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 signed paintings.

Valkenburg aan de Geul

  • Ca 3500 BC exploitation of Valkenburg-flint

  • Ca 53 BC first roman settlement in the "Geuldal"

  • Ca 200 big roman settlement in the "Ravenbos"

  • Ca 400 de romans are leaving "Zuid-Limburg"

  • Ca 1041 first mention of "Falchenberg" in an act of deed from emperor Hendrik III

  • Ca 1100 Thibalt van Voeren first lord of Valkenburg

  • Ca 1106 Guda first lady of Valkenburg

  • Ca 1118 Gosewijn first lord from the house of Heinsberg

  • Ca 1122 first destruction of the fortress of Valkenburg

  • Ca 1165 Gerlachus, de Saint of the "Geuldal", dies in Houthem

  • Ca 1212 Dirk de first, lord from the house of Kleefs-Heinsberg

  • Ca 1281 the parish of the Saint Nicholas becomes independent

  • Ca 1302 Walram the "Rosse" dies

  • Ca 1352 Jan de first dies as last sire of Valkenburg

  • Ca 1381 Valkenburg under the Duke of "Brabant"

  • Ca 1430 Valkenburg part of the Bourgondian empire under "Philips de Goede"

  • 1465 the "Luikenaren" besiege Valkenburg in vain.

  • 1515 city and landeries of Valkenburg in the possession of emperor "Karel V"

  • 1568 Willem of Orange conquers Valkenburg

  • 1568 the Spanish warlord "Van Alva" conquers Valkenburg

  • 1572 Lodewijk van Nassau takes Valkenburg

  • 1578 Valkenburg has been taken again by Spanish troops.

  • 1632 Frederick Hendrik invades Valkenburg

  • 1636 Valkenburg in Spanish hands again.

  • 1644 The Dutch re-conquer Valkenburg

  • 1661 the partage-tractation divided the land of Valkenburg in a stately and Spanish part. City and castle become stately.

  • 1672 French troops conquer Valkenburg

  • The same year Valkenburg has been re-conquered by state-troops from Willem III who gave orders to blow up the castle.

  • 1773 heavy fire in Valkenburg. Two people died and 34 houses burnt down.

  • 1781 a dysentery epidemic kills 15.

  • 1794 Valkenburg gets incorporated in the French Republic.

  • 1795 establishment of the canton of Valkenburg

  • 1800 Valkenburg, Houthem, Schin op Geul, Old Valkenburg and Struch become independent municipalities.

  • 1815 Valkenburg is part of the Dutch province "Limburg"

  • 1830 Valkenburg becomes part of the kingdom of Belgium.

  • 1839 Valkenburg again becomes part of the kingdom of The Netherlands.

  • 1853 the building of the railway station of Valkenburg

  • 1940 the arise of the municipality of Valkenburg-Houthem.

  • 1944 liberation by the Americans. The city-centre was severely damaged.

  • 1966 opening of the new city-hall "Dersaborg"

  • 1978 construction of an atomic shelter in the city-cave.

  • 1982 after the fusion of Valkenburg-Houthem and Berg and Terblijt we see the arrival of a new municipality called "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.

Victor Valkenborgh

Translated by his son, Patrick Valkenborgh

Original in Dutch

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