This ancient and noble name is of early medieval Dutch origins, and is a locational surname deriving from any of the places so called in the Netherlands, such as Haeften in Gelderland, a province of the East Netherlands. The preposition "van", of, is found especially with Dutch habitation names, but usually without the aristocratic connotations of the French "de" and German "von", which originally denoted proprietorship of the village or estate named. However, since Van Haeften and its variant forms Van Haaften and Van Haften are recorded unusually early for Dutch surnames, it is likely that some at least of the modern bearers of the name are descended from landowners of some stature. Early recordings of the surname include: the marriage of Henrietta Van Haeften and Hendrik Van Ranst at Haaften, Gelderland, on August 30th 1456; the marriage of Nicolaas Van Haeften and Henrica Storm in 1516, at Tuil, Gelderland; and the birth of Wilhelmina, daughter of Walraven Van Haeften, on July 2nd 1533, at Nijeveld, Veldhuizen, Utrecht. An early Coat of Arms granted to a Van Haeften family depicts two black fesses , bretessed, and counter-bretessed, on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of nicolaas Van Haeften, which was dated 1367, christening witness, Haaften, Gelderland, the Netherlands, during the reign of Charles 4 of Luxembourg, Holy Roman Emperor, 1347 - 1378. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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