Hermannes Lemmen

By Bentheimers International Society

Some information for this biography is taken from "The Lemmen Family of Grafschaft Bentheim," by Lloyd J. Lemmen and Loren J. Lemmen.

Hand drawn map of Laar where Gerritdina Lemmen was born in 1856

A portion of General Major von Le Coq‘s Grafschaft Bentheim map (1805) depicting the settlement of Laar. Hermannes Lemmen was born here in 1854.

Hermannes Lemmen was born on March 12, 1854 in Laar, the third child of the weaver and farmer Berend Jan Lemmen and Fenne Schoemaker. His brother and sisters born in Laar were Fennegien, Gerrit, and Gerritdina. On April 9, Hermannes was baptized by the Separatists (Old Reformed) congregation in Emlichheim.

Emigrating T0 Michigan

When Hermannes was three years old, his family sold their ancestral farm and emigrated from Grafschaft Bentheim to Laketown Township in Allegan County, Michigan. Hermannes’ uncle Jan Harm Lemmen and aunt Lamberdina Lemmen had re–located there years earlier. The family departed from Bremen on the Bark Laura on August 11, 1857. Around ten weeks later, on October 5, the sailing ship reached New York. From there, the family traveled to Laketown, where they bought 120 acres of uncleared land just west of Graafschap. The children worked alongside their parents in clearing the land so they could begin to farm.

Hermannes Lemmen Marries Zwaantje Lummen

On June 23, 1879, Hermannes married Zwaantje Lummen, a fellow emigrant from Grafschaft Bentheim, Germany. The next year, he bought 40 acres of his parents’ farm and became a farmer, which he did in Laketown for the remainder of his life. According to the 1880 agricultural census, this farm produced $650 worth of farm products in 1879 and had two horses.

Hermannes and Zwaantje had five children:

  • Geesie (Grace)—born on September 26, 1881;
  • Fannie—born on March 16, 1885;
  • Benjamin—born on March 1, 1888;
  • Dena—born on October 30, 1891; and,
  • John M.—born on April 11, 1894.

Hermannes died on June 28, 1907 in Grand Rapids. Zwaantje died on May 2, 1909. They were buried in the Graafschap Cemetery.

Studio portrait of Hermannes Lemmen and his wife Zwaantje.

Hermannes Lemmen and his wife, Zwaantje Lummen.

Death announcement cards for Hermannes Lemmen and Zwaantje Lummen Lemmen.

Death announcement cards of Hermannes Lemmen and his wife, Zwaantje Lummen Lemmen.

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