Image: Family tree showing Hendrik VAN WESSEL - © 2019

Is there a van Wessel coat of arms? ...

Updated: 5 October, 2022 (CTvW)

It is of little interest these days to make a claim to a coat of arms (COA). However many researchers hope to link their surname with a coat of arms or a seal.

I still remember browsing through some books in the library (Openbare Bibliotheek) in Hilversum looking for such a treasure in the 1970's and, yes, there was some reference to the work done Mr. Otto Schutte. My brother Jan later managed to get further details of two such COAs. Over the years I have come across some other claims, but all of these are of no interest. They are listed here to point out these false leads. However recently I have been able to trace some material that is of genuine interest, although perhaps not directly linked to our own linage (yet). These are wax seals dating back to the 14th and 15th century. I will list the names of these van Wessels below and details are to follow later in 2022 or 2023.

  • Brande Copes Ludgher van Wessel (seal from 1383)
  • Gherijt Morre van Wessel (seal from 1432)
  • Ricolt van Wessel (seal from 1476)
  • Heimen Hant van Wessel (14thC; may have had a seal)
  • Bronijs Lubberts van Wessel (16th C; a priest who must have had a seal)

WapenWapenWapenThese three seals have recently (2020) come to light on documents from the 14th and 15th century. They are clearly related and belonging to the same family. They are also firmly linked with the van Wessel family, at that time vasals playing a minor role in local administration. One of the seals even bears the name van Wessel. Because these are wax stamps we cannot be sure of the colour, so the red and silver here are arbitrary. The same style of seal is also used by the van Domselaars (e. g. by Evert van Domseler in 1436). The van Domselaars were one of the more dominant families in the area around Barneveld in that period. They were law man, administrators and advisors to the Dukes of Gelre. More to follow ...

Wapen Jacobus van Wessel
Charter from 25 November, 1476. (Op Sunte Katherinen dach Jofferen) with the seals of Ricolt van Wessel (left) and Reyner Poelman (right).
Source: Gelders Archief.

The two van Wessel COAs listed by Mr Otto Schutte

WapenWapenWe know that two 17th century students, Jacobus van Wessel and Johannes van Wessel, made use of and registered a COA (see left). Both Jacobus and Johannes came from Barneveld and that brings them close to our own lineage. They may well have been family, but we have, so far, not been able to make that link. The COAs may not be based on pre-existing records, but we don't know. We also don't know for how long they have been used.

The scam COA that has nothing to do with van Wessel

WapenThis COA came from 'Burke's Peerage World Book of Wessels' and has nothing to do with the name van Wessel. These publications were computer generated lists based on public information and compiled by the Halberts Family Heritage (USA), but they have no genealogical or heraldic value. These are scam genealogical books, so please ignore these if you come across them, new or second hand.

The van Wesele COA and Wesel, but NOT van Wessel

WapenWapenWapenResearchers will sometimes end up following false leads. One of these is to look into the van Wesele family or assming that there is a link with Wesel in Germany (see van Wesele).

Othee examples may be out there. There is, for example a possible COA for a 17th centuru sheriff from Scherpenzeel. But so far this is all we have on the heraldic front. Of course if you do find new material please let us know.

Our own personal versions COAs ...

These are the wax stamp of Jan Lodewijk VAN WESSEL (1991?), the crest I use from time to time and a more stilised version. The are based on (copied from) the two 17th C student COAs. Please be so kind not to use them for your won use.