Wulgaert history
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Wulgaert History


Wulgaert refers to wulg, which is old-dutch for willow tree. This is what the etymological dictionary of surnames in Belgium has to say about the Wulgaert surname:

Meaning: Ter Wilgen / Wulgen; wilg(eboom) - willow (tree)
Derived from: Verwulgen
Variants: van der Wilgen, van der Willi(n)gen, Verwilg(h)en, -ghem, Verwilligen, Verwulgen, -gem
Early occurances: 1391 - van Jans wive van der Wulghen, Wervik
1396 - Gillis van der Wilghen, Erembodegem
1419 - Angnees vander Wulghen, Kortrijk
1570 - Peter Verwilligen, Moerbeke-Antwerpen

Source: Dr. F. Debrabandere; Verklarend woordenboek van de familienamen in België en Noord-Frankrijk, 1993, Het Gemeentekrediet

Indeed the name Wulgaert (or variations thereof such as Wulghaert, Wulgaerdeken) can also sometimes be found in topology maps referring to a particular field or location that was surrounded by or otherwise marked by willow trees. E.g. a Wulgaerdeken field in present-day Beervelde referenced in 16th and 17th century maps, or a Wulghaert field in present-day Zomergem referred to in 16th century registration documents.


The ancestors of all current living Wulgaerts can be traced back to the 16th century in Sleidinge (East-Flanders province) in Belgium (obviously back then Belgium did not exist yet as a country as it was only founded in 1830).

The end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century was a troubling time for the region as it was in the midst of the eighty years' war which was a result from the reformation and the Dutch revolt (1568 to 1648). The Dutch revolt was the revolt in the Low Countries against the rule of the Habsburg King Philip II of Spain, hereditary ruler of the provinces. The northern provinces (present-day the Netherlands) eventually separated from the southern provinces (present-day Belgium and Luxembourg and parts of French Flanders), which continued under Habsburg Spain until 1714. The northern provinces adopted Calvinism whereas the southern provinces became Catholic again due to the expulsion of Protestants and the efforts of the Counter-Reformation. After the Spanish-Habsburg rule, the southern provinces came under Austrian-Habsburg rule and then French rule. When Napoleon was defeated in 1815, the Low Countries were reunited for a short while until the independence of Belgium in 1830.

These 16th century ancestors are however not the oldest persons with a Wulgaert name of which records have been found. The oldest (potential) ancestors with the name Wulgaert I have currently been able to find are:

It is not (yet) clear if and how Abin Wulgaert and Peter Wulgart link to the main family tree (both men and the related sources can be looked up in the family tree).

Today's living Wulgaerts can be roughly split in the following branches:

They all trace back to sons of Georgius Wulgaert °1691: