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Renus C Kelfkens of South African Origins Updated November 26, 2004
About Our Family Research
Spelling origins of the name was KELFKEN, KELFKENS, KELFFKEN, KELFFKENS. The name was already found in the neighbouring province of Gelderland in the 1400's as family, which played an important part in the local government of those days. The name is also mentioned in land transactions concerning the estate 'Hoemansgoedt' in Gelderland in the 17th century. The family has a crest originally listed as:
KELFKEN, origin Nijmegen, 3 black diagonal bands on silver. A b/w/ picture is available. The color coding on the picture confirms the colors.
When one visits Nijmegen today, you will find a parkade and the adjacent road to its east bearing the name "Kelfkenbos" on the north sidein the old part of the town. From records in the City archive there, the history of it is rather interesting. In the days of Burgemeester Arnold Kelfkens (1575-1639), this area was used for garbage dumping and executions. In 1622 Arnold listened to his citizen's claims about the smell and the risks of disease, and decided to have it transformed. The whole place was cleaned throughoutly , trees were planted and the area turned into a pleasant park where the citizens of Nijmegen liked to walk about. Later the place was named after him as a mean of gratitude. Today it is of course the parkade.
The start of the Kelfkens family tree in South Africa started with my Great Grand Father, Reginus Kelfkens (1855 - ??) when he and his wife Wilhelmina Pohl and their six children (4 boys and two girls)emigrated from Amsterdam and arrived in Dullstroom, Eastern Transvaal in 1906.