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Hamm, Martin (1899–1982)

Proper Title

Martin Hamm fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

2 cm of textual material and 2 audio tape cassettes

Biographical Sketch

Martin Hamm, son of Martin and Helena Penner Hamm, was born in Blumenhof, South Russia on June 29, 1899. The family moved to Schoenau in 1910. Hamm was converted at the age of 17, was baptized, and joined the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Church. Plans to study abroad were interrupted by his father’s death, and he became a self-taught teacher, a profession he was unable to continue in Canada.

He married Anna Warkentin on August 28, 1921, and, in 1926, the couple emigrated to Canada. The following year he took up farming in the Peace River settlement in northern Alberta and also served as minister of the La Glace Mennonite Brethren Church. The family moved to Chilliwack, B.C. in 1945, where he became a charter member of the Chilliwack Mennonite Brethren Church. In July 1953, his wife died. He married widow Elizabeth Neufeld Willms of Winnipeg in 1954 and became step-father of four additional children. The couple settled in Winnipeg and joined the Elmwood Mennonite Brethren Church. Martin Hamm died on February 6, 1982. His extended family remembers his deep Christian convictions, his cheerful optimism, his zest for life and congenial friendship.

Custodial History

The Martin Hamm fonds was donated in May 1981 by Carolyn Hamm.

Scope and Content

The Martin Hamm fonds contains autobiographical material, some written by Hamm in the Gothic German script, some published in the Mennonitische Rundschau, and some transcribed by Carolyn Hamm as related to her by her grandfather. Also in this fonds are two audio tape cassettes (interviews by Carolyn Hamm in 1981) of Martin Hamm speaking about his childhood in Borosenko, his immigration to Canada, farming and church life in La Glace, Alberta, and his move to British Columbia.


  • Volume 965.
  • Title based on contents of fonds.
  • The Accession Number is 1981-38.
  • Finding aid: Small collections H, File 1.
  • Finding aid for tapes: NA-15–040 and NA-15–041.

File List

Volume 965

  • 1:1 Tagebuch von Martin Hamm (1869–1919; Borosenko Colony in South Russia). Covers the period from 1908 to 1919. Written in Gothic script. -- 1919.
  • 1:2 Transcription of Martin Hamm diary from Gothic script to regular German script by son Martin Hamm (1899–1982) with additional family letters included. --1975.
  • 1:3 Translation of Martin Hamm diary and family letters into English. -- 1997.
  • 1:4 Book: Martin Hamm, Aus der alten in die neue Heimat: Lebensgeschichte eines schichten Mennoniten (Winnipeg: Christian Press, 1971), 175 pp. -- 1971.
  • 1:5 Manuscript: Martin Hamm, "My Old Home in the New," translated by Marianne Ewert Worcester, 1972, 121 pp. The German original was published in 1971 as Aus der alten in die neue Heimat.  -- 1972.
  • 1:6 "Life in the Peace River country, 1927–45," the story of Martin Hamm as told to Carolyn R. Hamm, 18 pp. -- 1981.
  • 1:7 Mennonitische Rundschau serialized version of Aus der alten in die neue Heimat in 52 installments. -- October 1970 to November 1971.
  • 1:8 Mennonitische Rundschau serialized version of Durch Sudamerika und zur Mennonitische Welt Konferenz in 9 installments. -- August 1972 to October 1972.
  • 1:9 Three Mennonitische Rundschau articles: "Eine Bustour nach Mexiko" by Martin Hamm (April 23, 1975); "Nach Hawaii" by Martin Hamm (April 8, 1980); and "Silberhochzeit der Geschwister Martin und Elizabeth Hamm" (May 23, 1979). -- 1975–1980.
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