Dear Rick van Valkenburg
Out of personal interest in our family heritage and the origin of our family name I have accumulated the following information:
In the book "Heraldie" by Carl-Alexander van Volborth, published by the "Batavian Lion" - Amsterdam-Dieven, we are registered as untitled nobility.
Since 1247 until present, our name has been around under different manners of writing.
The reason for this is very simple: the people who where responsible for the registration in the city registers and/or birth registrations could hardly (or badly) write.
Before the Napoleonitic age, people really didn't have a "family name" as we know it today. Generally they were named after the region they came from or their parentís occupying profession. A nickname, etc...
Because this resulted in severe confusion emperor Napoleon Bonaparte changed this custom. Ever since, everyone got registered with 2 names. A Christian name and a family name. Most likely our first family name came from "van Valkenburg". Variations are: van Valkenburg, Van valkenburg, van Valkenburgh, Valckenborg, Valkenbeurg, Valkenborgh etc..., Etc...
In our French speaking regions we were called "Bourg des Faucons which is the literal translation of "van Valkenburg".
Even though our families were not titled (taken away or sold), our coat of arms remained in possession of the family.
Herewith included, you find the original coat of arms as it most likely was used by Theodoricus van Valkenburgh, around 1247 - 1250.
The colours of the coat of arms are:
A red fortress with silver or black falcons on a blue or silver background.
The red stands for: planet mars, ruby, courage and desire. The blue stands for: planet Jupiter, sapphire, loyalty, tranquillity and steadfastness.
In 1994 they've published a beautiful book about the city of Valkenburg and it's history printed by "Elsevier, Amsterdam-Brussels". This book "Valkenburg aan de Geul" is for sale in English at the tourist office "V.V.V. het Geuldal" for approximately $10.
On 15 February 1041 Valkenburg was first mentioned in a deed of gift from the hand of emperor Hendrik III.
The van Valkenburg family has known several remarkable individuals such as: the brothers van Valkenborch Lucas and Martin and Martin's son Frederick. In their days they were known as renowned painters and members of the Flemish school in Mechelen.
Their predilection was towards the common man in the landscape. All three of them emigrated to Germany where they died.
In the ???? Museum of Vienna (Austria) and in the museum of ?????
Art in Antwerp (Belgium) one can admire some of these masterís
Valkenburg aan de Geul
This is all the information I have available at present. I sincerely hope you enjoy the information about Valkenburg
Accept our well and sincere regards from Belgium. The world is
a small place these days and we might even meet in the future.
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