"Clemens is a Mennonite family name which appears in the early Palatine Mennonite census list. The list indicates that as early as 1664 a person named Jan Clemens (Jan = dutch = Johannes) was living at Nieder-Flörsheim (Kurpfalz). (Some researchers trace the name back to Clement of Toft, England, of the 16th century.) In 1672 Johann Clementz as deacon signed a letter of appeal sent to the Amsterdam Mennonites. In 1685 he is listed as still living as an old man at the same place. The first member of the family to come to North America was Gerhar(d)t Clemens, who was probably born in 1680. He left the Palatinate (= Kurpfalz) and arrived in Pennsylvania in 1709, settling in Skippack Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Some of his descendants moved to adjacent Chester County. In 1809 another of his descendants, Abraham Clemens, migrated to Waterloo Township, Ontario, where a number of descendants continued to live. Several of these Canadian Clemenses moved to the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Although some Clemens families continued to be found in Michigan and Missouri  as well as a few other states, by far the largest number has been concentrated in Montgomery County.

Four deacons named Clemens served the Mennonite churches in the Waterloo Township, Ontario, district during the 19th century. They were Abram C. (1803-72), Abram L. (1781-1845), Abram S. (1790-1867), and Henry L. (1802-76). A very active member of the Clemens family in Mennonite Church (MC) affairs was Jacob Cassel Clemens (1874-1965), who served as the first secretary of the Franconia Conference 1909-1950, a minister in the same conference beginning in 1906, a member of the Mennonite Publication Board for many years, and author of the Clemens family history:

Jacob Cassel Clemens:

"Genealogical History of the Clemens Family and Descendants of the Pioneer, Gerhart Clemens"

(Lansdale, Pa: The Clemens family, 1948)".


Jacob Cassel Clemens was a seventh generation descendant of the pioneer Gerhart Clemens, a Mennonite, born in 1680, who came to America in 1709 and settled first in Skippack and later became a large landowner in Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.



                                                                Jacob Cassel Clemens (1874-1965) and brother John

                                                                 (1879-1959) standing at the "Clemens Memorial", 

                                                                 Lower Salford Mennonite Cemetery.