Hendrickien Scheerhoorn

By Heather and Patricia Gemmen

Map of Itterbeck, where Hindrickien Scheerhoorn lived.

A portion of General Major von Le Coq‘s Grafschaft Bentheim map (1805) depicting the village of Itterbeck. Hendrickien Scheerhoorn listed Itterbeck as her last place of residence before emigrating.

Hendrickien Scheerhoorn (also Scherborn, Scheerhorn) was born in Coevorden, Drenthe, the Netherlands on March 19, 1826. Her parents were Hendrik Alberts Scheerhoorn and Engel Almelo. On October 5, 1856, Hendrickien married Berend Jan Lotterman, a day laborer (Heuermann) from Emlichheim (1822–around 1881). They had four sons and a daughter:

  1. Albert—born July 31, 1857 in Coevorden, the Netherlands;
  2. Hendrik—born March 15, 1859 in Coevorden;
  3. Engelina—born on March 13, 1863. Engelina died on April 27, 1865 in Coevorden;
  4. Willem—born October 3, 1864 in Coevorden; and,
  5. Evert—born May 31, 1870.

Second son Hendrik left Grafschaft Bentheim at the age of 22 and emigrated to the United States aboard the S.S. Castor, which left from the port of Amsterdam on May 4, 1881. A year later, Hendrickien and her three other sons would follow.

Hendrickien Scheerhoorn Moves to Allendale, Michigan

On April 5, 1882, Hendrikien Scheerhoorn Lotterman and her three sons still in Germany departed Antwerp, Belgium aboard the S.S. Switzerland. Albert was 24, Willem was 17, and Evert was eleven. By this time, Hendrickien was a 56–year–old widow. They joined Hendrik at his home on 52nd Avenue in Allendale, Michigan. Albert, Willem, and Evert later moved to Grand Rapids, but Hendrickien remained with Hendrik.

On April 19, 1889, Hendrik married Grace Broene, daughter of Harm Hendrik Broene and Jennechien Dyke. Grace moved in with her husband and mother–in–law. Over the next few years, Hendrickien Scheerhoorn would become grandmother to their two daughters and two sons. But on July 11, 1898, Hendrik died from a horse kick to the lower abdomen.

Shortly after this, the newly–widowed Grace Broene Lotterman hired Jan Hendrik Gemmen to run the farm. The next year, they were married. Jan Hendrik Gemmen proved to be a wonderful stepfather to Hendrik Lotterman’s four children, and Hendrickien remained living with them in Allendale.

Hendrickien‘s Passing and Obituary

Hendrickien Scheerhoorn Lotterman died on January 5, 1900 and was buried in the Allendale Township Cemetery. Her eldest son Albert wrote the following obituary:

“Today the Lord, our God, suddenly took away our beloved mother Hendrikje Lotterman. Born in 1826, the 19th of March, in Koevorden, the Netherlands, she was 73 years, 9 months and 17 days old. Our father preceded her, passing into eternal rest 20 years ago. In 1882 she came with four children to this country. One of them went before her. From 17 years old, she sought the Lord. Life was her Christ, dying her gain. This is our consolation and gratitude. In the name of the children and their spouses.”

Black and white photograph of Hindrickien Scherborn, who holds a small songbook.

Hendrickien Scheerhoorn. She holds a songbook.

Death certificate in Dutch for Engelina Lotterman, age 2.

Death certificate of daughter Engelina.

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1 thought on “Hendrickien Scheerhoorn”

  1. I am very sure, it must be Scheerhoorn. The family name still today is to be found in the city of Coevorden in the Netherlands. And Scheerhorn is the name of a place next to Hoogstede.
    The names were written down differently by the ministers baptizing the children. They were written down even differently in one family. And they are often misread, becourse in a handwritting you can mix up very easy the letters b and h.


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