Blason familial

Je suis né belge, je mourrai belge.  Ni flamand, ni francophone, car je suis issu des deux cultures...
Belg ik ben geboren, Belg zal ik sterven. Niet Vlaams, niet Franstalig, want ik ik heb in mijn bloed de twee culturen...

Ik heb deze pagina in engels geschreven om inlichtingen te kunnen geven aan de meeste De Meerleer (buiten België inbegrepen)

J'ai écrit cette page en anglais dans un soucis de répondre aux questions d'un maximum de De Meerleer (y inclus ceux vivant hors de Belgique).

I made this page in an attempt to answer the questions raised by a maximum of De Meerleer (including living outside of Belgium)

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Table of content :

History of the name

There has been, through time, 11 different ways to write the name : De Meerlaen, De Meerlaer, De Merrelaere, De Merlaen, De Merlere, De Meerlere, De Merleer, De Merelaen, De Meirlaen, De Meirleer and De Meerleer. The latter has been the one finally retained by the use.

A "meer" or "meir" is linked to "mark" (frontiers) and is a piece of land surrounded by a ditch or hedges. Is also used for naming places (lieu-dit in French).  In Herzele existed such places.

"Leer" is the middle-aged transformation of "laar" and is meant for a certain way of working.

Therefore, a "meerleer" is someone dealing with "meren" (pieces) of lands with ditches or hedges.  Nowadays, we would probably say someone who is placing enclosures or some sort of geometer.


History of the armory

In 1998, a friend of mine discovered that the Family name of "De Meerleer" had a registered armory in the archives of Spain. Dated June 1687, it has been registered at the time the Belgian area was ruled by Spain (it was at that time known as the "Pays-Bas espagnols").

It is described as follow : "Ecartelé en croix, au 1 et 4 de sinoples, au 2 et 3 de sable à trois fasces d'argent, accompagné de la devise latine In Adversis Constans".

With the help of that friend, I claimed the armoury by declaring to the Spanish king of arms that I was able and willing to be the holder of it and would respect the duties linked to it. After some inquiries and 2 years waiting, the king of arms accepted my demand and recognised me as the "name holder" of the house and that coat-of-arms.

Unfortunately, the Belgian Heraldic Council doesn't recognise this armoury as it has to be proven that it has been publicly used by a direct ascendant (less than 100 years) of the claimer, which I cannot prove (the armoury having been forgotten for more than 10 generations).

Meaning of the armoury

The meaning, as far as I have been able to understand it, may be as follow :

"La couleur sinople est lié à la vertu cardinale de la force, La couleur sable est liée à la vertu cardinale de la tempérance et la couleur argent est liée à la vertu théologale de la foi.

Il semble donc que l'on puisse lire ce blason comme suit :  conjuguer en équilibre la force (la nature) avec la tempérance (la raison, la mesure) qui elle même doit être éclairée par la foi."

And to be complete, the sinople and the sable colours are also the colours of the "Ordre Militaire et Hospitalier de Saint Lazare de Jerusalem" knights.



Online version of the Genealogy tree

GEDCOM file (thanks to Patrick De Meerleer, still to be updated)


De Meerleer in Belgium (as of State registery 1998) :

Carte de Belgique des De Meerleer

De Meerleer in Belgium (as of Belgacom 2000 White Pages phonebook, less accurate) :

Carte de Belgique Belgacom des De Meerleer


Back to my home page

© Michel De Meerleer. Cr Date : 16/09/1996, Last Update : 08/11/2012