Nel

My mother Nel van Oppen was protestant and became Catholic in order to marry my father. From her we know that the name van Oppen comes from ‘De Uppin’, a Norman commander. Somewhere in France, possibly in Paris, there is a goblin portraying a battle between Normans and Gauls in the 9th century. The image on the goblin shows the victory of the Gauls and the submission of a certain De-Uppin, commander of the Normans to the commander of the Gauls. The legend continues and tells that the De-Uppin was banned to the Wendenland, what today is called the Czech Republic. In mediaeval history we find him again as Baron van Oppen.

Nel van Oppen

Nel van Oppen

The large religious movements in the late middle ages had their impact also on this family. Many became protestant. The Catholics flew to the Province of Limburg in the Netherlands. Some of those became protestant and others remained Catholic. Net van Oppen was part of the Protestant branch of the family and it isn’t remarkable that from the four children in their family two became Catholic. Nel became Catholic on 24th December 1926. Nel van Oppen was born in Kudus, Java on 15th July 1898. Her father was Franciscus Johannes van Oppen and her mother was Petronella, Margaretha Schippers. Margaretha was born in 1872 in Banjoemas, daughter of Pleun Schippers and Sara Cornelia van der Salm. Petronella Margaretha Schippers lived officiallyin Batavia, but actually lived in Laren, the Netherlands. Nel van Oppen had been married before to Charles Prosper Wold Schoemakere. Sara was born on 1st December 1850 in Sommelse Dijk (ZH), where she died on 13th January in 1929.