Parental House 4


Parental House 5



On Nov.10 1930 the family thought it was getting time to draw up a fair inventory. Moreover, mother Elisabeth was 67 now (17.10.1863) , felt worn out and her death drawing near . ( and indeed she died six months later on  25.5.1931, and it is true, two days before the fixed wedding date of Gerrit ! May 27. That is why the wedding day was solemnised without any flourish)

The oldest son Gerrit still lived unmarried with his mother, but he had marriage plans and wanted things settled. Truus was since 1920 in a nunnery as sister Coenrada. Diets had married (1926) Wim van Eck from Leuth (my mother’s oldest brother, who died only in 1997 on the age of 101 !)

And Jan Oteman married (1928) Cornelia Lauwerier, his cousin from Duisburg, (Germany)


So that day gathered at notary Jan Jacobus Scholtens in Beek, Elisabeth Barten, Gerardus Oteman, also as co-guardian of the three children Henk (3), Ger (2) and Coen (1) of his deceased brother Wim, Antonia van Eck as mother- guardian of her three children, Jan Oteman, also as proxy for his sister Truus (sister Coenrada), who was not allowed to leave the nunnery for such “a trifle” as a division of property. (So stringent they were in 1930! Even at her mother’s burial she only was allowed to be present in the church and had to return immediately after the ceremony !).

Their other sister, Diets, was, as a married woman, of no account at the time. Her husband, Wim van Eck, my mother’s brother, acted on her behalf.


ince the guardian as well as the co-guardian, each had an individual interest in the division of property, the county judge of Nijmegen had for that occasion appointed Mr.Joannes Henricus Jozef Schouten as extra guardian to stand up for the rights of the three minors.

This Mr.Schouten lived in Elst, but worked at the notary’s office in Nijmegen. That suited him well!

First the total value of the inventory had to be drawn up and this is how it was done:



n Sept.29 the county judge of Nijmegen had sworn in Laurens Henricus van Raay, tiller in Erlecom, Gerardus van Eck ( my grandfather on mother’s side) tiller in Leuth and Wilhelmus Bernardus Keukens, merchant in Leuth, and charged them with the evaluation of the property.

( Geradus van Eck was the father of Antonia van Eck. So two of his children had married an Oteman)

This is the estimation:

1.Premisis, land and gravel road in Erlecom, Land registry Ooy, sect.nrs: 903,904,907,1010 and 1196, together 61 are and 29 ca. (6129m2, somewhat smaller than originally in 1909. Elisabeth had sold some land to Pier Bekker), together ƒ 5100,-

2. Movable: ƒ 129,50

3. All children except Gerrit, had already received from Elisabeth a payment of ƒ 800,- ( probably on the occasion of their weddings or enhance in a convent) . So that is ƒ 3200,- to be brought in.

The total value of the property is ƒ 8429,50


The liabilities are:


1. A mortgage on borrowed money in favour of the R.C. parish welfare in Leuth ad ƒ 1200,- (The social

    welfare was in hands of the Church!

2. A ditto mortgage contracted on April 11 1929 ad ƒ 800,-. ( We still have to find out for what purpose.)

3. Current interests ƒ 73,33

    So a total of ƒ 2.073,-

    Remains to be divided ƒ 6.356,17 



p here we have already calculated in detail and determined how much each portion of the up-to-now undivided property had grown in the course  of the years. Let the notary  do his job now! He came to the same conclusion:

Mother Elisabeth can claim 25/48 = ƒ 3.310,52


Jan, Truus and Diets each 23/240 = ƒ    609,13

Antonia van Eck, Wim’s widow, together with the children also ƒ 609,13.

 ( How this had to be divided between herself and her minor children, we have already calculated , but for the time being  this is here not under discussion

Mention must be made of the fact that the money, owing to the children, had to be tied up on individual and blocked accounts, the disposal of which they had on the age of 21. And so I got on Jan.29 1948, after a long time my portion of the house in Erlecom.)



et Elisabeth’s children would have come off badly, for they had already, except Gerrit, received          ƒ 800,- each. (at their weddings) and so they had to refund ƒ 190,87 each.

But for the time being mother Elisabeth lets them off that sum, but under the condition that at her death, when her portion had to be divided, this money had to be refunded, even by Gerrit, who now also received   ƒ 800-

So at her death later on 5x ƒ 190,87 = ƒ 954.35 had to be brought in. So her inheritance was to be ( as could be foreseen at that moment) ƒ 3310,52 – ƒ 954,35 = ƒ 2356,17. But because the sum of ƒ 954,35 had to be refunded, this meant in fact ƒ 3310, 52



ow that they have come so far, Gerrit decides to take over the whole property at the estimated price of ƒ 5229,50, that is inclusive a debt of ƒ 2073, 33 and the sum of  ƒ 2356,17 Elisabeth was to receive, which is a total of ƒ 4429,50

If we subtract ƒ 4429,50 from ƒ 5229,50 we have ƒ 800,- and that is exact the sum his mother have given him just before ,under the obligation to bring in again  from that sum ƒ 190, 87 at her death, just like the other children.

So Gerrit buys, as it were, with ƒ 800,- the whole lot.



ut of course it was not that easy; there still was , to be true, mother’s ƒ3.310,52 and so Elisabeth makes some conditions:

1. Gerrit needs not repay her this ƒ 2326,17, but, instead of that, he had to pay within 3 months after her death an amount of ƒ 300,- to Henk, Ger and Coen (Wim) together and to Diets, Jan and Truus each ,the same amount, so also ƒ 300,-

2. As long as she lives, Gerrit has to provide her with free board and lodging, nursing and medical care, washing and sewing and after her death a proper burial according to her social position. If she does not want to make use of this right ( Gerrit might not be able to manage and a notary must think of all possibilities), then Gerrit enters into the obligation of paying her ƒ3,- a week and to give her after her death a proper burial.

3. To secure the payment of ƒ300,- to the minors, Gerrit was obliged to take a third mortgage.



he witnesses of this complicated deed of division at the County Court in Nijmegen were:

Bernardus Johannes Maria Antonius Jannink, bookkeeper from Nijmegen and Cornelis Marinus de Graaf, government official, also from Nijmegen.

Everyone signs the deed, except Elisabeth, who, as we know, declared not to be able to write down her name because “ she had not learned to do so!”

Poor, brave Elisabeth! A noble woman.!



here is  a rider of Feb.1932 (Elisabeth is dead then), attached to the deed, saying that Gerrit had paid the ƒ300,- to the minor children of his deceased brother Wim. This rider was signed by Antonia van Eck, mother of the minors, Johannes Wilhelmus Oteman ( my uncle Jan from Wijk bij Duurstede), Wilhelmus van Eck ( my uncle Wim who becames 101 years old. He signed on behalf of Bernadina Oteman. his wife), and my uncle Gerrit himself,

Simple people but great in their behaviour! A family to be proud of.

Geertruida Oteman, religieuse in Amsterdam, is mentioned, but does not sign. ( Was not allowed to come.)





n May 25 1931, seven months later, Elisabeth died and the funeral coincided with the planned wedding- ceremony of Gerrit. The couple married nevertheless, but quietly, the evening before the funeral and without any festivity. Not a nice marriage to remember.


Gerrit (1894-1957) married Helena Hendrika Jans (1905-1975) from Niel (Dl), well known in the family as Aunt Lena, a particularly hearty and warm woman. They got nine children, who all stayed with their mother in the house after Gerrit’s death. But that is the history of the third generation. To day (1998) one of the children, the fourth son, Willie (*1937) still lives there all by himself.


Jan Oteman lived since his marriage (1928) in Ubbergen but moved in March 1931 to Lobith to the brick works. He could not stand it but for a month and on April 8 1931 he moved to a brick works in Wijk bij Duurstede, at the intercession of boss Toon Wulterkens, brother-in-law of Antonia van Eck. ( Toon Wulterkens had married Grada van Eck, Antonia’s sister. He ruled the roost there.)

Jan was not only the brother of my father but also his best friend. He kept the memory of my father, whom we have hardly known, alive for me and my brothers.



s a result of the American air born operations of September 1944 (Operation Market Garden) and the long battle of the Waal bridge (Nijmegen and vicinity) the house in Erlecom got heavily damaged. After the liberation of the whole territory of the Netherlands in 1945, Jan took unsalaried leave from  his work in Wijk bij Duurstede ( where he had worked for more than 55 years as a loyal employee). For many weeks at a stretch he had worked to rebuild the parental house completely and to help his brother Gerrit. Only during the weekends  he went home to Wijk by bike on its wooden (!) war-tyres, normal rubber tyres were not available at he time!



he settlement of damages for the victims was a long martyrdom and full of bureaucratic papers and it lasted 10 years.!. I will recapitulate it here for those , who don’t have known the first ten years after the liberation and the extreme situation of exhaustion in which our nation was situated. The government did its best, but there was a great lack of 

financial means and the damage in the whole country was gigantic.

·         March 24 1947: G. H. Oteman , Erlecom  E 116, recapitulation list 1475 and inquiry nr.14376. Damage ƒ 2750,- minus  advanced sums of ƒ 400,-;  DBVO (Office of War Damage) in Nijmegen ƒ 550,-; S.E.C ( Commission of Damage Inquiry) on 9.5.’45 = ƒ 950,- + provisional arrangement on 20-11-1946 ad ƒ 550,- + ƒ 1500,- , remains to be paid ƒ 1259,-

·         Aug. 01 1947: crop damage ƒ 990-

·         Nov. 14 1947: The board of General Commissioners for the Reconstruction fixed the following sum     ƒ 1442,-

·         March 30 1949: the same board settles the war damage at ƒ 751,-

·         April 25 1949: A.P.M ( General Molest Insurance Fund) : We booked your damage for the year 1944, but this must be for 1945. The damage is: buildings (barns) ƒ 6422,-, house and goods and  chattels     ƒ 2548,-The insured sums are resp. ƒ 5000,- and ƒ 2000,- for the A.M.P. Total ƒ 6080, 85

·         May 30 1950: Department of Rebuilding and Housing: Please remit ƒ 20,57 interest for a granted credit for the restoration of your premises.

·         Nov. 27 1950: Same department: ƒ 19,88 interest per Jan.1 1951 ( The Company for the Financing  of the National Reconstruction in the Hague had granted a credit of ƒ 914,-

·         June 4 1954: ƒ 49,48 interest

·         April 24 1951: Reply from A.P.M. that a request for a provisional payment was under attendance.        ( Request of March 1951)

·         Feb. 28 1952: Department of Reconstruction and Housing: The remitted disposals ad ƒ 751,- and         ƒ 1442,- are declared annul  after an inquiry and are now: ƒ 601,- and ƒ 1592,-

·         April 4 1952: S.E.C. (Damage Inquiry Commission) in Arnhem  made available  as complementary contribution to furniture damage ƒ 1701,- to be paid via deposit-book no.20.726 of Centrale Volksbank in Leuth. In four instalments: at once ƒ 500,-. after two years ƒ 500,-, after three years ƒ 201,-

·         April 25 1952: A.P.M. a provisional payment ad ƒ 914,- is available.

·         Dec. 22 1954: Register of Rebuilding: The wrongly paid ƒ 33,66 must be remitted.

·         March 1 1956: Centr. Dir. Rebuilding and Housing: The contribution to the replacement value of the house is fixed at ƒ 3328,- minus earlier promised ƒ 939,- remains ƒ 2389,-

But because the term within the rebuilding had to take place has expired, the contribution will be not more           than ƒ 1062,- But there will be a complementary contribution of ƒ 331,-

·         Sept. 10 1955: Centr.Dir.Reb.and Housing: Financial settlement: House E 116: contribution replacement value :                                           ƒ 2.389,-

Earlier contribution                                           ƒ   939,-

House E 115 contribution war damage              ƒ   530,-

Extra contr.                                                      ƒ  331,-

Earlier contr.                                                    ƒ   469,-

Total                                                                ƒ 4.658,-

Already paid                                                     ƒ 4.879,-

To repay                                                           ƒ    221,-

Interest                                                             ƒ 3,68

To be paid back                                                 ƒ     224,68

Overpaid interest ƒ 13,26 remains to be paid        ƒ     211, 42

·         A resume of the received money for the premises E116 shows the following figures:

75 % for the premises via N.M.B .( Dutch Trade Bank) on Nov.7 1947    ƒ2,250,-

25 % via Giro on Nov. 1 1947                                                                   ƒ 750,

Via N.H.M. ( Dutch Trade Company) on Dec.16 1949                            ƒ1.160,-

Via Giro on Febr.3  1950                                                                           ƒ 829,-

Total                                                                                                        ƒ 4.989,-

Repaid on Febr. 23. 1950                                                                           - ƒ 829,-

Received the total of                                                                                 ƒ  4.160.-  


Photograph of the rebuilt ancestral house in Erlecom


t is clear that Jan got the necessary experience by rebuilding the house of his brother Gerrit in Erlecom, for, in 1961, he started the construction of his own new  house in his place Wijk bij Duurstede. Because  he was still an employee of the Arntz company ( brick works) , it took him eighteen months and he had to work seven  days a week. All his children and his wife assisted him.