Lamberdina 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. Lamberdina Lemmen was born here in 1832.

Lamberdina Lemmen was born in 1832 in Laar, the fourth child of Geert Jan Ranters and Fenigje Lemmen. The family Bible recorded her birth date as September 19. She was baptized in Laar on November 25. She had two brothers, Berend Jan and Jan Harm, and an older sister named Lamberdina, who passed away a few days after being born.

On May 1, 1854, Lamberdina boarded the Challenger at Le Havre, France for the U.S. with her sweetheart, Johannes Ten Cate. They left from this port because the Crimean War was interferring with the normal shipping lanes in the North Sea and English Channel.

Lamberdina Lemmen Marries Johannes Ten Cate

Johannes, who had been born in the Province of Drenthe, and Lamberdina were married in Kalamazoo, Michigan on November 26, 1854 and lived on a farm in Fillmore Township, Section 29. This farm had a clearing around it and became a refuge for the neighborhood during the Fire of October 1871, which destroyed property in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan.

Lamberdina Lemmen and Johannes Ten Cate had eight children:

  1. Hendrick (Henry)—born 1855;
  2. Fred—born 1857;
  3. Geert (Gerrit)—born 1859;
  4. Arie—born 1862;
  5. Herman—1866;
  6. Ida—born 1867;
  7. Fennigjen (Fannie)—born 1870; and,
  8. Jantien—born 1873

Johannes passed away in 1906, and Lamberdina on January 26, 1908. They are buried in the East Saugatuck Cemetery.

Portrait of Johannes Ten Cate and Lamberdina Lemmen.

Johannes and Lamberdina Ten Cate.

1895 plat map showing where Lamberdina Lemmen and Johannes Ten Cate's farm was located.

Johannes and Lamberdina ran this 80–acre farm in Fillmore Township. The village of Graafschap is located to the northwest.

Photo of two young girls posing by a chair.

German BIS member Gerda Genzink was going through old family photographs and ran across a very curious picture of two young girls. The metal photograph is obviously very old. On the back is clearly written, “Lamberdiena Lemmen.” It seems that the picture must be of two of her daughters, Ida and Fennigjen. Lamberdina must have sent the photo to friends in Grafschaft Bentheim, where it was recently uncovered.

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