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Coat of arms
Country Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
Founded 14th century
Founder Henric Colve
Ethnicity Dutch

Kolff (also: Van Santen Kolff, Kolff van Oosterwijk and Van Breda Kolff) is the name of a Dutch patrician family originating from the provinces of Holland and Gelderland in the Netherlands.


First known Kolffs are Aernt Woutersz., Wouter Aerntsz., and Wouter Woutersz. Colff. They lived in 15th century Gorinchem where they owned property. Of them Wouter Aerntsz. and Wouter Woutersz. Colff also exploited a tavern. In this tavern, at least from around 1500, the game named Kolf was played. The Kolff family most likely derived their family name from the game of kolf. The present Kolffs descend from the grandson of the innkeeper, Wouter Woutersz. Kolff, 'burger' (citizenship) of the city of Nijmegen in the 16th century. The next generations gradually moved westwards from Nijmegen along the great rivers of the Netherlands towards Middelharnis, Maassluis, and other places. They established themselves in the 19th and 20th centuries mainly at Rotterdam and The Hague, but also in the Dutch East Indies. Another important branch settled in the Betuwe.

In the 20th century many Kolffs moved away from Netherlands' territory and independent Indonesia. Most of the current 411 members (2015) of the Kolff family live in the Netherlands, while about one third live in other countries, most of them in Argentina, the United States of America and New Zealand. The genealogy of the Kolff family is included in the Nederland's Patriciaat from its earliest issues and can be seen up to date at the website of the Kolff Family Association. The family archives are kept at the Rotterdam Municipal Archives.

Coat of arms[edit]

Kolff en Van Santen Kolff: the earliest known family member to use the coat of arms was Rev. Wolter Kolff (generation IX), according to the coat of arms of alliance between his wife Petronella van Duyren and himself, dated 1671 (in the family archives). Within the shield without colours he used the three hammers (kolven, colven, or Kolffen), bats down, outer two inclining inwards, the middle one inclining to the right. As tarpaulin he used the swan. The coats of arms of Van Breda Kolff and Kolff van Oosterwijk are not shown here.

Notable members[edit]

(order following the family genealogy branch)

External links[edit]