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My name is Stefan Janse van Vuuren and I started this site.

I came across a fascinating newspaper clipping of my Granfather, Stephanus (Fanie) Janse van Vuuren. It stimulated me into wondering who his parents were and where he fit into the wider Janse(n) van Vu(u)ren Genealogy.

Hero of robbery: Robbers caught in car chase: R3000 recovered

Newspaper article: Hero of robbery:  Robbers caught in car chase: R3000 recovered

My investigations have already produced some fascinating findings and, no doubt, will continue to unearth some more interesting facts about his ancestors.

One thing has already become apparent in my research; that a great many of the details differ from source-to-source, and between all the different family trees on websites across the Internet that have been created with Gerrit Janszoon van Vuren as the progenitor of the Janse(n) van Vu(u)ren family in South Africa. I am interested in researching some of these details more critically in the hope of helping to minimise some of the inconsistencies between sources.

I acknowledge the work of the Janse(n) van Vu(u)ren Familiebond managed by Pieter Christiaan (Riaan) Jansen van Vuren.

 Van Vuren crest

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Our family tree is posted online on this site! There are 10846 names in our family site.
The site was last updated on Mar 30 2015, and it currently has 36 registered member(s). If you wish to become a member too, please click here.   Enjoy!


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Genealogy:Critical investigation into the origin of the Janse(n) van Vu(u)ren family crest
Posted by: Stephanus Janse van Vuuren on Jan 22 2014 14:26

I wanted to explore the origin and accuracy of the family crest that I inherited from my grandfather, Stephanus Petrus Janse van Vuuren (1922 – 1976). The crest contains a few elements which can be best described as a white European medieval-type heater-shaped shield, two red parallel-running diagonal zigzag-shaped beams, a small black crow-like bird in the top left-hand corner of the shield, a knights helmet above the shield, decorative mantling on either side of the helmet and two more on either side of the shield, and a scroll at the base of the shield with the words ‘Van Vuuren’ written on it.

Janse(n) van Vu(u)ren family coat of arms

Some internet research suggests that the family crest is largely decorative in its function and contains some elements consistent with the origin of the common South African surname of Janse(n) van Vu(u)ren which can be traced back to the small village of Vuren located about 5km east of Gorinchem Vuren, Lingewaal, Gelderland, NLin the municipality of Lingewaal of the Dutch province of Gelderland. The white shield and red zigzag beams especially, as well as the bird, draws from the crest of the Dutch village Vuren as well as the history of the wider region. The crest of Vuren however has two contrasting tinctures where the shield and beams exchanges colour, and contains a bird that more resembles a black waterbird like a duck. It certainly couldn’t be a black swan which is native to Australia.

Vuren, Lingewaal, Gelderland, NL

The origin of the Janse(n) van Vu(u)ren family crest is more accurately explained when the heraldry and history of Vuren and the wider region is further examined. The family crest displays closest parallels to that of the fiefdom of Van Arkel of the Counts of Holland (13th to 15th century). The fiefdom had its seat in a castle in Gorinchem, about 5km west of Vuren. It is here that the origins of the zigzag beams and bird become clearer.

Banner of the Lords of Van Arkel

The two diagonal beams reportedly represent siege ladders used by the Lords of Van Arkel during the siege of Damietta during the Fifth Crusade of 1219. It also incorporates a swan which originated from the folktale of John (Jan) van Arkel who apparently followed such a bird to his eventual ancestral lands around 690.

Crest of Van Arkel

Crest of van Arkel 2

Siege of Damietta

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