Designed for every Kloosterman namebearer of the descendants of Jan Claesz,
sheriff of Kapelle Biezelinge, 1579, 1583,
tenant of 113 gem. 95 r. land in the Vroonland,

where the Jerusalem cloister was located.
His son is called Cornelis Jansz. op ‘t Clooster (1571-1627)
and his son Mattheus Cornelisz. Cloosterman (1597-1660).

Kloosterman Coat of ArmsDo we have a Coat of Arms? That is one of the most frequently asked questions from people who are investigating our family tree. It comes immediately after the absolutely leading question: How many years have you gone back already?

Although I can trace my ancestry back to about 1530, I never found a Coat of Arms in my genealogical research, but in the Netherlands anyone is entitled though to bear a coat of arms, whether old or newly designed, in his own rights. Special permission from an official heraldic college or institute to bear a coat of arms is not required. This does not mean that one is allowed to take and bear any coat of arms one has chosen.

It is a good heraldic custom not to bear anyone else’s coat of arms. The coats of arms of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, its provinces and municipalities, as well as the coats of arms of the Dutch nobility, however, are legally protected. They are conferred or confirmed by Royal Decree and further registered by the Supreme Council of the Nobility.

From 1971 onward at the Dutch Central Bureau of Genealogy in The Hague the opportunity exists on certain conditions to register a coat of arms by families borne in the Netherlands or by families of Dutch origin living abroad. Although it does not mean legal protection, registration and publication have a beneficial effect in protecting against heraldic interlopers in the Netherlands and other countries. In the Netherlands Coats of arms are related to a family and not to a individuals name.

“So, A Kloosterman Coat of Arms ?” No ! Yes ! Thumbing through my ancestor’s history it became clear to me that there was no real nobility, they all were farmers and workmen. Always on the working side of life and never rich. It isn’t surprising to find out we have no family crest, so in 2005 I decided to design my own family Coat of Arms, with the advice and help on the heraldic side of one of the national heraldic experts H.K. Nagtegaal, who is head of the heraldic department of the Central Bureau of Genealogy.

The Kloosterman Coat of Arms strictly follows the old heraldic rules and conventions and is officially registered at the heraldic department of the Dutch Central Bureau of Genealogy (CBG), certificate nr. 945, by the Director of the CBG, 08 august 2005.

The Kloosterman name
From the order of St.-Victor in 1246 Wolfaard van Maelstede founded the nunnery “Jerusalem” in Biezelinge in the south-west region of Holland, Zeeland on four parcels of land. During 16th-century iconoclastic fury, in 1572 the nunnery was destroyed, probably by the Geuzen “Dutch protestant rebels” under command of Jerome Seraerts. In 1578 the prioress Cathelina Meskens after receiving permission from her Vicar-General sold the remnants. After this the land was leased out.

Those four parcels where called “het clooster”(the cloister). The first name in the Kloosterman history appears around 1550, in the name of Claes and his son Jan Claesz. Claes lived and worked those four parcels of land around 1550 – 1580 in Kapelle Biezelinge. In 1583 this was the place where Jan Claesz. lived and in 1618 Cornelis Jansz. op ‘t Clooster. In the neighborhood of the Cloister there was probably a farm. His descendants were known as Cloosterman and later Kloosterman (around 1750).

Blason of arms

A “coat of arms” consists of several parts: the shield, the mantling, the helm, the wreath, charges, and the crest (note that not all arms have crests). The official, written description of the coat of arms is called the “blason of arms.”

Normally no mention is made of the Helm in a blazon as it isn’t part of the registered arms unless the armiger is a noble/royal personage when the type of helm is quite often specified, but not described, as different types of helm are used to denote a specific social rank.

The helm, is usually left to the latitude allowed Heraldic Artists when interpreting a blazon – that’s also why the blazon is the most important piece of registered information.

Kloosterman Blason of Arms

• Arms: Per Barry wavy of six Argent and Sable on a chief
wavy Gules an Escallop between two Jerusalem Crosses Or

• Crest: A demi-Lion rampant Sable langued Gules
• Mantling: Sable doubled Argent
• Below the shield the motto “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi”

Used Colors and metals

• Gold (Or) Generosity and elevation of the mind
• Red (Gules) Warrior or martyr; Military strength
and magnanimity
• Black (Sable) Constancy or grief
• Silver (Argent) Peace and sincerity

Symbolism of the Kloosterman Coat of Arms

The crest is the rising lion of Zeeland, because the roots of the Kloosterman family are in Zeeland.
The horizontally undulating bar on the Chief is Gules (red) because the Jerusalem Nunnery was destroyed during 16th-century iconoclastic fury by fire and sword probably by the Geuzen “Dutch protestant rebels” under command of Jerome Seraerts.

The Jerusalem Cross Or (gold) on the left stands for the foundation of the Jerusalem Nunnery in 1246 by Wolfaard van Maelstede and the Jerusalem Cross Or (gold) on the right symbolizes the Victorin nuns and the destruction of the cloister.

The Scallop Shell Or (gold) in the middle is a link to me, because I am living in a house called “Het Pelgrimshuys” (The House of the Pilgrims) and have traveled to far away places. The Pelgrimshuys was also called St. Jacobs House and was a hospice that gave shelter to the pilgrims during the journey to Santiago de Compostela in the Middle ages. St. Jacob was the patron and protector of all pilgrims and travelers, the shell is an emblem of safe travel and is found on the shields of many families during the time of the crusades. The Scallop Shell symbolizes also all the members of the Kloosterman family who emigrated like “the Pilgrim fathers” before them to America and protected them on their long journey. And last the Scallop Shell is also a symbol for loyalty which I find very important in live.

On the Barry wavy of six Argent and Sable (six black and and silver horizontally undulating bars). The black and and silver undulating bars symbolizes the sea and waves and the ongoing threat and struggle of the people of Zeeland against the water.

Below the shield the family motto “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi” meaning “So the glory of the world passes” because nothing in this world and live is permanent.

In this way the shield symbolizes the history of the Kloosterman family though the ages and leads back to the present and me, the 14e generation Kloosterman and binds me to the family members abroad.

Used Symbols:

Jerusalem Cross
This sign is also known as the Crutch Cross, the Jerusalem Cross, or the Crusader’s Cross. This complex form is composed of a central cross made of four Tau crosses representing the Old Testament law. The Tau Cross (in the shape of the Greek letter “T”), was an implement of deadly torture used by the Romans in Palestine during the 1st century. This style of cross is believed to be the type used to crucify Jesus. The four small crosses are symbolic of the four Gospels proclaimed to the four corners of the earth, beginning in Jerusalem; the large cross symbolizes the person of Christ. Others have interpreted it to represent the missionary work of the church – spreading the gospel to the four corners of the earth. Still others have acknowledged the five crosses to represent the five wounds of Christ on the cross (hands, feet and side).

The Jerusalem Cross was first used as a coat of arms for the Latin Kingdom in Jerusalem. During the Crusades, it was referred to as the “Crusaders Cross.” This is the cross that was on the papal banner given to the crusaders by Pope Urban II in the middle ages. The Kingdom of Jerusalem was established in 1098, when the members of the First Crusade captured Jerusalem and elected Godfrey of Bouillon, duke of Lower-Lorraine, as king of Jerusalem. The city was taken back by the Muslims in 1291.

The Scallop shell
The scallop shell is one of the most widely used heraldic symbols in all countries. Before the days of heraldry the symbol was the emblem of St. James, the patron saint of pilgrims and consequently the escallop became a badge worn by all pilgrims attached to hook or hat. The scallop shell symbol found its way into as a badge of those who had been on the pilgrimage to Compostela.

The origin of the scallop shell as the badge of the pilgrim to Compostella is open to more than one explanation. Found in abundance along northern Spanish beaches, the scallop shell has become closely intertwined with the Camino de Santiago. The shell is carved into the walls and fittings of this parish and adorns the church’s stationary. Practical observers argue that the shell was adopted merely as a device for sipping water from streams along the way. If this is so, it quickly took on greater meaning even to the earliest pilgrims.

The scallop design symbolizes the many European starting points from which medieval pilgrims began their journey, all drawn to a single point at the base of the shell, Santiago de Compostela.
The escallop was introduced into armory to signify a soldier who had made long journeys or voyages to far countries, borne considerable naval command, or gained great victories. It is an emblem of safe travel and is found on the shields of many families during the time of the crusades. Because its shells, once separated, can never be rejoined, the escallop is also an emblem of fidelity.

Designed in june 2005 for every name bearer from the descendants of Claes, Jan Claesz en Cornelis Jansz op `t Clooster from Zeeland.

The shield is designed by Cees Kloosterman with advice and help on the heraldic and aesthetic aspect by H.K. Nagtegaal. who also designed the crest, helmet and mantle.

Number CBG: No. 945
Date registration: 8 August 2005