Warkentin & Draper Family History

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125th Anniversary



Jacob - 1906

Johann Patriarch

Johann (1760-1825)

Johann's Journey



Abraham (1880-1949)

Abraham (1832)



Bishop Jacob (1791)


Jacob Warkentin
Jacob Warkentin 1906-1996

Jacob Warkentin's ancestors were Mennonites. They moved from Prussia in 1804 to settle in southern Russia. His grandfather emigrated to Canada in 1875.

 Ancestors of Jacob Warkentin - Pedigree chart
 Surname List - All surnames in the pedigree chart 
 Index of Names - All names in the pedigree chart
 Warkentin & Draper Family History - Main page
 Individual Pages - Surname list

More Family Links
The WARKENTIN family were Mennonites. About the 16th century they moved to the Vistula delta, in Western Prussia, where Johann Warkentin was born in the village of Blumenort in 1760.  In 1804 while Napoleon's Armies were rampaging across Europe, Johann and his family started the long trek to their new home in the Ukraine.

In 1763, Catherine II (Catherine the Great, German born empress of Russia) had sent agents into the German states for the purpose of recruiting settlers. These colonists were to develop the fertile, uncultivated agricultural lands southeast of Moscow, specifically along the VOLGA River. There were several promises that made this offer attractive to the Germans: freedom from various forms of taxes and customs duties, self government for the towns, freedom of religion, and freedom from military service, to name a few. A few years later she turned to the Mennonites of West Prussia. She needed settlers for the newly acquired lands of the southern Ukraine. 

Frederick William II of Prussia was demanding payment of heavy fines in lieu of military service and forced the Mennonites, who were pacifists, to pay tithes to the established Lutheran Church on earlier land purchases from Lutherans. The Mennonites were particularly attracted to Russia by the offer of freedom from military service. In 1789, 228 Mennonite families arrived at Chortitza, Ukraine on the Dneiper River. Many ancestors were part of this original group including the Friesen, Doerksen and Braun families. A few years later in 1803/1804 another group including Johann Warkentin and his family arrived to settle the Molotschna colony. Johann named his village after his birthplace, Blumenort.

Russian politics changed dramatically over the next 100 years and it wasn't long before the Germans starting losing the freedoms and privileges extended to them. The Mennonites were first to leave in large numbers. They were being forced to provide military service to the Russians, so in the 1870s thousands of them moved on to both North and South America.

The governments of Canada and the United States were encouraging immigration to newly opened lands in their Midwest. In 1874 Mennonites from three colonies Molotschna, Bergthal and Chortitza began an exodus from Russia to their new home in Manitoba, Canada.

On July 1, 1875, Jacob Warkentin, Johann's great grandson along his foster parents arrived in Canada. Thousands of other Mennonites migrated to North America and settled in Manitoba, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska. The migration saved thousands of families from the horrors of the Russian revolution and its aftermath forty two years later. 

The Name

Warkentin (Warkentine,Warckentien, Warckentyn, Workentyn)

Warkentin is a common Mennonite name of Prussian background which, as early as 1667, was found in Tiegenhagen, Ladekopp, Rosenort, Furstenwerder, Heubuden, Danzig, and Konigsberg. From Prussia the name spread to Russia and later to North America.

The first recorded history of our branch of the family is related to the emigration from Prussia to Southern Russia. Following are links to some of the people in our family or search below for your family.

Mennonite Links

Jacob Warkentin



Helena (1858-1891)

Bishop Abraham

Bishop David

Abraham (1827-1916)

Reverend Heinrich


Reverend Abraham

Abraham (1839-1909)

Sarah (1881-1943)


Heinrich (1791-1851)

Maria (1844-1934)


Margaretha (1767)

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