GRIJP/GRIEP from Twenthe and the countship of Bentheim
Farming families that live for centuries at both sides of the Dutch-German border

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  The German countship of Bentheim, situated just east of the Dutch region 'Twenthe', always has had strong ties with the Netherlands. They share the same faith and almost the same language, and many farmhands from Bentheim earned a part of their living by doing seasonal work in Holland.

For many centuries families by the name of Grijp and Griep were living in the border areas of Bentheim and Twenthe, in villages like Breklenkamp, Uelsen, Volthe and Weerselo. They seem to originate from two farms with that name, from which the oldest one dates back to 1317. In which way both families were related is not clear yet.




Breklenkamp, a village in the Dutch Twenthe region, is surrounded on three sides by German territory. Just over the border in Germany lies a small hamlet called Griep, part of Uelsen township. In 1317 the house 'Gripink' was mentioned here and there is still a farm on that same spot. Records about the Gryp family that originated here, start in 1675.

Hendrik Grijp was born about 1675 at Breklenkamp. He also lived there with his family and had three children: Harmen Grijp (born in 1702, worked as a schoolteacher at Breklenkamp, was buried in 1763 at Uelsen), Aale Grijp (born in 1710, married Harmen Brüggeman, was burried in 1735 at Uelsen) and:

Second generation:

Hendrik Grijp, was born in 1726 at Breklenkamp and married in 1750 Swenne Schulten of Grasdorp. Living at Breklenkamp they had three children: Swenne (1750, married in 1780 Albert Sietzen and died in 1794), Jan (1750-1795) and Harmen (1757-1806). After the death of his first wife Hendrik remarried in 1763 at Uelsen to Jenne Alers of Breklenkamp. With her he had another daughter: Gese (born in 1770, married Berend Barkemeijer of Grasdorf, died in 1842). Hendrik Grijp was buried on Saturday May 3, 1800, at Uelsen.

Third generation:

Jan Grijp, was born about 1750 at Breklenkamp. He married in 1782 at Veldhausen Jenne Meinderink of Grasdorf. They had six children, who all got the surname of Meinderink. He was buried in 1795 at Grasdorf.

Harmen Grijp was born in 1757 at Breklenkamp. He was noted as a colon (crofter) at Breklenkamp when he married in 1780 at Uelsen to Janna Sietzen. They had six children: Hendrik (1781-1837), Jan (baptised on May 2, 1784, at Uelsen), Swenne (baptised April 6, 1787, at Uelsen), Jan Hendrik (1788-1852), Harmen (born November 28, 1792, died in 1864 from leg trouble) and Stiene (1799, married Albert Kempers/Vrieling, died in 1871). Harmen Grijp was buried at Uelsen on May 1, 1806.

Fourth generation:

Hendrik Griep, born at Breklenkamp, was baptised on July 22, 1781, at Uelsen. In 1810 he married Gese Holsmölle of Halle. Has also was a colon at Breklenkamp and he had eight children: Janna (1811, married Jan Maatman, had four children, died in 1845 from tuberculosis), Jan (1812-1815), Harmen (1813), Jan Hendrik (1815, died in 1842 from tuberculosis), Jan Hendrik (1817-1873), Janna (1819, married Jan Joost, had four children, died in 1858 at Esche), Gese (1822, married Bernhard Hinderink and had eight children) and Swenne (1825, married in 1859 Gerrit Jan Hofstede, had three children, died in 1864). Hendrik Grijp died on October 7, 1837 at Breklenkamp.

Jan Hendrik Grijp (alias ‘Otten’), born on March 30, 1788, at Breklenkamp. He married in 1819 Gese Olthuis (Otten) of Grasdorf. After she died, in 1837 at Teich, he remarried in 1839 to Harmtjen Dijk Jacobs. They had four chldren that all got the surname Otten. He died in 1852 at Osterwald.

Fifth generation:

Harm Grieps, born December 19, 1813, at Breklenkamp and baptised at Uelsen on Christmas Sunday. He married in 1850 Gese Mensing of Bookholt. He lived at Breklenkamp, earning his living as a colon, and had four children: Hendrik (April 1, 1851), Jan (born on August 11, 1853, married Berendina Reefman), Gese (February 21, 1855) and Geerd (January 19, 1867).

Sixth generation:

Jan Griep, born August 11, 1853, married Berendina Reefman and had, living at Breklenkamp, four children: Geesken (February 12, 1884), Harm Hindrik (August 17, 1886), Johanna (May 7, 1893) and Geert Jan (May 6, 1897).

It becomes clear that in this region a name sometimes was more connected to the farm than to the family. Two times a Grijp did marry a woman who inherited another farm, and because of that he changed his name into that of the farm. It also happened the other way around:

Jan Mudden was born in 1763 at Breklenkamp, being the son of Hendrik Mudden and Stien Grijp. He is a colon and was called Jan Grijp of Breklenkamp. He and his wife Janna Seisen had a son Jan Hendrik Grijp (1796) and a daughter: Harmina Grijp (born February 7, 1797, at Breklenkamp, married in 1828 at Nordhorn Jan Harm Westerhof of Frensdorf, had six children and died in 1855 after a long illness).

After 1900 the name disappeared from the Uelsen region. In the present telephone book there is no Grijp listed anymore.

Most of this information is from Theo Davina, who published it on



  A few kilometers to the south, part of the township of Denekamp, a hamlet named Volthe is situated. In 1475 the name of a farm there it was first mentioned in the books: 'erve Griep' or 'Gripinc'.
The exact location of 'erve Griep' (62) and the related 'Oude Griep' (64) can be seen on the map, dating from 1838. On the same spot there are now newly build farmhouses: Griep-Mölman and Griep-Golbach.
Both the present Dutch families Griepink or Grijpink and Griep from Twenthe originated from this farm.
  The first one that appeared in the records was Geert Grijp, born about 1500 in the hamlet of Volthe. He was succeeded on the farm by his son Jacob Grijp, and later by his grandson Albert Grijp.

Albert's son Jacobus Grijp(inck) left the farm at Volthe for Ootmarsum, and became the ancestor there of the families Griepink and Grijpink. His sisters stayed behind on the farm, and one of them married a man named Geert in 1644. After the name of the farm, he adopted the surname Grijp/Griep. In this way, the family branch that stayed to live at Volthe did carry the names Griep and Oude Griep on to later generations.

This information comes from a book about his family, written by J.F.A.Griepink.

About the Griep family from Volthe, the following lineage could already be constructed:

  • In 1724 Gerrit Griepink married Anna ten Oppenkort. He died in 1756. He had a son, whose surname was written Griep:

  • This son, Hermanus Hendrikus Griep, was born in 1734. He married in 1762 to 'Bernardina of the old Scholtenhuis'. Their son was:  

  • Gerardus Johannes Griep (Gerrit Jan), who married Geertrui Oude Tijdhof. He died in 1884. 

  • Their son, Hermannus Griep (also Herman Joannes), was born on May 28, 1803 and baptised at Weerselo. He was a farmer and he married in 1836 at Weerselo Janna Kattenpoel. He died in 1842.

Two of their sons stayed to live with their families at Weerselo:

  • Gerardus Griep, born in 1838 at Weerselo. He was a farmer and married in 1872 at Weerselo Anna Kruip, 37 years of age. His wife died shortly after their second child was born in 1875. Gerardus died in 1893. Their children were:
    -- Jannes Griep
    (born in 1873, married in 1896 Johanna Suzanna Wesselink),
    Hermanus Griep (born in 1876 at Weerselo).

  • Hermanus Griep, married in 1899 Hendrika Eertman of Denekamp and had two children with her: Gerard and Hanna. In 1903, he remarried at Weerselo to Susanne Lessink Steenhof. With her he had another five children. Among them:
    -- Hendrikus Johannes
    born August 30, 1905, married Maria Johanna Hassink, had seven children, died in 1988),
    -- Johan Antonius
    born September 25, 1908 at Weerselo, married in 1946 at Enschedé to Agatha Frederika Cyrilla Elzinga and had two children. He had a grocery shop at Enschedé and he died in 1979).

The names Griep and Oude Griep still are present in this region. In the telephone book Griep is listed 5 times and Oude Griep 25 times. The first one mostly at Rossum, near Weerselo, and the latter at Denekamp.


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Last update of this page (
on November 2, 2006, by ©
Jan Griep, Katwijk aan Zee, Netherlands.