THE FAMILY VAN LOON

OK, let's come clean. To quote from the biog. at the back of Introducing Media Studies (words by Zia Sardar, Illustrations/design by Borin Van Loon): "... Van Loon was born on an East Anglian mountainside as Queen Elizabeth II assumed the throne. His grandfather remade history in Eindhoven by enrolling in an English as a Foreign Language class ..." It's in print, so it must be true. Originally, the family Van Loon lived in Loon op Zand, near 's Hertogenbosch, in the south of the Netherlands - the birth place of Anthonizoon Van Aken (better known as Hieronymous Bosch), so we Van Loons wander through The Garden Of Earthly Delights, and no mistake. At the end of the sixteenth century the Van Loons moved to Amsterdam to flee the Spanish occupation. Throughout the centuries, they would come to fulfil important administrative functions. Willem Van Loon, for example, was the co-founder of the Dutch East-India Company, in 1602. Borin is really sorry about that and is doing his best to atone. Several members of the family were mayors of the city of Amsterdam. In the beginning of the nineteenth century, the patrician Van Loon family was raised to the nobility. So what's the use of that, eh? No enoblement for Borin. Hah! I mean just a few gilder would come in handy, but as we said, he 'atones' in search of redemption, honour, dignity and humbleness. He continues to defend and look after his twin sister, Claire de Loon due to her unfortunate predilections during a full moon.

The Van Loon coat of arms consists of three crossties, that symbolize the watermill that was property of the family in the Middle Ages, and two Moors' busts, that most probably stand for the part the family played in founding the Dutch East-India Company. And we're really, really sorry about all that colonial stuff, OK? Then there's the Museum Van Loon in Amsterdam: bet they haven't got even one tiny example of poor Borin's work on display, eh? They don't 'phone, they don't write ...

Warning: some typographical inexactitudes may have crept into the above text.


Emails from John Van Loon
Borin vL- Greetings!
Perused your page re: the vL family roots several times now. You mention Loon op Zand among other places and thus have inspired me to create a little piece of complementary art. In another life, when I earned a living, I was employed as a technical illustrator, generating mostly line drawings. While much of my stuff was pretty complicated, I think the simplest drawings I did were the most eloquent when it came to bearing a message. What I've sent you then is a map tracing my part of the vL family origins from some alluvial Netherlandic river basins to the Americas and back. I'm pleased as how it turned out so I thought I'd share it. I make things like this to include in a collection of family memorabilia that I distribute to my kinder.

Alas, it's coming to the end of another year in this millennium. Wish you and yours the best of whatever is to come.jvl (20.11.04)

To Our Anagrammatic Cousin - Greetings!
A long time since we've connected, but I did get that promotion piece sometime back.
It's a pleasure to treat you as part of MY PART of the vL family. We need all the adherents we can get. My personal clan has never been big enough to support black sheep up to this millennium. Now it appears we've spawned two among the grand-kinder. Not the least bit happy with who they are - one has worked very hard at being someone else, and succeeded somewhat; the other thinks to lose his identity in military ranks, the circus or maybe even the movies. Alas, family estrangements must be unavoidable. Not really complaining here, after all, they're someone else's kids.
What I'm really sending however is an update to that map of mine you posted. I've found yet another familial habitat (Chiny) appearing to align a margraviate of vLs along the Western edge of Germany. I suppose we could've thrived there for lots of years supporting various pet projects of the Ancient Roman Juggernaut and the Holy Roman Empire ("neither Holy, nor Roman, nor empiric" ?) thus eventually earning us enough enemies to cost our notoriety. First went the County Loon name, then the partitioning of Limburg, Luxembourg, and Belgium/Netherlands. What an impact we must've had, eh? (31.8.05)
Van Loon Family Map

Thanks to John for sending this fine piece of work.
In case the image is ureadable at internet resolution, the text at top left reads:
"In 1672 Squadrons from Holland & Zeeland sailed west to raid British possessions in the Atlantic and th Americas,  Jan Van loon, a Trumpeter & Armourer,  reputed on board the Zeeland Squadron."
And at bottom left:
10 Nov., 1918 Cpl. John Van Loon US Army #01388699 with five others fought in one of the last skirmishes of WW1 at Bois de Harville."
Copyright 2004 Jon van Loon

For another of John's excellent pieces from 2013 click here.


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2004 Copyright throughout this site belongs to Borin Van Loon