08 March 2018

Haverschmidt had a Life

screenshot from Frisian TV documentary
promoting the Haverschmidt theory
According to the currently prevailing theory, the manuscript that became known as the Oera Linda-book would have been fabricated by 1. Haverschmidt (initiator and author); 2. Verwijs (translator into pseudo Old-Frisian); and 3. Over de Linden (writer in pseudo old script on quasi old paper).

This theory assumes that Haverschmidt, during his two years (1862-1864) as clergyman in Den Helder, became acquainted with Over de Linden, where the latter was shipyard supervisor of the Royal Navy. However, Over de Linden was not a churchgoer, was 23 years older than Haverschmidt, had just become widower and was about to remarry. Haverschmidt will have had to focus his attention on his new parish, the usual preparation of sermons and also was about to get married. Both men worked full time.
residences of Haverschmidt (Schiedam),
Over de Linden (Den Helder)
and Verwijs (Leeuwarden)

After Haverschmidt moved to Schiedam in 1864, he became father and will again have had to get to know his parish. Besides all the research needed to be able to write the initial text of the OLB, he would have had to correspond with both Verwijs to get it translated and with Over de Linden to give it the old look. Those last two jobs must also have been very extensive - not something that can be done in a few Sunday afternoons!

Between 1867 and 1869, Over de Linden and Verwijs have corresponded about the manuscript aiming to get it translated into Dutch. Verwijs visited Den Helder to see the manuscript for himself. All of this would have been part of the conspiracy. All three kept it a secret, even after their deaths. Over de Linden would have lied to his children and grandchildren about it. The witnesses who confirmed to - long before it became well known - have heard about the manuscript (several), or even have seen it (one), must all have lied or been confused.

These three men had a career, a social life, a family. Assuming it would even be possible to create something like the Oera Linda-book and keep this a total secret, a team of highly motivated specialists would have to work on it for many years, like monks or hermits. The supposed suspects, however, had a life. Therefore, the Haverschmidt theory is not realistic.

Over de Linden, age 50-58, Navy shipyard supervisor Verwijs, age 31-39, teacher/ archivist/ dictionary editor Haverschmidt, age 27-35, clergyman/ poet
1861 1st wife Trijntje J. dies 31 Dec. fiancée Aemilia W. dies 14 Sept.
start as archivist-librarian moves to Den Helder in December
1863 2nd marriage 14 May Geertruida, son Leendert married 26 Apr.
publication about St. Nicholas marriage 6 Aug. Jacoba J.M.
marriage 21 Jan. Lamberdina H.
moves to Schiedam in July, daughter Margot born 13 Aug.
1865 daughter Hendrika married 18 Apr. publication about Germanic words for 'woman'
1866 daughter Anna marries 24 Dec.
son Nicolaas born 3 Dec.
1867 start correspondence with Verwijs start research OLB poetry collection published
1868 son Cornelis dies in Dutch Indies moves to Leiden, start as editor of Dutch dictionary son Nicolaas dies 29 July
1869 son Anton J. marries 11 Aug. Manuscript copied, translation taken over by Winkler son François born 18 Dec.

1. Cornelis Over de Linden: (1811-1874) see genealogy
Over de Linden to Dr. Ottema, 16-11-1871:
"I don't have the slightest doubts that one day the truth will come float to the surface, but now that I have studied your translation, I figure that the laws described in it are very radical, and that when the theology it teaches would become that of the people again, all sorts of clergymen would have to find a new job. That is why I think they will oppose it as much as is in their power."
(Dat de waarheid boven drijven zal daar twijfel ik geenszins aan, maar nu dat ik uwe vertaling bestudeerd heb, meen ik dat de wetten welke daarin voorkomen zeer radicaal zijn, en dat als de godsdienst die er in geleerd wordt, weder die van het volk werd, de dominées en c.s. wel een ander baantje bij den hand mogten nemen. Daarom dunkt mij zullen zij het zoo veel tegenwerken als in hun vermogen is.)

2. Eelco Verwijs, born 17-7-1830 Deventer, died 28-3-1880 Arnhem, son of Adrianus Verwijs (1788-1844) and Trijntje Fockema (1797-1871);
married 21-1-1864 Franeker (living Leeuwarden/ Franeker);
Lamberdina Henriette Telting, born 1837 Franeker, dies 19-9-1920 Arnhem, daughter of Albertus Telting (1803-1863) and Anna Cornelia Henrietta Huguenin (1807-1885);
No children

Verwijs to Over de Linden, 13-10-1867:
"I received your mostly welcome postage [the first part of the original manuscript], which to me irrefutably proves the authenticity..."

(En daar ontvang ik uwe mij zoo hoogst welkome bezending (t.w. het eerste gedeelte van het origineele handschrift) waardoor mij de echtheid onwederleggelijk wordt [werd] bewezen...)

Idem, 19-10-1867:
"It certainly is a manuscript of one of your ancestors, copied many times [...] which absolutely deserves to be known."
('t Is zeker een meermalen overgeschreven handschrift van een Uwer voorvaders [...] dat alleszins verdiend gekend te worden.)

Note: In his 1863 publication "De namen der vrouw bij den Germaan" (Germanic words for 'woman'), Verwijs suggests that the name of the village Vronen was derived from 'vroon' meaning 'lord/master' (Dutch 'heer', p.14), while in OLB this is FOR.ÁNA (Dutch 'vooraan': in front). If he was really the translator, it should be possible to identify his 'signature' in the OLB. However, in the meticulous studies that tried to prove him guilty, such evidence was never found.

Note: Verwijs wrote 17-10-1867 to state officials about the manuscript containing "about 200 pages". Assuming it was fabricated, this must have been done before Verwijs wrote the officials, for if they would have demanded to immediately obtain or see it, he would have risked his reputation (or more).

3. François HaverSchmidt, born 14-2-1835 Leeuwarden, died 19-1-1894 Schiedam, son of Nicolaas Theodorus Johannes Haverschmidt (1801-1879) and Geeske Bekius (1803-1878);
married 6-8-1863 Utrecht
Jacoba Johanna Maria Osti, born 2-4-1841 Utrecht, died 14-6-1891 Schiedam, daughter of Nicolaas Clement Osti and Margaretha Christiana Klanek.
  1. Margaretha Christiana (Margot) Haverschmidt, born 13-8-1864, Schiedam, died 6-12-1944 Zeist, not married.
  2. (Nicolaas Theodorus Clemens, born 3-12-1866 and died 29-7-1868 Schiedam)
  3. François Haverschmidt, born 18-12-1869 Schiedam, died 10-9-1928 Utrecht; married 2-7-1896 Dordrecht Catharina Jacoba Johanna Verbroek, geb. 1876 Dordrecht
Mrs. Haverschmidt-Osti
Career as clergyman
Leiden (Theology study): 1852 to 1858.
Leeuwarden (one year without work): 1859
Foudgum and Raard: from 1859 to 1862
Den Helder: from 1862 to 1864
Schiedam: from 1864 to 1894


1856, 1857, 1859 contributions to students' almanac
1867 Snikken en Grimlachjes (poetry collection) 

François junior
(more relevant quotes and information may be added later)

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