"Speaking arms" trouble

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Charles Melebeck
Posts: 16
Joined: 22 May 2014, 20:06

"Speaking arms" trouble

Postby Charles Melebeck » 26 Aug 2014, 19:18

Hello,

I am a new Belgian member trying to create "speaking" coats of arms for his family. My familyname meaning "the river of the mill" (Molenbeek, in Flemish) since about 300 years, I recently found an ancestor wearing "the mill of the mountain/hill" (Mulenberch in German but always in Flanders). His children used to wear our name as written nowadays. Do I have to see it as an exception or must I "beware"?

All the best,

Charles Melebeck

andrewkerensky
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Joined: 27 Jul 2014, 19:41

Postby andrewkerensky » 26 Aug 2014, 22:09

Post removed.
Last edited by andrewkerensky on 19 Apr 2015, 17:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Chris Green
Posts: 2734
Joined: 10 Jul 2012, 13:06
Location: Karlstad, Sweden

Re: "Speaking arms" trouble

Postby Chris Green » 26 Aug 2014, 22:21

I am not sure how much help we the IAAH can be with answering your question which is not so much about heraldry as with the origins of your family name, which as I understand it is Flemish. I don't think we have any Belgian members, not active ones anyway. Our learned Secretary is Dutch and may have some insights.

Molenbeek (Millbrook in English) is of course a very common place name in what is now Belgium, there is one in Brussels not far from where I once lived. So I would imagine that it is not impossible that your surname of Melebeck is an archaic form ("Mele" may be related to the English "Mill" and "Beck" is identical with the northern English and Nordic "Beck" (Stream)). If I understand you right, an ancestor assumed that Melebeck derived from "Mulenberch" which I surmise is an archaic form of the German "Muhlenberg". I am no expert by any means in surnames from the low countries, but, if as you believe your family has been Flemish from time immemorial, the balance of probabilities must surely be that Melebeck derives from Molenbeek and not from Muhlenberg a family name not I think found in Flanders but not that uncommon in Germany (and now in the US).

Now it is of course conceivable that "Mele" means something else and not mill, but you would need the advice of an expert in Flemish linguistics to sort that out. I remember being told when I lived in Brussels that Flemish villages only a few kilometres apart once spoke virtually different languages, not just different dialects. If true, it is not unlikely that the word for a mill wasn't "molen" throughout Flanders.

If you want a really professional answer I would suggest you try an expert in Flemish. Have you tried the Catholic University at Leuven? I believe the head of the Linguistics Department is Professor Willy Smedts.

PS: I think when you used the word "wearing" you meant "bearing".
Chris Green
IAAH President

Apohypaton

Charles Melebeck
Posts: 16
Joined: 22 May 2014, 20:06

Re: "Speaking arms" trouble

Postby Charles Melebeck » 27 Aug 2014, 08:12

Thank you for this answer, I will first ask the question in the place I study, the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve. In fact the word "Mele", in my familyname, only appears late. The normal spelling during the XVIIth cent. being "Mole", closer to the mill in Flemish then.
Could you perhaps give me your advice on my project? This is supposed to show that my family established itself on the border between Duchy of Brabant (sable and or), and the County of Namur (Or and sable) and that they were blacksmiths....Image

I apologize for my writting in English, I hadn't done it for a long time ;)

Charles

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Ton de Witte
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Joined: 10 Jul 2012, 21:23
Location: The Netherlands

Re: "Speaking arms" trouble

Postby Ton de Witte » 27 Aug 2014, 08:51

I had a look in a family name database of the Netherlands and Melebeck does not exist in it.
As for the arms I would suggest something gyronny (gegeerd) wavy (gegolfd) in or and sable. In this all elements are incorporated a windmill, a beek and the colours of Brabant and Namur yet it is a simple design. Mele means apples in Italian so perhaps an apple (or/sable) on one of the wavy bits could be a nice charge.
Ton de Witte
IAAH secretary

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Chris Green
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Joined: 10 Jul 2012, 13:06
Location: Karlstad, Sweden

Re: "Speaking arms" trouble

Postby Chris Green » 27 Aug 2014, 09:38

This begins to look like a formal "Design Assistance Request". Please complete the form (link below) and we'll see what we can do.

http://fs8.formsite.com/secretary/design-request/index.html
Chris Green
IAAH President

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Charles Melebeck
Posts: 16
Joined: 22 May 2014, 20:06

Re: "Speaking arms" trouble

Postby Charles Melebeck » 27 Aug 2014, 11:07

Indeed, Mr Green! The only one thing I would like to know, and sorry for asking it, is: is there a cost for such a kind of request? I am still a student and have ipso facto only few financial means, my family members being uninterested by heraldic matters...

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Chris Green
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Location: Karlstad, Sweden

Re: "Speaking arms" trouble

Postby Chris Green » 27 Aug 2014, 13:00

No charge!
Chris Green
IAAH President

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Charles Melebeck
Posts: 16
Joined: 22 May 2014, 20:06

Re: "Speaking arms" trouble

Postby Charles Melebeck » 27 Aug 2014, 19:44

Done! Thank you.

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Mike_Oettle
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Joined: 11 Feb 2015, 17:03
Location: Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Re: "Speaking arms" trouble

Postby Mike_Oettle » 26 Feb 2015, 21:21

Having come upon this thread some months after the initial posting, and having not seen any reference to it elsewhere on the forum, I may be giving pointless advice.
I would nonetheless advise Charles to get in touch with the Heraldisch College van de Vlaamse Vereniging voor Familiekunde, which would be the appropriate place to register such a coat of arms.
It has a website at http://users.telenet.be/johan.roelstrae ... ollege.htm
Charles’s design would readily be compared with other entries in the College’s records.
Regards,
Mike
Last edited by Mike_Oettle on 01 Jun 2015, 21:05, edited 1 time in total.
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