 10, 1699 (39-47)
Gravesend, Kings Co., New York
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Capt. Claes Claeszen Smit and Geertruyd Willekens
Wife of Capt. John Lake, IV and Joseph Goulding, Sr.
Mother of John Lake, V; Thomas Lake, Sr; Nicholas Lake, Sr.; Mary van Sicklen; Daniel Lake and 4 others
Half sister of Jochem Gulick

Occupation: Klassen/Smith
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Neeltje Claessen Smit ; Claassen (Claasen, Classen, Claesz, Claussen, Klaassen, Klassen, Klaeszen) family Claassen is a Mennonite name that originated in the Netherlands. In Prussia it was first mentioned in 1552 at Schmerblock. In 1776, 107 families carried this name in West Prussia (without Danzig); in 1910, 409 persons; and in 1935 (without Elbing), 420 persons. In Prussia it was one of the most common Mennonite family names, occurring mostly in the Flemish congregations. An outstanding representative of the family was Peter Claassen, the second elder of the Grosse Werder congregation from 1645 until 1679. Another Peter Claassen (1828-1901), a minister of the Heubuden congregation, immigrated to North America in 1878 and was instrumental in founding the First Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas.

The members of the Claassen family who went to Russia at the close of the 18th century and settled in Chortitza usually spelled their name "Klassen," while those who settled later at the Molotschna and in Samara used the forms "Claassen" and "Klaassen." Some of the outstanding bearers of this name in Russia were Elder Peter Klassen (1825-1902); Claassen, David Ivanovitch (1855-1932), all-Mennonite representative of the Forestry Service; J. J. Klassen (1856-1919), the managing secretary of the Chortitza district; Martin Klaassen, writer of Mennonite history literature; and Jakob A. Klassen (1847-1919), an educator in Chortitza.

In North America the two predominant forms of the name are "Klassen" (usually among emigrants from Russia) and "Claassen" (usually among emigrants from Prussia). Cornelius F. Claassen (1859-1941) was president of the Kansas State Bank in Newton and treasurer of the General Conference Mennonite Church Emergency Relief Board. Claassen, Johannes (1835-1898), writer of numerous books on philosophical, theological, and literary subjects, was a Prussian Mennonite. Other prominent members of this widespread and well-known family include: Johannes Claassen, one of the founders of the Mennonite Brethren in Russia in 1860; Johannes Klaassen, long-time missionary to Java (1872-1950); C. F. Klassen (1894-1954), vice-chairperson of the All-Russian Mennonite Agricultural Union in Russia, and active in Canada in colonization and refugee migration work; J. J. Klassen (1872-1942), elder in Dundurn, Saskatchewan; J. P. Klassen (1868-1947), elder of Schönwiese (now First Mennonite) Church in Winnipeg; H. A. Claassen (1883-1954), missionary and elder in Beatrice, Nebraska; J. P. Klassen (b. 1888), Professor of Art in Bluffton; P. J. Klassen, writer and minister in British Columbia; and H. F. Klassen, Winnipeg, Manitoba, editor of the Mennonitische Rundschau Schmidt (Schmid, Smit, Smet, Schmitt, Smith) family Schmidt is a common Mennonite name, particularly among the Mennonites of Prusso-Russian background. The name appears in the early church records of Thiensdorf, Orlofferfelde, Danzig, Elbing, Jeziorka, Przechovka, Konopat and Kazun. The name was transplanted to Russia and North America during the Prussian Mennonite migration. The first records of the name in Prussia date back as early as 1586. Hilchen (Hiltje) Smet (Smid) was elder of the Montau Mennonite Church in 1588. Hans Schmidt, a Hutterite preacher from Moravia, was an evangelizing missionary in Württemberg and died in 1602. From the Przechovka-Alexanderwohl church record we learn that an early bearer of the name fled in 1634 with Tobias Schellenberger from Moravia to Hungary and then to Przechovka. He is supposed to have received the name because he was a master smith. Most of his descendants lived in the villages of Przechovka, Konopat and Jeziorka. Some of them settled later in the Polish-Russian villages of Heinrichsdorf and Michalin.

Several Schmidts from Przechovka joined the group of Mennonite immigrants to the Molotschna settlement, where they established the village and congregation of Alexanderwohl. In 1874 most of this branch of the family moved again and settled in the community of Goessel, Kansas, while those from Heinrichsdorf and Michalin established the congregations and communities of Gnadenberg, Canton and Pawnee Rock, Kansas, as well as Avon, South Dakota. Later the family spread over most of the states and provinces west of the Mississippi River. The name was also transplanted to Canada and South America. In 1954 the Alexanderwohl church had 991 members, 135 of whom had the surname Schmidt. Some of the bearers of the name, particularly of South German background, have changed the name to Smith. As of 1959 the connection between the Schmidt family lines among the Mennonites of South German and Prussian background had neither been confirmed nor fully investigated.

Some Schmidt family Mennonite leaders in Russia were Nikolai Schmidt and Johann Schmidt, both members of the Board of the Gnadenfeld Bruderschule and cofounders of the Friends of Jerusalem (Templers). P. P. Schmidt (1860-1910) of the Molotschna settlement was a cofounder of the Evangelical Mennonite Church. Hermann Schmitt of South Germany was a missionary under the Dutch Mennonite Mission Board in Indonesia. Who's Who Among the Mennonites lists the following notable members: Albert G. Schmidt, minister; August Schmidt, teacher and minister; Augusta Schmidt, missionary; H. U. Schmidt, minister; H. R. Schmidt, M.D.; J. R. Schmidt, M.D.; R. Schmidt, minister. Other well-known members of the Schmidt family were H. B. Schmidt, minister, and John F. Schmidt, professor. John Smith (1843-1906), a prominent bishop in the Mennonite Church (MC) at Roanoke, IL, was of Alsatian Amish heritage. His son was the notable American historian, C. Henry Smith. Both Willard Smith, who was a professor at Goshen College, and Tilman R. Smith, who was the president of Hesston College starting in 1959, were grandchildren of John Smith. J. B. Smith (1870-1951), a prominent Mennonite (MC) minister at Elida, Ohio and president of Eastern Mennonite College, was originally a Mennonite from Ontario. His son Paul and nephew Norman were both Mennonite Church (MC) ministers at Elida and Cloverdale, Ohio.

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Neeltje Claessen Smit's Timeline

March 21, 1655
Gravesend, Kings Co., Long Island New York
March 21, 1655
New Amsterdam, Drc, New York
March 21, 1655
Gravesend, Kings, New York, United States
April 1, 1674
Age 19
Gravesend, Kings Co, NY
April 16, 1688
Age 33
Gravesend, Kings County, New York, United States
Age 34
Gravesend, Kings Co, NY
Age 36
Gravesend, Kings, New York, United States
Age 38
Gravesend, Kings County, Province of New York