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"van" means "from"
Tue Oct 3, 2017 2:19pm

So everybody hailing from a certain location at a certain time in history (when the Dutch fixed their surnames that is) can have the location in their surname. It is like the -sen (son of...) with the Danes, many of whom have surnames like Jenssen, Nilsen, Pedersen, Hansen or Andersen.

Cleef is supposed to be Cleve, a (now) German region and town on the Dutch border with rich Dutch heritage. Think of Anne of Cleves:

I also read that the families are not related, but don't ask me where that was.

(And I like your real name better than your adopted name, but I see the point!)

  • Van Cleef and ArpelsTom B., Tue Oct 3 2:07pm
    No direct relationship.
    • Tom's correct, Ioana...DCG, Thu Oct 5 9:19am
      ...I've got the Van Cleef family tree in my files (but not in front of me at the moment), and I remember trying to trace just such a connection, once and for all. As I recall, Alfred Van Cleef... more
    • "van" means "from" — Maggie, Tue Oct 3 2:19pm
      • Thanks a lot, dear Maggie!Joan, Tue Oct 3 9:23pm
        Now I understood. I never thought about Netherlands when I was reading this name. Or about Germany. Very interesting and useful information. Thank you. And thank you, Iím glad that you like my real... more
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