My fellow family members and interested friends! Genealogy is a fun hobby and I hope you will enjoy browsing through this site.
Origins depict the family name was spelled, KELFFKEN, KELFFKENS, KELFKEN, KELFKENS, The name was already found in the province of Gelderland as far back as the 1400's and depicts a 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.
I found interesting archived history (www.noviomagus.nl )of some prominent individuals from Nijmegem, Holland. Johan Kelffken (mayor in 1579) took the initiative in planting trees on the plain adjacent to the Valkhof estate (what is today know as "Kelfkensbos") to create a walking trail. "Ijpen" trees were added on July 2, 1622, through championing by the Mayor Arnolt Kelffken to create a walking lane ("wandelplaats") in the park. (Smetius 1784, pp. 166-167). Some of the trees were removed in 1831 to make way for artillery stations and barracks for soldiers. The rest of the trees disappeared almost entirely by 1840." (Teunissen 1933) Later the place was named Kelfkensbos after him as a mean of gratitude. Today the area is a parkade and the street on its eastern side also bears the name Kelfkensbos. There is an interesting history behind the events that eventually also resulted in the the name "Kelfkensbos" being eternalised.
In 1622 Arnolt Kelffken (1575-1639)was elected mayor of the city for the third time. There is also record of various mayors bearing the name Johan Kelffken prior to 1618. In 1729, Arnoldo Kelfken became the first mayor by this denominated name spelling (this can be found in the reference " Het Stadhuis van Nijmegen 1982"). The family crest of Kelfken is can be foundin the form of a "facade gable stone" at the Townhall ( or "Stadhuis") in Steenstraat on the corner with Grotestraat in old town Nijmegem. In the old cities, streets had no names and numbers. If you needed to find someone, you had to know the name of the house which bore would have a special sign or decorative plaques. The crest, origin Nijmegen, has 3 black diagonal bands on silver background.
SOUTH AFRICAN LINEAGE
The Kelfkens family lineage in South Africa started near the end of 19th century with the arrival of Reginus Kelfkens (b. 1850 in Holland), a decendant of Dirk Kelfkens (b.1773, Holland) in South Africa, exact date unknown. The first immigrant Reginus Kelfkens visited South Africa on a short term assignment as Station Master in Dullstroom, Mpumalanga South Africa at the end of the 19th century. He liked the country so much that he decided to settle in South Africa with his family.He arrived with his wife Josina Catharina Magdalena neé Janson,(fondly known as “Moe”) and four children (i.e. Jan Hendricus (b. 1876), Willem Constantijn (B. 1884), Bastiaan Willem and Leijda) from Holland. Today there are a substabtial number of people bearing the Kelfkens name, all related through one common ancestor.
The family crest differs substantially from the original Nijmegen version. It is bears a vertical divided shield, left shield bearing left sloping diagonal band with three calf heads; fishers boat with two flags on right shield. The Nijmegen archives also reference early ancestores involved with boats (Johannes Kelfken, nauta (schipper), Nijmegen 1533; Johan Kelffken, schepen 1593 Ref: Legerboek Stevenskerk Nijmegen 1600, p 14, 34] which that may explain the boat on the crest.
My research is focused on the Kelfkens family from Holland as it first appeared from as early as the 1400’s and the linkage to our South African lineage. I will appreciate any information that would help shed light on this history and am willing to share the information that I have.
My sincere appreciation to Peter Hendrik from Leidschendam, the Netherlands and Jean from Brussels for helping in this venture.