Lutte Alferink

By Bentheimers International Society

Hand-drawn map of Neue Piccardie from LeCoq’s 1805 map of Grafschaft Bentheim, Germany, where Lutte Alferink was born.

A portion of General Major von Le Coq‘s Grafschaft Bentheim map (1805) depicting the settlement of Georgsdorf. Lutte Alferink was born here in 1848.

Lutte Alferink (Lütte Alfering) was born on June 24, 1848 in Neue Piccardie (Georgsdorf) to the Colon farmer Hendrik Alfering and Geerdjenn Eilers (Eilders), the youngest of six children. On April 29, 1873, she married Gerrit Hendrik Veldhuis in Lage.

In 1883, Gerrit and Lutte, along with their children, departed from the port of Rotterdam for New York. Their ship, the S.S. Schiedam, arrived on May 14. Once in the U.S., the family first lived in the Overisel, Michigan area. They soon moved to a farm on 78th Avenue in Allendale Township.

The Lutte Alferink and Gerrit Hendrik Veldhuis Family In Allendale, Michigan

Lutte Alferink and Gerrit Hendrik Veldhuis had several children, with the older children born in Grafschaft Bentheim:

  1. Jan (John)—born November 15, 1873 in Uelsen;
  2. Hendrik (Henry)—born Jun 8, 1876 in Halle;
  3. Frederik—born December 20, 1879 in Uelsen;
  4. Geerdjen (Gertrude)—born May 29, 1881 in Halle;
  5. Benjamin—born in March, 1885 in Allendale;
  6. Fannye—born in May, 1887 in Allendale;
  7. Garet—born ca. 1890, died November 17, 1895 in Allendale; and,
  8. Albert—born February 26, 1893, died October, 1950.

Son Benjamin changed his last name to Velthouse, as this seemed more American. His  descendants tell about how homeless men or vagrants would frequently sleep in their barn overnight as they passed through the area. Some would ask permission, but others who needed shelter during the Great Depression just came and left a few signs that they had been there.

Lutte’s husband Gerrit died on December 3, 1906. After Gerrit’s death, her sons Henry, Fred, and Albert lived with her. Lutte died on April 28, 1925 and was buried alongside her husband in the Allendale Township Cemetery.

Grave markers of Gerrit Hendrik Veldhuis and his wife Lutte (Lydia).

Gerrit H. and Lutte (Lydia) Veldhuis’ grave markers in the Allendale Township Cemetery. Photo by scout.

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