The surname VELTMAN is of Dutch origin, from the Old Dutch 'VAN DER VELD' meaning 'of the field'. This topographic name related to someone who lived on land which had been cleared of forest, but not brought into cultivation, as opposed to enclosed land. 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. There are many variations of the name throughout Europe, and the Dutch spellings include VANEVELD, VAN DEN VELDT, VAN DEN VELDEN, VELDMAN and VELTMANNE. 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. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. A family of Dutch painters William VAN DE VELDE the Elder (1611-1693) painted large pictures of ships and sea battles, usually drawn in black ink or indian ink on a white ground. In 1672 he and his elder son William VAN DE VELDE (the younger) (1633-1707) were in London, where they remained as official marine painters. Several hundred marine paintings are attributed to William the Younger, who is held to be among the greatest masters in this genre. Many of their paintings of sea fights were made from sketches done on the scene of action and sometimes under fire. Adriaen VAN DE VELDE (1636-1672) the younger son, painted gentle Dutch landscapes with figures and grazing cattle.
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