The Coat of Arms

It is likely that Joseph Dominique in France had a coat of arms. This can be deducted from a letter, dated 24 October in Sèvres, by the then eighty year old Marie François Joseph Adelaide (the fourth name does not appear on the old family tree). This Marie born on 15 April 1765 writes to her only brother Louis Marie Norbert André:

"Quoiques mes yeux soient fatigué, j'arrive au cachet, j'ai bien reconnu l'empreinte, notre digne et excellent père (the father François Marie André ) avait le pareil, que lui avait été envoyé de Hollande par l'oncle (this has to be Joseph Dominique) j'ignoraie ce qu'il était devenu je suis contente qu'il soit entre tes mains, Au revoir je n'y vois plus . "

This means that Joseph Dominique (l'oncle) had sent an 'empreinte" (seal print) to his brother François Marie André in Hesdin. This print should be the same as the seal which his cousin Louis Marie Norbert (probably from Zutphen) had sent shortly before the letter of 1845 to the eighty year old Marie. Why would Joseph Dominique have sent a print of his coat of arms to Sèvres? Only one answer seems possible to this question: to prove his identity. He had left his native country and abjured his Catholic religion. That is why his brother François Marie sent a print of his coat of arms to prove that he was the refugee brother. His elder sister writes: "J'ignoraie ce qu'il était devenu…( I do not know what has become of him). Even her" excellent père François Marie" will not have known what had become of his brother, the former Roman Catholic priest. Finally the remark that sending the coat of arms was only useful if they used the same coat of arms in both France and Holland. For, would the French André's have had any interest in a self created coat of arms in The Netherlands?

  The grand son's coat of arms
<Christian cross> It is assumed that the original version was one with the shield in front of the cross. On the shield we notice a Christian cross with a serpent, foliage and two French lilies. This coat of arms is used as a seal by J.H. André de la Porte (1831-1889), judge in Arnhem and member of the city Counsel, a grandson of reverend Anthony Engelbert. Of this a document was found in the archives.

The argument may have been that a change of the coat of arms by his father was not correct. He as a grandson of Anthony Engelbert wanted to do it right. Maybe there is also a symbolic way of looking at it. The grandson takes up again the starting point of his grandfather, like Joseph Dominique took the addition 'de la Porte" from his grandfather.

  The son's coat of arms

Joseph Dominique's son , reverend Anthony Engelbert had an other coat of arms. It was composed of an Andrew's cross (a sloping cross) between two lilies. This coat of arms appears in a letter of 2 January 1800 to the Board of the Amt Over-Betuwe. One can only guess about an explanation why this coat of arms is different. Possibly the cross with the serpent was not considered in line with his religious conviction.

It is in any case certain that in The Netherlands several variations of the coat of arms have been used, with several armorial bearings , colours and crosses.

As far as we know the members of the related André 's do not have a coat of arms. Limited research in French books on coats of arms has not led anywhere. No research, however has been conducted on similar pictures of the cross with the serpent.

   The coat of arms used since 1928

A lot of correspondence on the coat of arms, the supporters, cloth and crests took place early 1928 with Mr. D.G. van Epen of the Nederlands Patriciaat. Ever since the following was concluded:

Arms"The colours of the coat of arms are gold and blue for the cross and the lilies. The supporters are a lion looking back (left) and a whippet with a ring and collar (right). One should consider here left and right the way the seal is seen on paper, mirror of as it is seen on a ring or seal. The collar is silver. The cloth is blue and gold. There is no crest (helmet or crown) present." This coat of arms is a seal print on a letter of 2 January 1800 by reverend A.E. André de la Porte in Elst addressed to the Management of the Amt Over-Betuwe. As such it is also described in the 49th volume of the Nederlands Patriciaat (edition 1963). It is remarkable that on family trees, seal rings and other pictures of the coat of arms dating before 2004 there are crests in the form of a fantasy crown or a helmet. One can only guess about the authenticity of this. No documents are known from which it would appear that these ornaments belong to the family coat of arms.


The André de la Porte family was first mentioned in 1915 in the 6th volume of the Nederlands Patriciaat, an edition by the Centraal Bureau voor de Genealogie (C.B.G.) in The Hague. The editions of the Nederlands Patriciaat describe families which have held prominent positions in Dutch society during at least three generations (150 years) and consequently had an influential role. In 1963 the André de la Porte family is described again in the 49th volume. The mention follows the year after. In addition to a description of the coat of arms the 1963 edition offers an enumeration of all masculine family members, their marriages and children. Also some portraits are shown. Furthermore the text of volume 50 of 1964 has been rectified in two places: on page 24 Xd. Charles Henry marries Irthe Baroness van Pallandt, daughter of… and on page 27, lxj, 3 Jozef W. born 6 September 1931, adm. N.v. Producten Mij. Vijfhuizen in Zwanenburg (Heemstede).

In 2003 the Board of the family Foundation investigated the possibility of an actualised edition. Next to the fact that the Nederlands Patriciaat ceases to exist (the volumes of 2004 and 2005 will be the last ones) the editor requires a complete list of data. Amongst them all birth and decease data and professions of spouses of members of the family as well as their parents. These practical hurdles, the short time frame during which the data had to be collected and supplied to be mentioned in the last edition and the high cost of such an edition, have made the Board decide not to prepare an actualisation. The alternative, an actualised family tree (edition 2005) together with an own edition of the family history, has now become available.




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