Betty Kroes continued:
Church marr. .. .. 1891
is remarkable, that nobody of the Oteman family is mentioned at this marriage.
a letter to his cousin Jan in Wijk bij Duurstede NL in 1938 (Oct.12th.),
William Oteman , Betty’s husband, 72
years old at the time, speaks of his golden wedding within two years.
He died 1941, so he just got through it.
His father always said: "If I can't get a nice old age, then a bad one is also acceptable.!" But Conrad, his father , only became 63.!
Spouse is Johannes Wilhelmus (William) OTEMAN , Blacksmith, born 25/10/1866 Zyfflich DL.
an official document of Gendt NL, page 618, a visit of Wilhelm to his brother
Theo is mentioned. (Jan. 30th. 1891 ‑ Febr. 2nd.1891).
is very remarkable, for William registered himself at the Courthouse of the
community, where his brother Theo lived, only for 3 days!
As birth-date of William is stated here: October, 25th. 1866. This date is also mentioned in the wedding certificate of William and Betty. (Nr.4 27-02-1891). Officially William is named: Johannes Wilhelmus. Probably he was called “Willem” because of the death of his little brother Willem .(1862‑1864).
The records of the notary at Beek NL (near Nijmegen), (Reg.IV,5/3/89-3/4260) mention a minor Willem, living with his minor sister Anna ( the later nun Nicoleta) in Ubbergen (Community of Beek NL.), at the succession of mother Hendrina Awater, widow of Coenraad Oteman.
witnesses at the official registration of William at Niel DL, Oct.26th.
1866, were: Johann Keders, 29 year from Zyfflich DL and Gerard Püplichuisen, 50 years old,
from Zyfflich DL ( brother of his grandmother.)
Coenraad himself, his father, is 29 years old at the time.
Chr. (RK) 23/10/1866 Zyfflich DL .
Joannes Kreeders and Elisabeth Awater.).
The godmother of William, Elisabeth Awater, can't be identified. She is not a sister of Hendrina. Probably a cousin.?
Died 04/10/1941 Racine WI
and Betty are buried side by side at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Racine WI. Henk
and Wim Oteman from Holland found their graves (numbers. 1 and 2 lot 115
block 2), when they visited Racine WI in Oct.1996.)
Bur. 08/10/1941 Racine WI.
13-051891 to America 25 years old. His father,
blacksmith Coenrad Oteman had died in 1890. His young bride,
Elisabeth, 19 years old and her 21
years old brother Theodorus (*1869)
went with them to America. It is
only in 1935 that William and Betty returned to Holland on the occasion of the
World Exhibition in Brussels.
Oteman, their cousin from Wijk bij Duurstede (NL, daughter of William’s nephew
Jan remembers that she got, as a gift of them, a pair of black lacquer shoes.
She was 5 1/2 years old at
the time. (She herself thinks she was ½ year old. In that case it must have
been in 1930!)
the beginning William lived and worked at Little Chute WI, a small village near
Appleton WI on the Northside of the Winnebago lake, where many Dutch and German
immigrants lived together. Still today the village has an unmistakably Dutch
character and new settlers were not totally uprooted by their lack of knowledge
of the English language. They found there countrymen or family. William was a
skilled blacksmith, so probably
he could easily earn his living, because in those days a blacksmith had
an important function in daily life.
,after a short period, he moved, somewhere between 1895 and 1897, to Racine WI ,
abigger city on Michigan Lake. ( Edgewood Avenue 1701. Parish St.Jozef.)
is quite a distance even to day! (About 120 miles!). How he did do that at the
time with his wife, children and his household goods, is a mystery.
Hattie, his third daughter was born in Little Chute WI in 1895. (See
birth certificate Nr.7 293 ), whereas the fourth child, Conrad, was born in
Racine WI in 1897. In the parish church of William, St.Johannes Nepomucenus in
Little Chute WI, the pages of the baptismal register between 1890 and 1900 are
missing, so Henk, Wim and George Oteman couldn't find anything about the family
in Little Chute WI, when they were there in October 1996. But in Appleton WI,
the nearest city, which at the time
had a streetcar connection with Little Chute WI, they found in the Courthouse
the birth-certificates of : Anna Maria (Mary), Henrica Wilhelmina (Minnie) and
Henrica ( Hattie) Oteman . As father and mother are mentioned: Wilhelm Oteman
and Elisa (Elizabetta) Kroes, both born in Holland.
in the American census of 1900 , we find the family in Racine WI
and the registrations state a William Otemann (!) and Lizzie (!), born
in Germany (!) and the daughters Mary, Minnie, Hattie and son Conrad. The
family in America always had the idea that they were Germans of origin, because
William was born in actual Germany. But he was Dutch as his father was and came
back with his father Conrad to this side of the actual Dutch/German border and
served in the Dutch National Militia. The father of Betty already came in 1830.
As profession William stated "blacksmith".
He had already lived in USA for nine years, (since 1891) was not yet naturalised,
but had a PA. (Permanent Admittance) The two eldest children are at school. As
age of parents and children is recorded: 33, 28, 8, 7, 5, and 3 years)
whole life William practised his profession of a blacksmith in the company of
J.I.Case in Racine WI. This firm, which still exists today, is a
rather big company, which produces and sells farm tractors, construction
equipement, tools and agricultural implements. Maybe, at William’s time, it
was a starting business. William was a
worker in the forge and later in the foundry. He didn't want to be a foreman for
in that case he was supposed to work more hours and he already had a reasonable
income for his big family.He drove a car. (Hupmobil) During the depression after
WWI, the family however was poorly off. Son Conrad was an exception. As a
mail-carrier he worked for the State and had a fixed income. He
drove a big
car and took the whole family on Sundays to church. When father and mother in
1933 at any price wanted to see Holland again, they sold their wooden house at
Edgewood Avenue, in St.Jozeph’s
Conrad would have accompanied his parents to Holland, but that was cancelled,
because he didn’t speak enough Dutch!
they had sold their house, they
continued to live there till the death of William. Conrad lived with his wife
upstairs and William and Betty downstairs.
So William died in this house. Later his youngest daughter Ceil lived in
this house with her husband Erwing Hady and mother Betty.
last years of her life Betty lived alternately with some of her children: Conrad,
Ceil and George.
grandchildren remember Betty as a very devout woman , who every day
said the complete rosary (3x5,
or 15 decades !), and the matins and other parts of the breviary. The
grandchildren all remember that rosary, which was said all in once and they
thought the prayer would never end, as Grandma also was a bit slow of speech in
praying. It was a huge rosary; each bead was the size of a small plum
was a much more adventurous character. He had a big moustache, in which the foam
of the beer was always left behind as the grandchildren remember.
, the eldest son was a strapping fellow and became rather popular in Racine WI.
He was a mailman, so everybody knew him. Like his father he had a
moustache in which the foam of the beer was left behind.
Theodorus (Ted) Kroes:
brother Ted Kroes, who came with Betty and William to America, died in 1943, at
the age of 74 years in Racine WI. He married
in USA Grada Schennink and one of
his children, daughter Dorah Kroes later
married a Czech: Frank Korzinek.
Two of their sons became priests: Richard
(*.1922) and Wilbur (*1924),
who was named Francis, when he became a priest .( father Frank ) The
latter died in October 1984 at the age of 60.
Richard (in 1996) is a pastor in the St.Camille’s Church, 11876
Durwards Glen Leish Road, Baraboo, WI 5391 . This Richard studied in
Rome and was ordained priest on May,12th. 1953 and celebrated
his first Mass in Nijmegen NL. He belonged to the oder of St.Camillus.. He
corresponded with Ger Oteman, my brother ( today in Vancouver) about the
was an misionary of the order
Glenmary and was ordained in May,
17Th. 1953 in Cincinatti OH. He died of cancer in 1984.
living as blacksmith in Erlecom after his father’s death, on January 30th.1891
to Gendt (Netherlands) to his brother Theo ( also a blacksmith as his father
Conrad and his father‑in‑law) and
leaves some days later in February 2nd. 1891 for Ubbergen NL. We
found these dates because William had registered himself at the Courthouse in
Gendt NL.(Page nr.618 Gendt) It is remarkable that he changed his plans and left
some days later. In February 27th. he got married in Ubbergen NL. (Certificate
nr.4). The certificate mentions that he came from Huissen NL, another community
not far from Gendt NL. He must have been registered in that place! As profession
the certificate states: blacksmith.
25 years William sang in the choir of Racine WI (St.Joseph’s) and his brother
Hendrikus ( Henk’s grandfather)served as his counterpart in Holland!
is a letter of October 12th. 1938 in which he writes to his nephew Jan
Oteman in Wijk bij Duurstede NL
" All the children are married and do well. Conrad has no children,
but George has four girls and a son. So the name Oteman in America is guaranteed."
The son in question
(George II) weighs 10 pounds at
birth. "so a robust boy! Next
Sunday is the baptismal festivity.!"
Son of Conradus (Conrad) OTEMAN and Hendrina Wilhelmina (Hendrina) AWATER .
From this marriage:
1. Anna Maria (Mary) OTEMAN , born 13/01/1892 Little Chute WI (see also VI.25).
2. Henrica Wilhelmina (Minnie) OTEMAN , born 20/06/1893 Little Chute WI. (see also VI.27).
3. Henrica (Hattie) OTEMAN , born 06/03/1895 Little Chute WI. (see also VI.29).
4. Conrad (Conny) OTEMAN , mail-carrier, born 27/07/1897 Racine WI (religion: RK), died 25/11/1958 California.
was tall in stature, about 6’4’ feet, adventurous and extrovert. People in
Racine WI remember him smoking, playing cards with a glass of beer in his hand
and the foam in his moustache. Often he first mixed an egg in his beer before
drinking it. Not that he was a drunk, but he was noisy and lively. He was not
the type for his mother, Betty . She was a very devout and serious woman and
didn't like Conrad with his wild
ideas at all, especially when he involved her husband, William, in his
extravagant plans and daydreams. He was a mail-carrier and lived in the
beginning in a small house not so far from his brother George. Later he bought
the house of his father and mother and lived upstairs.
first wife was, Catherine Langefeld, a sister of Genevievre Langefeld,
his brother George’s wife. She did not live so long and he remarried Genevievre
the latter died, he remarried a certain Myra and disappeared to
California, where he died. It seems that he didn't have any children. Maybe Myra
had some or Conrad had one, who died at birth. More information we don't have
eldest son, Conrad got from his father, William, his gold watch with a photograph of William inside. However,
when he remained without children he gave it to his younger brother George, who,
thereupon left it to to his son , George jr..
only Conrad, but also his sister Minnie, were great smokers.
Marr. (1) Catherine LANGENFELD , marr. (2) Genevievre MAULD , marr. (3) Myra NN .
5. Anne OTEMAN , born 28/01/1899 Racine WI (see also VI.35).
6. Elisabeth. (Betty) OTEMAN , born 21/08/1901 Racine WI (see also VI.37).
7. George (George) OTEMAN , born 28/09/1903 Racine WI (see also VI.38).
8. Rose OTEMAN , born 28/04/1904 Racine WI (see also VI.41).
9. Pauline OTEMAN , born 21/02/1905 Racine WI (see also VI.43).
10. Gertrude (Trudy) OTEMAN , born 16/12/1908 Racine WI (see also VI.45).
11. Dorothy OTEMAN , born 24/12/1911 Racine WI (see also VI.47).
12. Cecilia (Ceil) OTEMAN , born 22/02/1912 Racine WI (see also VI.49).
V.11 Bartholomeus (Bart) KROES , born 22/02/1873 Ooij NL, died 28/04/1953 Ooij NL.
Had 3 children. Left in 1898 for Nijmegen NL, but came back in 1923, bought in Ooij NL the house Bandijk 10 and started farming.
Married 04-05-1898 Ooij Johanna Hergraven, died 23-09-1945.
From this marriage:
1. Gradus (Gerrit) KROES , born .. .. 1916 (see also VI.50).
V.17 Gerard (Gerrit) KROES , born 11/11/1877, died 26-08-1960 Nijmegen
6 children. ( 2 girls and 4 boys) One of them became a priest: Father Henk Kroes
Married 09-04-1902 Ooij. Ann (Anna) HUISMAN , born o2-09-1878, died 14-04-1949.
From this marriage:
1. Henricus Gerardus (Henk) KROES O.O.N. Priest SVD, born 15/09/1903 Ooij NL, died 15/03/1989 Teteringen NL, bur. 18/03/1989 Teteringen NL.
his primary school, Henk worked for one year at his parent’s farm before
starting his studies at the seminary at Uden ( Order of
SVD Glenmary Missionaries Netherlands), where he hoped to become a
missionary. He milked about 4000 cows that
year and was at the same time a milkman at Beek/Ubbergen NL near Nijmegen
NL. (200-250 liters a day)
In the beginning of August Henk went
to Father Teurlings of his parish and asked him to write on his behalf to SVD in
Uden NL. He wanted to be accepted, after the
a priest-student. " He is decent boy and from a devout Catholic
family- is also very quick-witted. So he can easily make the
studies.", the parish priest
wrote. " And if Father Rector
could arrange a thing or two".
3rd Henk started his studies and he finished them in the regular time of 6 years
with a State Examination, (Grammar school certificate.)
his noviciate (started in September 7th. 1923) and his philosophy
studies in Helvoirt NL, he became a teacher in Uden NL.
At the same time he was ordered to get a license in History in Tilburg
NL. He finished that study in 1930 ( Certificate M.O. History). Next he
went to Rome to the Gregoriana for his theological education. ( Licentiate in
was ordained a priest in October,
26th. 1933 and nominated as a professor at the Catholic Fu‑Jen
University of Peking.
in October 26th.1934 with the "Oldenburg" from Rotterdam.
In a short time he picked up very well the extremely difficult Chinese language and taught General and Ecclesiastical History. Also he had the function of Study Director.
stayed in China until 1949 although his work was interrupted by an internment in
a Japanese camp in Weishin from March 1943 until August 1945.
Tien, when he visited Rome at a later date, stated about him: "Cardo est
Universitatis", he was the
heart of the university.
started also the preparation for a
Catholic Encyclopaedia in the Chinese language
by order of Pope Pius XII, the Propagande Fide and his
Father‑General Grendel. But because of the capture of Peking by the
communists this project ended up on the shelf.
the end of 1950 he returned to Rome with the intention to get his Master's
degree in theology, but halfway his dissertation in 1951 he was elected as
Assistant of the General of the Order. (Vice‑General) From 1957 to 1958 he
was Administrator‑General and from 1958 until 1967 Secretary General.
1951 he co-operated with father Knöpfler SVD for the annual catalogue of the
Congregation and by order of the General he produced statistic data for the several ministries of the
Vatican. Till 1986 he remained in Rome and served, in addition to busy
activities, as a confessor for the several religious communities in the city.
was extremely sober and never wanted something for himself.
day he read in Greek the New Testament and meditated with The Imitation of
Christ and the Constitutions. He said his breviary and his rosary, but never blamed colleagues who did not.
his comeback to the Netherlands in July 2nd.. 1986 he lived in
December 4th. to February 16th. 1989 he stayed in
hospital. (open leg) When he died, his last words to his colleagues were:
became an " Officer in the Order of Oranje Nassau." (O.O.N.) A high,
national, Dutch decoration which he got in Rome from the Dutch Ambassador.
Ellie and Jerry Kreyche, son of Henrietta Oteman, William’s 3d
daughter, at that time at Chicago, had a fairly extensive correspondence with
Fr.Henry and he provided them with much family information. They met him in Rome
in 1971, where he became more Roman than the Romans, calling himself Enrico.
He met Ellie and Jerry at the Da Vinci Airport and arranged for them lodging at Die
Grauen Schwester Convent in the heart of Rome. It was humorous that in the
convent, all signs were in German. Fortunately they could understand them.
Kroes and they went on a regular public bus to tour sites and his explanations
were loud enough so that others on the bus could hear. Almost no one got off the
bus, for his talks at each historic spot were so interesting. Jerry and Ellie
were very proud of him.
When Cardinal Tien came to Rome, the Pope asked Father Kroes to accompany the cardinal, as he was fluent in Chinese.
brothers and sisters: Gerrit 1905, Maria 1907, Rika 1908, Karel
1910, Anton 1912
V.19 Charles (Karel) KROES , born 30/08/1879, died 03-10-1952.
He had 5 children. 45 grandchildren.
Married 1908 Gertruda Van WAMEL , died 22-06-1955.
From this marriage: 6 children
1. Anton KROES (see also VI.53).
V.23 Jan Baptist KROES , born 18-06-1881 Ooij NL.
1920 the part of the house nr.12 was still occupied by Jan Baptist
jr. and his wife and child. They left in 1927 and Nr. 12 passed into
Marr. Hendrika HUET , born .. .. 1879.
From this marriage:
1. Theopphile MEULEMANS .
Foster child of Baptist and Hendrika.
V.27 Bartholomeus Johannus KROES , Farmer, born 02/05/1884 Ubbergen, died 07/01/1965 Nijmegen NL, marr. 03/05/1917 Ubbergen NL Bernadina LEENSEN , born 29/04/1886 Ooij NL, died 15/08/1956 Nijmegen NL, dr. of Johannes LEENSEN and Christina VIERBOOM .
From this marriage:
1. Paulus (Pauw) KROES , born 24/12/1920 Ooij NL (see also VI.55).
V.31 Elisabeth Johanna KROES , born 11-04-1888 Ooij NL, died 05/02/1960 Ooij NL, married (1) .. .. 1813 Cornelis ARTS , born 12-08-1876.
1920 the southern part of "the Big Cat" got divided up. Cornelis Arts
lived there, who successively was married with two daughters of Paulus Kroes.
rented the house of Paulus Kroes (*1888)
and lived there with his wife, daughter and two sisters‑in‑law.
In 1923 Bartholomeus, who left Ooij NL in 1898 for Nijmegen, a Dutch city at 3 miles' distance, came back, bought nr.10 and started farming.
Married. (2) 25-06-1941 Ooij Wilhelmus SLIEPENBEEK .
From the first marriage:
1. Johanna Maria ARTS 24-08-1911 Ooij – 30-04-1971 Ooij. .
VI.1 Robertus Carolus CROES , born 06/02/1942 Nijmegen.