Van Aken  Early History

by Dick Antonie Pieter van Aken

If you are interested, I can give you some historical details of the original Van Aken family.

The Van Aken's originated in Limburg near the German border and the town Aachen, or Aken in Dutch. These early Van Aken's where Catholics. Some of them decided to change to the protestant religion and left for Great Britain, where Henry the 8th allowed protestants. He himself became a protestant after a fall out with the pope regarding his 8 wives. They started a community in London and their church still stands today (St Austin Friers). They returned to Holland 80 years later, when protestants were accepted, and settled in the northern part. (Gelderland, Utrecht and Noord Holland.) Many of them became church and community leaders. 

I came across a book in South Africa describing a Pastor Petrus van Aken who was born in Utrecht about 1660. He moved to South Africa in 1700 and started a community church in Paarl. Unfortunately he only had 4 daughters and the family name got lost in due course.

My family originated in Gelderland. Our strand moved to the colony Indonesia in the early part of the 20th century. I was born in Utrecht and grew up in Jakarta on the island Java. I spend 7 years in Amsterdam, spend 5 years traveling Europe and Africa and married in London in 1971. We spend the past 30 years in Cape Town (South Africa) and have 2 sons and a daughter. We now live in the UK and I work for the University of Nottingham Trent.

Hope that this information is interesting to you.

Dick Van Aken