Willem Lotterman

By Heather and Patricia Gemmen

map of Emlichheim, where Lucas Veldink was born

A portion of General Major von Le Coq‘s Grafschaft Bentheim map (1805) depicting the city of Emlichheim. Willem Lotterman emigrated from here in 1882.

Willem Lotterman was born on October 3, 1864 in Coevorden, the Netherlands. He was the third son of Berend Jan Lotterman from Emlichheim and Hendrickien Scheerhorn, who also for a brief time had a daughter, Engelina. (Engelina was born in March, 1863 and died in April, 1865 in Coevorden.) German records report Berend Jan’s occupation to be a day laborer (Heuermann). Financially, the future of Willem and his three brothers did not hold much promise in Germany.

Willem Lotterman Emigrates to Michigan, U.S.A.

On April 5, 1882, Willem, his mother Hendrickien, and his brothers Albert and Evert departed from the port of Antwerp, Belgium on the S.S. Switzerland. Willem was 17 years old. His older brother Hendrik had left a year earlier.

By 1883, Willem was living with his mother and brothers in Allendale on the farm purchased by Albert and Hendrik. He became a member of the Christian Reformed Church there in that year, as well.

By 1892, he appears in the Grand Rapids City Directory as living with brothers Albert and Evert and working as a cabinet maker at Sligh Furniture Company.

Family Life

Willem married Aaltje “Alice” Tubbergen (born May 21, 1871). She was born in Itterbeck and emigrated in 1892. Together they had three children, all born in Grand Rapids:

  1. Henrietta Lotterman—born September 14, 1894;
  2. Berand Jan Lotterman—born November 19, 1896, died in 1973;
  3. Henry William Lotterman—born on March 21, 1899, died February 16, 1951;

Willem Lotterman passed away in 1921 and was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His wife Alice died in 1962 and was also buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery.

Photograph of Willem Lotterman and wife.

Aaltje Tubbergen and Willem Lotterman.

Willem Lotterman's birth certificate in Coevorden registry.

Willem Lotterman’s birth was recorded in the registry at Coevorden.

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