kolff: history: geography: 3: 3

kolff family coat of arms

From Gelre to Holland (3/3)

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Perhaps at the beginning he could be apoligized because of his marriage. Only in April 1672 he could be officially taken in as a member of the classis and it seems he was doing his work properly. But not for long, for in the summer of that same year Wouter and Petronella were neither at Dalem nor at Vuren. The 'Rampjaar*' rampaged the Nederbetuwe.
French horsemen looted the no man's land between the State (Republican) troops at Gorinchem and those of Turenne at Zaltbommel. Safety could only be found within the Dalem Gate of the Holland town of Gorinchem. Petronella was pregnant. It is likely that the young couple found refuge with Rev. Georgius de Mey and his wife and the baby was born there. We know that the baby was baptized Georgius Justinus at Gorinchem on August 12, 1672, by Rev. De Mey. Both names were new to both the fathers' and the mothers' families. We can clarify Georgius, but Justinus has so far remained a mystery. It is obvious that the parents had reason to be thankful to a number of people. Likely to be people from Holland. The energetic abilities of Petronella must have had something to do with this. Already the next year Wouter got appointed at Noordeloos' beautiful, big church; Noordeloos belonging to the classis of Gorinchem.
Alliance Kolff-van Duren, Coat of ArmsSix years later they went further west: from Noordeloos to Maassluis. The couple would remain at Maassluis for the rest of their lives. Would they have spoken with a Nijmegen dialect at home in Maassluis? I think something from Nijmegen has always remained with us thanks to this couple Kolff-van Duren. It is the swan, as tarpaulin with our coat of arms. In many a Nijmegen story the swan is being honoured as the bird that came down along the river Rhine and landed at the quay of the river Waal, just there where Nijmegen is now situated. Of the Coat of Arms of the Alliance of Wouter and Petronella in 1671, the year of their marriage, a copy is kept at the family archives. It hardly resembles our present coat of arms, but the swan is already there. That must have been a swan from Nijmegen that travelled along to Maassluis.
See also: Biographies: 1939-1950: J.M. Kolff (4)
* Rampjaar: Dutch known expression for the year 1672 (transl. 'Disaster Year') when the Republic of the United Netherlands was declared war and got attacked by England, France, Münster and Cologne. Image: Coat of Arms, Alliance Kolff-van Duren (van Duyren)
(taken from Kolff in Zeven Eeuwen, p. 22)