© Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Last updated December 21, 2004)

·  Thiesen, Johan W., 1882-1954

Retrieval numbers: Volume 1600; Microfilm 708, 709

Title: Johan W. Thiesen fonds
Dates: 1878-1954
Extent: 1 microfilm reel
Extent: 10 cm of textual records
Repository: Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives

Historical note

Johan W. Thiesen (1882-1954) was born at Neuhorst, Manitoba in the West Reserve to Jakob Thiesen and Getruda Mueller. He married in 1901 to Katharina Wiebe (1880-1948). After 1922 he migrated to Mexico with many other members of the Reinlaender Mennonite Church (Reinlaender Gemeinde) due to increased pressure and efforts from the government to assimilate the Mennonite children through compulsory public school attendance. Johan W. Thiesen settled in the village Neuhorst, Manitoba Colony, Mexico, where he lived the rest of his life.

Scope and content note

This fonds consists of diaries, correspondence, community announcements, legal documents, financial ledgers and memorabilia which record events, transactions and experiences in the life of Johan W. Thiesen in Neuhorst, Manitoba prior to 1922 and later in Neuhorst, Mexico until his death in 1954. The diaries consist of 7 volumes covering 1902-1951. The correspondence includes letters written by Isaac Mueller, Jacob Lehn, Andreas Wallmann, Johann Wall and many more who wrote from Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada, as well as from village in the Durango Mennonite settlement in Mexico, and from Paraguay and Russia, arranged alphabetically by writer. The legal documents include the 1877 Neuhorst village agreement from Manitoba and other land deeds held by the family between 1880 and 1933. The financial ledgers cover records income and expense records (1902-1954) and account books of the Old Colonia Waisenamt (1930-1953). Personal memorabilia includes several school notebooks (hand-writing, arithmetic, religious instruction, poems), genealogical data and a hand-copied transcription of Heinrich Donner's 1783 history of the Hutterian movement.

Index terms


·  Thiesen, Johan W., 1882-1954

Adjunct descriptive data

Finding aids

File list available


Custodial history

These materials were discovered in the possession of Abram Enns, of Strassbourg, Manitoba Colony, Mexico by Bruce Wiebe of Winkler, Manitoba, who negotiated their loan for microfilming at the Mennonite Heritage Centre in 1995.




Arranged and described by Alf Redekopp, microfilmed by Conrad Stoesz, project 161 in August 1995.

Restrictions on access


Other notes

Acc. no. 1995-065

Johan W. Thiesen fonds file list

Microfilm 708 and 709

I.    Johan W. Thiesen diaries

      a.         Book 1, 1902-1906

      b.         Book 2, 1906-1912

      c.         Book 3, 1912-1919

      d.         Book 4, 1919-1923

      e.         Book 5, 1931-1938

      f.          Book 6, 1938-1947

      g.         Book 7, 1947-1951

II.   Jacob M. Thiessen diary (1922) and Kapital Buch (1919-1923)


III. Correspondence (letters, announcements and invitations)

a.   Invitations to funerals & weddings, 1878-1923

b.   Bekanntmachungen, 1922, 1940

c.   Correspondence of Isaac Mueller, Jacob Lehn, Andreas Wallmann, Johann Wall and other documents, 1890-1923, predominant 1890-1906 (detailed list of 28 items available)

d.   Letters received by Johan W. Thiesen, 1905-1954, predominant 1939-1954 (arranged alphabetically by writer)


                  Bornn, Mrs. Peter                     Arden, MB

                  Braun, Isbrandt             Dunelm, SK

                  Bueckert, B.                             Blumenhof, Dgo.

                  Dyck, Katharine                       Reinland, Dgo.

                  Dyck, Mrs. John J.                   Winkler, MB

                  Dyck, Peter M.                                    Laird, SK

                  Ens, Abr.                                              Gruenfeld, Dgo.

                  Ens, Ger.                                              Gruenfeld, Dgo.

                  Friesen, G.J.                             Morris, MB

                  Giesbrecht, D.P.                       Gretna, MB

                  Giesbrecht, Jacob Joh.  Nikolaifeld, Paraguay

                  Giesbrecht, John A.                  Rosebank, MB

                  Giesbrecht, Peter and Mary         ?

                  Hiebert, A.P.                            Blumenhof, SK

                  Janzen, Peter and Maria            Cantuar, SK

                  Kehler, Bernhard                      Plum Coulee Lumber Yard

                  Klassen, Joh. T.                        Reinland, Dgo.

                  Knelsen, Jac and Susana           Cortitz, (1923)

                  Knelsen, Paul and Anna            Benard, MB

                  Kroeker, Klaas                                    Wingard, SK

                  Penner, Peter                            Neuanlage, Dgo.

                  Schroeder, Johan J.                  Reinland, Dgo.

                  Thiessen, Jacob and Anna         Rosenthal

                  Unger, Isaac                             Winkler, MB

                  Wall, Abr. J.                             Blumenhof, Durango

                  Wall, David J.                           Gruenfeld, Durango

                  Wall, David P.                          Schoenfeld, Durango

                  Wall, Isaac J.                            Blumenhof, Durango

                  Wall, Jacob K.                         Thalbach

                  Wall, Joh P.                              Patos, Durango

                  Wall, Johan J.                           Schoenfeld, Durango

                  Wiebe, A.P.                             Haskett, MB

                  Wiebe, Heinrich G.                   Osler, SK

                  Wiebe, John B.                         Winkler, MB

                  Wiebe, Wm.                             Osler, SK

                  Wolfe, John E.                          Haskett, MB



IV. Legal Documents

a.   Neuhorst village agreement, 1877 (Manitoba)

b.   Land deeds, 1880-1933


V.  Financial ledgers and other related material

a.   Buch No. 1, 1902-1938

b.   Buch No. 2, 1923-1954

c.   Income/disbursement journal, 1930-1935

d.  13 notebooks of income/disbursement records, 1906-1923

e.  File: misc. papers regarding financial matters, 1922-1948

f.    Notebook, 1899-1901

      g.         Notebook, 1906-1903

      h.         Pantaleon E. Melendez & Co. (bank book), 1923-1924)

i.    2 Farmer's Pocket Ledger notebooks, 1927-1942

j.    2 notebooks containing some Waisenamt references, 1930-1934

k.   Old Colonia Waisenamt account books for Peter Esau, 1931-1938

l.    Old Colonia Waisenamt account books for Johan W. Thiessen, 1930-1953



VI. Personal Memorabalia

a.   Schönschreiben notebooks, 1892-1895

b.   Weihnachts. u. Neu Jahrs. Wünsche, 1891, 1922

c.   Arithmatic notebooks, ca. 1896

d.   Religious instruction notebook, 1902

e.   Poems

f.    Genealogical data

                  -2 pages from a church register & other notes

g.   Kurzer Bericht von denn Taufgesinnten Christen welche die Hutterschen Brüder genannt werden... originally written by Heinrich Donner in 1783 and this last transcription by Johann W. Thieszen, Neuhorst, Jan. 1, 1901. (written in an "Exercise book")


VII.            Miscellaneous

a.                               Merkblatt über Paraguay, [after 1935]


Volume 1600  (photocopies from Microfilm 708 & 709)

1.      From Rosthern, Nov. 20, 1897, Gerhard and Helena R. to father and siblings (in Russia?)

2.      From Jacob Lehn of Neuenburg (Russia) to cousin Mueller (Canada?) March 10, 1897 response to a letter of Jan. 20.

3.      From Peter P. Miller, Osler, SK, to Johann Thiessen, (Neuhorst) Gretna, MB, Oct. 15, 1905.

4.      From Jacob Oehn, Rosenthal (Russia) to cousin Isaac Mueller (Neuhorst) Sept. 7, 1906.

5.      From as above dated Feb. 4, 1890.

6.      From Peter and Katharina Dueck, 1906 of (Neihorst?) to their parents (Russia?)

7.      From Jacob and Katharina Jantzen (Russia?) to cousin Isaac Mueller of Neuhorst, MB.

8.      Obituary of Elder Johann Wiebe who died Feb. 26, 1905.

9.      Letter from Andras Wallmann, writing from Gleichenberg,  Steiermark (Auslin-Hungary) on Aug. 11, 1892, to Isaak Mueller.

10.  Letter from A. Wallmann of Chortitz to Isaak Mueller on Oct. 24, 1893.

11.  As above dated July 7, 1893.

12.  As above dated Feb. 13, 1893.

13.  As above dated Sept. 14, 1895.

14.  As above dated Jan. 11, 1895.

15.  As above dated Sept. 9, 1892.

16.  Letter written by "Ohm" Johann Wall of Neuanlage shortly after he was chosen as teacher (minister), to his parents and siblings, Aug. 2, 1900.

17.  Letter (incomplete) from A. Wallmann to Isaak Mueller. (repeat of above)

18.  From New York, Aug. 18, 1919 by Johann T. (F.) Wall on his way to Argentina and Brazil, South America, to his family Peter J. Froese of Neuhorst.

19.  From (Johann T. Wall) Hochfeld, to his children Peter J. Froese, Neuhorst, MB, Dec. 11, 1919 (after his (Wall's) return from South America.

20.  Report of trip from Manitoba to Mexico leaving Gretna, Oct. 11    (1923?) by Johann T. Wall.

21.  Letter from Maria Penner (Gruenfeld, Russia) to his uncle and aunt Abraham and Maria (Thiessen) of Neuhorst, 1898.

22.  Letter from Andreas Mueller, Hutchison County, Freeman, South Dakota, May 28, 1892 to his cousin in Manitoba.

23.  Letter form Joseph and Katharina Wipf, Bon Homme, S. Dakota on March 5, 1900 to Jacob Thiessen.

24.  Letter from Jacob and Gertruda Thiessen to Jacob Rempel on Feb. 21, 1901.

25.  Letter from Jacob and Gertruda Thiessen to cousin Joseph and Katherina Wipf in 1901.

26.  Letter from Neuhorst, April 10, 1906 - (no name of addressee or sender).

27.  "Geistlicher Ingarten mit vier Gnadenbrunnen"  sermon - undated or signed (Title:  Spiritual Garden of Deception with Four Wells of Grace)

28.  Announcments of sale of goods of the late widow Aron Peters of Rosenort by the Waisenamt on Friday the 15th. Announcement by Elder Johann Wiebe of a coming Brotherhood meeting of the Reinlaender  Mennonitengemeinde, Rosengard to be held July 26, 1898. Appeal for monies to help a Susanna Waldner with medical treatment for her eyes.

29.  Letter from John B. Wiebe to Joahn Thiessen. -- Feb 20, 1943. Letter from John B. Wiebe to Johan Thiessen. -- 1950.  Letter from John B. Wiebe to Johan Thiessen. -- 1950.

30.  Letter from Wilhelm Wiebe to Johan Thiessen. -- March 29, 1946.  Letter from Wilhelm Wiebe to Joahn Thiessen. -- May 3, 1946.

31.  Letter from John Wolf to Johan Thiessen. -- August 27, 194?. Letter from John Wolf to Johan Thiessen. -- October 12, 1941.