|Margaret H. Siemens death certificate, died 26 October 1993, dated 15 November 1993, certificate #93-019194, Office of Vital Statistics, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Topeka, Kansas.|
But it wasn't always so. During Word War I and the years immediately following, Mennonites usually considered themselves Dutch because of the anti-German backlash of the war. Here is my grandfather's (Cornelius K. Siemens, #7529, 1884-1950) 1921 Canadian census record:
|Census of Canada 1921, Provencher District, Manitoba, ED 19, Sheet 15A, Family 108, Household of Cornelius Seamons accessed at Ancestry.ca on 10 April 2014.|
If we go back a century earlier when the Mennonites were living in Russia, they did not consider themselves either German or Dutch, but rather they saw Mennonite as a distinct ethnic group. For example, my great-great-great-uncle, Jacob Siemens was murdered in Molotschna colony in Russia in April 1811 at age 19 by Nogai nomads while working on a road crew. The official report on the crime called him a "Menonist" (менонистъ in Russian), not a German. Here's a snippet from the report:
BTW, this incident became a notorious crime among the Mennonites in south Russia and led to the Rusisan government disarming the Nogai nomads two years later. So most of our ancestors would have known about and felt the fear of the nomads.
So I've given you a few documents that show how Mennonites understanding of their ethnicity or nationality has changed over the last couple centuries.