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Van Hecke Coat of Arms / Van Hecke Family Crest

This Dutch surname of VAN HECKE was applied to a native of the Hook of Holland in Holland. The name is also spelt Van HOEK. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. Dutchmen who have surnames from towns, cities or districts, are mostly distinguished by the prefix VAN. In the United States the use of capital and initial letters and spaces is optional with the particular family. The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. Compared to other countries, Dutch heraldry is notably simpler, some of the shields bearing only a single charge. Generally speaking one helmet, one shield and one crest has been used, quartering is uncommon and mottoes are rare. A notable member of the name was Walter Farquar HOOK (1798-1875) the English clergyman and church historian, born in London. He was educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford, and became vicar of Leeds in 1837. Mainly by his energy and enthusiasm 21 churches were built in Leeds, as well as 23 parsonages and 27 schools. He became Dean of Chichester in 1859. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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