On January 6, 1779, 24-year-old Cornelis Oerlemans boarded the ship “Zeeploeg” as accountant for the administration of goods, wages and food for the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.). The ship had been build in 1777 at the company’s yard in Amsterdam. Its skipper was Jan Stil. A long-distance voyage was hard on the health of a sailing ship’s crew. During the first 2-3 months of the voyage newcomers aboard usually developed scurvy due to a lack of vitamin C.
After a voyage of 3½ months at sea, the ship and crew arrived at the Cape of Good Hoop in South-Africa on April 24, 1779. They resumed their voyage at May 6, arriving at Batavia (nowadays Jakarta) in Indonesia on June 30, 1779.
Cornelis Oerlemans remained in Asia where he died within 6 months on December 21, 1779. Four days earlier the ship “Zeeploeg” had been wrecked and the whole crew drowned.
Cornelis Oerlemans was baptized on April 20, 1755, in Sprang, Brabant, The Netherlands, as the eldest child of Govert Oerlemans (1719-1791) and his first wife, IJda de Grandt (1730-1778). Cornelis had 2 younger sisters, Clasina Elizabeth Oerlemans (1759-1817) and Bernardina Cornelia Oerlemans (1762-1833). His father, Govert Oerlemans, was remarried in 1786 in Sprang to Engelina Vos. As a widow she was remarried in 1792 to Johannes Josephus de Wilde and had a daughter Helena Elisabeth de Wilde (1797-1867).
On November 24, 1795, Cornelis’ salary was finally paid to his heirs: his stepmother and his two sisters.
Bronnen: salha.nl, bhic.nl, F. de Jonge: Oerlemans, A.C.M. Gouverneur: Sprang huwelijken 1611-1811.