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Origins of the Terlouw family

Origins of the Terlouw family

Early history of the (German) family Terlouw. (1354-1465)

(research Bert Terlouw – Raalte-NL, translation by Arjan de Bruijn)

There isn’t much information known for the period between 1465 and 1553.

(Note: when there will not be found a connection between de Wesel-branch and the Dutch “Terlouw”, (Gorcum and most of all Goudriaan) we have to assume that the German information is irrelevant.)

The name Terlouw derives from the latin “Lobeum” which stands for “Laube” or “Laubengang”, which translation is: Overgrown avenue, berceau; gallery. The name has origins in the Late Middle Ages.


1.         Path covered by leaves.

2.         Arbour (Garden shed trellis with green).

3.         Arcade


1.         A long, covered, pillared hall, around a building.

The meaning of the surname probably has to be searched for in a way to describe a characteristic of the first ancestor who bore this name.

In his book, Dr Roelen wrote that the naming could have something to do “with a gallery constructed in front of the house”.

In other words: “Louw(en) indicates some specific characteristic in the architecture of a house. The prefix “van” or “ter” indicates a belonging.

The geographical origin must be looked for in the Hanseatic city of Wesel in Germany, in the period when it was an important Hanseatic city located on the banks of the rivers Rhine and Lippe, with links to the Netherlands (mainly used for trade with  Amsterdam).

The “ter Louwen house”

The interpretation of the name has to do with a 14th/15th century “Wirtshaus” (read: tavern, café) “Haus ter Louwen” which was located on the big market square on the north side of Wesel. Its exact location is fairly accurately known. Obviously there are no remains left of this house, not only because it is virtually impossible to find a home still intact from the Middle ages but even if this wasthe case there they would most certainly have been destroyed during the Second World War bombardments which have destroyed almost 98% of the city.

The house located on the the big market square (“Grote markt”) has been described for the first time at the end of the 14th century (1373,1381,1386).

The “ter Louwen home” is one of the few houses in Wesel of the Late Middle ages with a for those days different way of naming. In the city of Wesel round 1400 there are only four houses which names have been derived of characteristics of the house instead of naming after a person (example: “ the Johannis Joncker house”). Wesel consisted of about 570 households in the year 1373 and given the particular naming it had to be a special type of house. We know that the construction had at least one barn, a stable and very likely a for that time and place striking gallery.

The house had other houses directly build on the left and right side, therefore the location of the stable must have been behind the house and accessible from a road passing at the rear. The house was located on the big market square near to the Willibrardi-church. This church, located at the north of the “Grote Markt” succeeded the small church which was constructed in the year 800 AC (Carolingian period) and is from 1540, the date of the Reformation in Wesel, no longer in Catholic hands. (the year 1540 is a particular one,  also in relation to the van Louwen family from Wesel ; after 1540 there isn't any mentioning of them as residents in Wesel). According excavation data the Town Hall was located in the centre of the market square “Grote Markt”.

Appolonius de Louwa ( = first known mentioned Terlouw !!!!)

Brunyng de Louwa (de Louva), his wife Daya van Louwen and his mother Gesa.

In relatione to the house, the earliest known inhabitant (as far as can be determined) Brunyng de Louwe (de Louva) who lived there in 1373 together with his mother. His father was already deceased (presumably Appolonius de Louwa, the Consul of Wesel in 1354, but this however is uncertain). Brunyng his mother (Gesa) we encounter for the first time in 1352 and she probably died between 1373 and 1381, since in this last year there is no mentioning of her as (co-) occupant of the house ter Louwen.

Brunyng (or Brunyngus) was the Consul of Wesel in the years 1372, 1378, 1383 until 1391/92, he was Schö­ffe (Alderman) of Wesel from 1391/92 to 1398. In addition he was in 1378 Burmeister (Mayor) of Wesel. His profession was trader / merchant  and 'Weinwirt'  which means as much as Innkeeper in a winebar.

The above official positions he held in addition to his profession, which was common.

It should be noted that the archives  don’t clarify the actual profession of trader/merchant. It may be a local dealer, but also an international trader or skipper. The sources on this subject does not always give as much clarity.

Brunyng maried Daya van Louwen and they had at least one son, named Deric. Daya is mentioned in some records, whether or not in relation to her husband.

Daya exercises, according to the records, the same work as her husband. She is called in 1401 aswell in 1420 trader, innkeeper, living in the 1st district. Strinking is a piece in which Daya is mentioned together with a certain Bruno Bogel concerning “'Services for land defense construction'” In relation to a farmhouse on the road from Wesel to Magelsem (1401). This Bruno was also an innkeeper, but on the southside of the “Grote Markt”. The family Bogel is a famous and wealthy family in Wesel in the Late Middle Ages.

The last records concerning Brunyng date from 1398, the last on his wife Daya of 1420.Since Brunyng was Consul in 1372, and thus had reached adulthood, it can be assumed that he certainly must have been born around 1350. If Daya has had the same age, than she lived certainly until she had 70 years. Appolonius could have been born around 1320 or earlier.

Striking is a record of 1400 about an order to “break down and re-cover of buildings "in relation to the risk of fire in whicht the name Louwen is mentioned twice. The first one mentions 'Brunynx schuere of Louwen' => schuere = barn. The second one  'Dayen stalle van Louwen”  => stalle = stabel. Since there is twice the mentioning of the name Louwen for structures on the same parcel, this implicates that there were several buildings situated next to each other.  It is also shos that the 'stable of Daye', belong to the home,  could be reached by a road lying behind the parcel.

Bert Terlouw

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