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to the History of the
Valk Family


ORIGIN OF THE VALK NAME:
The word "Valk" means falcon in both Dutch and German.  As I have researched my ancestors over the years, I have come across the Valk surname with origins from the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Lithuania, as well as other countries.  It is likely that my ancestors may have been falconers, who raised and trained falcons to hunt for royalty and the nobility.  My Valk ancestors were from the Province of Friesland, in the Netherlands.  Surnames were not in common use in the Netherlands until around 1811, when under French rule, the Dutch citizens were required to choose a surname for census and other official purposes.  The earliest records I can find on my Valk ancestors were those who were living in the province of Friesland in the mid-1700's.  My ancestor, Jantje Joukes Valk, was born about 1744 in the town of Koudom, which is located in the municipality of Hemelumer Oldeferd in Friesland.  His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren settled in the town of Marrum, in the municipality of  Ferwerderadeel, Friesland for several generations before migrating to the United States around 1882.

THE VALKS IN AMERICA:
Around 1882, my great-great-grandfather, Tjamme "James" Wiegers Valk emigrated to the U.S. with his fiancée Berber "Barbara" J. DeJong.  The family story is that they were married on board ship by the captain as they crossed the Atlantic, but after arriving in the United States, had to go through the ceremony again on land. They first made their way to Rock Island, Rock Island County, Illinois, where they met with a community of other Dutch expatriates.  It is in Rock Island County that their marriage record was found.  After a short stay in Holland, Ottawa County, Michigan, they settled in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, where their descendants live today.

Select an AnceStory:

William "Bill" Valk
(1912 - 1989)

William James Valk
(1886 - 1950)

Tjammes "James" Wiegers Valk
(1860 - 1922)

Wieger Tjammes Valk
(1827 - 1888)

Tjamme Jantjes Valk
(c. 1785 - 1842)

Jantje Joukes Valk
(c. 1744 - 1817)

Jouke Valk
(dates unknown)

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Miriam Robbins Midkiff
page created 6 Jul 2003
page updated: 6 Jun 2004

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