The name Lotenhulle has its origins in Frankish times: "lo" comes from lauha which means small wooded area and "hulle" comes from 'hulja' which means sandy ground or hill.
Historically Lotenhulle was part of Nevele. The lords of Nevele had several enclaves on the territory of Lotenhulle, i.a. the seigneuries of Oudegoede, Reibroek, Varizele and the farm at Barel. Other important seigneuries were the deanery of St. Donatius of Bruges, the seigneury of Schoonberge, of Buigezele, of Vormezele, of Poeke, of Bellem and of Schuerveld. The existance of all these seigneuries with their leasehold farms tells us that in the Middle Ages in Lotenhulle agriculture was big business. The "Heirstraat" reminds of the old high road between Bruges and Oudenaarde (Audenarde) and the "Boterstraat" (Butter Street) also refers to the old commercial road that led to Diksmuide (Dixmude).
Around the farms mentioned above little hamlets came into being and these remained centers of social life until well into the 20th Century: the Barelhoek ("hoek" = corner), the Veldhoek ("veld" = field), the Malsem, the Land of Nevele, the Meulenhoek ("meulen" or "molen" = a mill), the Breemeersen ("meersen" are pastures) and the Seishoek.
Lotenhulle suffered very badly from the scourge of the Religious Troubles of the 16th Century. The "watergeuzen" from Zeeland-Flanders were such a threat that the entire population fled between 1585 and 1600.
In the second half of the 17th Century and the beginning of the 18th Century the invasions of the French armies of King Louis XIV did a lot of damage and high war taxes were exacted.
Thanks to the obligatory military service under Napoleon Bonaparte in the beginning of the 19th Century a lot of young men from Lotenhulle died on far off battlefields.
In the course of the 19th Century the population of rural Lotenhulle suffered the same lot as the rest of "Poor Flanders": so many left the village of their ancestors to find work in the factories of nearby Ghent or in the far off new world of the unknown: America.
During the two World Wars Lotenhulle's material damage was light. A great bronze monument against the south side of the Holy Cross Church reminds us of the soldiers who fell for their country and the civilians who perished.
The source for most of the above is the excellent "Streekgids
Meetjesland", 1998, 109-111.
See also: Our Sources.
Lotenhulle with its 1,766 ha (4,362 acres) is since 1 January 1977 administratively a part of Aalter together with St.-Maria-Aalter, Bellem and Poeke. According to the official website of Aalter on 1 January 2004 there were in Lotenhulle 2,249 inhabitants.
Lotenhulle is the birthplace of Edward Coryn (° 2/9/1857) who emigrated with
his parents to the U.S.A. in 1881. He worked his way up to become a
director of the Moline Trust and Savings Bank. He was alderman of the city
from 1896 until 1904. He was the founder of the weekly "Gazette van
Moline". He died in Chicago on 21 Janury 1921.
For more information on this exceptional man see here on the website of the Genealogical Society of Flemish Americans.