12 February 2018

Did Cornelis Over de Linden hide something?

Cornelis Over de Linden (1811-1874)
In various reports of how he had obtained the manuscript (MS),(1) Cornelis Over de Linden claims to have been given them as a surprise by his aunt Aafje in 1848, when he visited her in Enkhuizen. This is in conflict with two witness accounts, which may have been a reason to doubt his overall credibility. In this post I will first explain the conflicting accounts and then reconstruct a more credible version of what really happened.

Conflicting accounts

1. Jacob Munnik (husband of Cornelis' stepdaughter: Plate 1) reported in 1876 that he had joined Cornelis in an earlier failed attempt to obtain the MS in 1845.(2) This suggests that Cornelis did know about the manuscript earlier, and actively had tried to obtain it.

2. Hajo Last* (Plate 3 and 4) wrote in 1934(3) that his colleague carpenter Hein Kofman (Plate 2) had told him that Cornelis had stolen the MS from his mother, Cornelis' cousin, Kee Kofman-Reuvers, who indeed lived in the house where earlier her mother Aafje Reuvers-Over de Linden lived, which had also been (near?) the house of Cornelis' grandfather Andries Over de Linden (Oude or Nieuwe Rietdijk, Enkhuizen - Plate 5). Since Kofman was born in 1853 - five years after Cornelis obtained it - he cannot have witnessed the stealing himself, but will probably have heard this from his mother. If Cornelis had spoken the full truth (that his aunt Aafje had voluntarily given to him), or if he had altogether lied and the MS would be a forgery, this account would not make any sense.
* [For genealogy Last, see below]


To prevent the MS from falling in the wrong hands, its keeper would only initiate a very limited number of people. Only people that he deemed trustworthy would be explained the content, perhaps even taught the script and language. What was more openly talked about though, was the ancient or noble Frisian descent. Grandfather Andries Over de Linden (1759-1820) would have told Cornelis (1811-1874) about this when the latter was still a child. Cornelis' father Jan (1785-1835) is witnessed (by Cornelis Wijs in 1876) to have talked like that in 1831.

Andries may have intended to initiate his grandson when the latter was old enough and if he was serious and intelligent enough, but this never happened as the child was only 9 years old when the grandfather died. Instead, he will have initiated his future son in law, Hendrik Reuvers (1796-1845), who already had a child with Aafje Over de Linden, Andries' youngest daughter, who lived with her parents and would stay living in the parental house after their death. This child was Cornelia or 'Kee', born in 1818, named after Hendrik's mother and officially accepted as his daughter at the marriage of Aafje and Hendrik in 1821. (Having children before marriage happened significantly often in the whole extended family, as I have discovered studying the genealogy or 'parenteel'.)

Hendrik may well have been a friend of the family even before he became the fiance of Aafje. At the very last he must have known Aafje from December 1817, when she became pregnant of Cornelia. Andries died April 1820. This (or longer) would have been enough time to initiate Hendrik.

Hendrik may have intended to initiate his nephew Cornelis, but the latter left Enkhuizen, probably long before he got married in 1833 and may later not have had the right attitude for it (yet). Perhaps Hendrik once tried to introduce the topic, with the result that Cornelis insisted on immediately taking the MS with him (being an Over de Linden, while Reuvers was not), which would have resulted in a quarrel after which they no longer talked and Cornelis would have to wait till Hendrik's death (1845) before he would try once more to get hold of the MS. This would be in agreement with Cornelis' account, where he states that his uncle would not allow him to have it.

However, Hendrik did have the opportunity to initiate both his son Andries Reuvers (1820-1857), married to the Frisian Siebregtje Schanstra in 1843, and his son in law Rijkent Kofman (1820-1861), married to Kee Reuvers (1818-1878), see Plate 6. The Kofman family took over the parental house and their youngest son Hein Kofman (1853-1933) would later have claimed that Cornelis had stolen the MS. Remarkably, their eldest son Jacob Kofman (1843-1911) would later become clergyman of the Apostolic church in Enkhuizen, while their youngest daughter Catharina Kofman (1875-1913) would marry an Over de Linden (from another branch than that of Cornelis) in 1898. Hardly coincidentally, so would Neeltje de Jong (1898-?), a great-granddaughter of Andries Reuvers (Plate 7).

The Reuvers and Kofman families may have decided not to attract any public attention and not to accuse Cornelis of anything. Note that Hajo Last only wrote the newspaper shortly after Hein Kofman (who had told him about the MS having been stolen) had died. He may have kept this secret but not wanted to take it into his grave himself.

All this would explain the inconsistencies and suspicious details in Cornelis' account of how he got the MS in his possession. Also, if the missing pages still exist, this post might provide some helpful clues to answer the question: who may have had them and where could they be now?

Plate 1: relationship between Cornelis Over de Linden and Jacob Munnik
Plate 2: relationship between Cornelis Over de Linden and Hein Kofman

Plate 3: explaining possible relationship between Anna Goemaat and Hajo Last (see appendix below for details)

Plate 4: Hajo Last and his father in 1874 report death of Anna Goemaat, mother of Cornelis Over de Linden

Plate 5: Oude and Nieuwe Rietdijk in Enkhuizen, where Over de Linden, Reuvers and Kofman families lived respectively
Plate 6: From Over de Linden to Reuvers to Kofman and back to Over de Linden (source)

Plate 7: Two descendants of 'aunt Aafje' and Hendrik Reuvers marry back into the Over de Linden family (genealogy).

- - - - references - - - -
(1) Jensma, Goffe, De Gemaskerde God (2004) pp. 236-241.
(2) Beckering Vinckers, J., Wie heeft het Oera-Linda-Boek geschreven (1876) pp. 31-32.
(3) Enkhuizer Courant (letter to the editor) 9-1-1934, paraphrased in Molenaar, E. Het Geheimzinnige Handschrift van de Familie Over de Linden (1949) p. 11.

Further research:
2019, Oct. 22 "1934 letter by Hajo Last"
2019, Nov. 18 "Kofman-Greiner Family"
2019, Nov. 22 "The Over de Linden-Kofman marriage"

- - - - appendix: Last and Goemaat families- - - - 

Genealogy Goemaat (in Dutch): see blogpost

Notes on Speeleveld Last family (in Dutch):

(I) Klaas Speeleveld, geb. 1748 Vlaardingen, ovl. 11-2-1825 Enkhuizen;
Magteltje/Magdalena van Galen, geb. 1752 Vlaardingen, ovl. 23-6-1827 Enkhuizen.
  1. Metje Speeleveld, ged. 15-5-1785 Vlaardingen ==>> zie (II)
  2. Hendrik van Galen Speeleveld, geb. 1786, ovl. 24-2-1814 Enkhuizen
  3. Anna Speeleveld, geb. 1790 Vlaardingen, ovl. 16-4-1860 Enkhuizen; geh. 21-5-1815 Enkhuizen Johannes Horneer, geb. 1784 Gorinchem, ovl. 18-10-1856 Enkhuizen, chirurgijn, z.v. Arie Horneer en Johanna Margaretha Bax
  4. Maria Speeleveld, geb. 1796 Vlaardingen, ovl. 11-7-1865 Enkhuizen
= = =

(II) Aldert Last, geb. 21-2-1788 Enkhuizen, ovl. 20-2-1876 Enkhuizen, z.v. Jan Aldertsz Last en Geertje Harmens van den Berg;
geh. 21-5-1815 Enkhuizen
Metje Speeleveld, ged. 15-5-1785 Vlaardingen, ovl. 11-4-1842 Enkhuizen, d.v. Klaas Speeleveld en Magteltje van Galen
  1. Jan Last, geb. 1816 Enkhuizen, ovl. 19-5-1886 Enkhuizen, koperslager; geh. (1) 7-6-1840 Enkhuizen Albertje Ossen, geb. 1814 Enkhuizen, ovl. 27-3-1841 Enkhuizen, d.v. Albert Ossen en Pietertje Degelink; geh. (2) 27-8-1843 Enkhuizen Hijlkje Atsma, geb. 1812 Enkhuizen, ovl. 23-5-1899 Enkhuizen, dienstbode, d.v. Hijlke Harmens Atsma en Geertje Dirks Faber.
  2. Klaas Speeleveld Last, geb. 17-8-1817 Enkhuizen ==>> zie (III)
  3. Hendrik van Galen Last, geb. 1819 Enkhuizen, ovl. 23-8-1896 Muiden; geh. (1) 18-7-1842 Terschelling Anna Margreta Kleersnijder, geb. 1820 Menkeweer, d.v. Sikko Kleersnijder en Elizabeth Jacobs Boelens; geh. (2) 28-8-1853 Muiden Eppie Jansje van der Weijden, geb. 1830 Muiden, ovl. 9-2-1898 Muiden, dienstbode, d.v. Lucas van der Weijden en Trijntje Waasdorp.
  4. Geertje Last, geb. 1820 Enkhuizen; geh. 10-5-1855 Enkhuizen Jan Fredrik Drughorn, geb. 1816 Amsterdam, turfkoper, z.v. Hendrik Drughorn en Kuntje Spijker, wedr. Kaatje Compas.
  5. Magdalena Last, geb. 1822 Enkhuizen, ovl. 1-3-1890 Enkhuizen.
  6. Margrieta Last, geb. 1824 Enkhuizen, ovl. 25-3-1883 Enkhuizen.
= = =

(III) Klaas Speeleveld Last, geb. 17-8-1817 Enkhuizen, ovl. 19-10-1892 Enkhuizen, metselaar, z.v. Aldert Last en Metje Speeleveld, won. Vijzelstraat i.i.g. 1846 en Breedstraat i.i.g. 1848, 1850, 1852, 1855, 1860;
geh. 20-5-1838 Enkhuizen
Antje Solkes(z), geb. 8-5-1814 Enkhuizen, ovl. 24-12-1903 Enkhuizen, d.v. Solke Hajosz en Klaasje de Vries
  1. Klaasje Last, born 1839 Enkhuizen, ovl. 23-8-1922 Enkhuizen; geh. 3-5-1866 Enkhuizen Jan Bloemendaal, geb. 1842 Enkhuizen, kuiper, z.v. Maarten Bloemendaal en Willemijntje de Wit. 
  2. Metje Last, born 1839 Enkhuizen, ovl. 4-11-1916 Enkhuizen; geh. 21-9-1871 Enkhuizen Jan Gerrit Geus, geb. 1840 Amsterdam, ovl. 17-1-1915 Enkhuizen, kantoorbediende, z.v. Johannes Geus en Alijda Dingel.
  3. Aldert Last, born 1842 Enkhuizen, ovl. 14-9-1923 Enkhuizen, metselaar: geh. 1-6-1865 Enkhuizen Maria Karemaker, born 1840 Enkhuizen, ovl. 6-9-1914 Enkhuizen, d.v. Rijkent Karemaker en Kaatje Compas. 
  4. Solke Last, born 9?-5-1844 Enkhuizen, ovl. 11-5-1937 Bussum, timmerman; geh. 30-9-1870 Haarlemmermeer Isa Jacoba van Opstall, geb. 1847 Hooge en Lage Zwaluwe, ovl. 29-4-1923 Schoten, d.v. Jacobus Marinus van Opstall en Maria Wesdijk.
  5. (Hajo, born 14-3-1846 and ovl. 13-5-1847 Enkhuizen)
  6. Geertje Last, geb. 7-4-1848 Enkhuizen, ovl. 2-11-1922 Enkhuizen.
  7. Hajo Last, geb. 17-2-1850 Enkhuizen ==>> zie (IV)
  8. Dirk Last, geb. 10-3-1852 Enkhuizen, metselaar; geh. 20-5-1878 Enkhuizen Hilligje Vos, geb. 1851 Meppel, ovl. 13-1-1931 Bussum, d.v. Klaas Vos en Lamberta Molenaar.
  9. Johanna Katharina Cornelia Last, geb. 19-9-1855 Enkhuizen, ovl. 14-7-1936 Bloemendaal; geh. 27-11-1879 Amsterdam Pieter Elias van der Werff, geb. 1845 Bloemendaal, ovl. 31-8-1916 Bloemendaal, tuinier, z.v. Gerrit van der Werff en Maria Paust.
  10. Jan Last, geb. 14-9-1860 Enkhuizen (aangifte Adrianus en Bartholdus Over de Linden), timmerman; geh. 17-2-1886 Amsterdam Johanna de Boo, geb. 1864 Haarlemmermeer, dienstbode, d.v. Willem de Boo en Bastiaantje Bestman.
= = =

(IV) Hajo Last, geb. 17-2-1850 Enkhuizen, ovl. 15-7-1938 Bussum, timmerman (NB nam in 1876 huis over van wijlen Adrianus Over de Linden en Petronella Heiman);
geh. 3-8-1876 Enkhuizen
Elisabeth Duijvensz, geb. 8-6-1852 Enkhuizen, ovl. 7-8-1929 Enkhuizen, d.v. Cornelis Duijvensz en Jansje Lodewijks
  1. Klaas Last, geb. 19-8-1878, vertr. naar Amsterdam 1896
  2. Cornelis Last, 29-3-1880
  3. Aldert Jan Last, geb. 9-7-1882
  4. (Johan Lodewijk, geb. 1885 en ovl. 20-3-1886 Enkhuizen)
  5. (Cornelia Johanna, geb. 23-10-1887 en ovl. 10-3-1902 Enkhuizen)
  6. Johan Last, geb. 2-8-1889 Enkhuizen, meubelmaker; geh. 12-5-1921 Amsterdam Hendrika Catharina Hofman, geb. 1890 Amsterdam, d.v. Johannes Hofman en Maria van Eersel
  7. Hajo Last, geb. 19-2-1894 Enkhuizen, kantoorbediende; geh. 11-12-1919 Amsterdam Roelofje Schilstra, geb. 1900 Amsterdam, d.v. Ale Schilstra en Hielkje Jager

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