Heraldry of the family Kempeneers-Baldewijns
from Kelsbeek (Belgian province of Limburg)
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What does the name mean?

The name Kempeneers means "from the Kempen". The Kempen are a region in Belgium in the triangle between Antwerp, Limburg and Flemish-Brabant
Dr. fil. Paul T.C. Kempeneers has given me additional information: the oldest known Kempeneersen are recorded in the family names dictionary 'Woordenboek van Familienamen', by Fr. Debrabandere (2d print, 2003, pp. 676). The oldest are: Willem Kempeners at Rijkhoven (1280-1290), Jean dit Kempenere in Limburg (1305), Willelmi dicti Kempenere (this name is latinised) (1308), Henric Kampenere in Tienen (1403).
There's also an article on the name in 'Eigen Schoon en de Brabander', 1949, p. 84-92.

Dirk Gaens offered me the following quotes about Kempeneers, found in the "Oorkonden van het begijnhof van Sint-Truiden", the records of the beguinery in Sint-Truiden
"13-11-1363 Ludovicus Kempere, getuige (witness)

11-11-1437 De meier en de laten van het cijnshof van Herkenrode te Huldelingen
verklaren dat Mechteld, weduwe van Jacob Kempeneers uit Vorsen, een vruchtgebruik van een halve mud rogge op een hoeve te Overjeuk, gelegen naast de erven van de abdij van Herkenrode en de beek, overgeeft aan haar kinderen Jan, Hendrik, Margriet en Aleydis, die krachtens het testament van hun vader Jacob, die pacht aan Katlyn van Mielen, meesteres van het begijnhof van Sint Truiden schenken. "
The widow of Jacob Kempeneers from Vorsen gives a piece of land and the use thereof to her children, who donate the land to the mistress of the beguinery and this by their father's will.
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A coat of arms ?

Every family wants to know whether there is a coat of arms and according titels. As far as we know, our family Kempeneers has no coat of arms.

When in Drumnadrochit in the summer of 2006 near Loch Ness in Scotland, we entered a shop where one could have its coats of arms made. One could research ones coat of arms in a very thick book, known as the "Rietstap" (Armorial général composed by Johannes Baptist Rietstap, heraldry expert and genealogist, Rotterdam, 05/12/1828 - The Hague, 24/12/1891). There we found this coat of arms.

The meaning is: the background with slanted lines is the colour green or sinopel. The sickles are a reference to farming.

more information on coats of arms: wikipedia

The coat of arms of Waltherus Kempenerswho died on 20th of september 1662. He was burried together with his wife Elisabeth Loickx . The burrial stone with the coat of arms is still to be seen at the Saint John the Baptist-church of Tongeren.

The seal o fMewis Kempeneers, who presided the taxcourt of Saint Séverin, seated at Corthys (Kortijs near Gingelom) at 29-11-1530.
The seal - made of green wax - had a diametre of 24 mm and contained a "ecu à une charrue" or a shield with plough.
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The coat of arms on the homepage was designed by my oldest sister for a family reunion. It is completely incorrect when looked at it from a pure heraldic point of view, for our family though, the references are relevant:

The pigeon: many of our forefathers practised the compition with doves, current generations have found other means of relaxation and play.

Fruittrees and blossom: for many many years apples, pears, berries, cherries and all other kinds of fruit have been planted, grown and harvested and turned into delicious pies...

1729 : the assumed year of birth of Godefridus Kempeneers (died in 1809 at the age of 80)

The black lion, clawing to the left, on a yellow field is a reference to the Flemish character of our family.

The intricately formed character "K" stands for Kelsbeek, place of birth of my grandfather "Pa van Kelsbeek (Isidoor Kempeneers)" and his children.

The M, a bit harder to discover, refers to Melveren and Metsteren, two littel villages where a lot of our grandparents' history took place.

The colours red and yellow are the colours that are also to be found on the flag of the very old flag of the duchy of Limburg

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The only reference towards nobility was about Charles de Kempener who was "annobli" in 1679

Charles de Kempeneer was Commissaire extraordinaire des Montres des gens de Guerre, married to A.C. Reymen (an important family from Brussels ). They had one son Philippe , Capitaine de Cavalerie and one daughter, Catherine married to François van Heymbeke, who had no descendants (see Oude Brabantse Geslachten)

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