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RG2500.AM:  Jantzen Family

Diaries, etc. on microfilm: 1839-1935

Plymouth, Jefferson County, Nebraska:  Mennonite minister

Size:  2 reels of microfilm


Johann Jantzen was born near Danzig in West Prussia on October 6, 1823.  In June of 1869, as a member of a Mennonite colony, he settled in Russia.  In the early 1880s the colony resettled in the province of Turkestan.  After a year, Jantzen and his family joined several other Mennonite families in emigrating to America.  Jantzen arrived in Beatrice, Nebraska on September 12, 1884 and bought a farm three and a half miles southeast of Plymouth, Jefferson County, Nebraska and ten miles west of Beatrice, Gage County, Nebraska.  In addition to farming, Jantzen had also served as a minister in the Mennonite church since he was thirty years old.  Jantzen was left a widower four times.  When he died on October 5, 1903, he was survived by five sons.  Johann Jantzen is buried in the First Mennonite Church Cemetery at Beatrice, Nebraska.


This collection consists of two reels of microfilm containing diaries of Johann Jantzen (some entries in English and some in German).  The diaries document the life of Johann Jantzen in West Prussia, Russia and the United States.  Of particular interest are his descriptions of experiences as a member of a Mennonite colony in Russia and later in Jefferson County, Nebraska.  Jantzen’s diary entries, 1839-1903, describe his home in West Prussia, emigration to Russia, religious services conducted, thievery and hardships experienced in Russia, the departure and trip to the United States, and settlement on a farm near Plymouth, Nebraska.

The diary gives a great deal of information about Jantzen’s family and friends, including entries for births, marriages, deaths, celebrations and religious events.  He also reports on the emigration of other Mennonites to the Beatrice area, items bought and sold, and weather conditions.  After Johann Jantzen’s death in 1903, other family members continued writing in the diary.  Their entries conclude in 1935.  Also included is a brief autobiography of Johann’s father, Abraham Jantzen; a biography of Cornelius Jantzen; and a sermon written and delivered by Johann Jantzen in 1898.

Note:  This microfilm is not available through interlibrary loan.  It was purchased from the Kansas State Historical Society.


Reels 1 and 2:  Diaries, 1839-1935, etc.


Subject headings:

Agricultural laborers — Nebraska

Beatrice (Nebraska) — History

Gage County (Nebraska) — History

Germans from Russia

Jantzen family

Jantzen, Abraham, 1797-1876

Jantzen, Cornelius, 1866-1958

Jantzen, Johann, 1823-1903

Jefferson County (Nebraska) — History

Mennonites in Nebraska

Plymouth (Nebraska) — History


AIP/lm                 06-22-1981

Revised TMM      11-27-2018