Polfliet in the USA


As I get, once and a while, questions from Americans concerning our family I would like to give a brief translation of what I believe is the most important to know.


The name Polfliet is actually a word which refers to a place close to a river. It was used for the very first time in writing in the small town of Kluizen in 1267. Kluizen is now a municipality of Evergem. Evergem itself neighbours Ghent.


The word Polfliet consists out of two nouns. The first one is "pol". The second one is "fliet". Pol means "earth" or as the Americans often say "dirt". Fliet means "river". Our name actually means "an elevated piece of land along a river".


As well as Holland, Belgium is a low country. On top of that, Kluizen is surrounded by rivers and is not that far away from the Northsea. In the early ages a large number of floods were recorded. It's obvious that farmers wanted places to prevent their cattle from drowning. A "polfliet" was a safe haven for their cattle.   


As our name refers to a location I'm afraid there is no such thing as one "father" for all of us carrying the same familyname. It is good to know there are larger groups in Belgium around "Bornem", "Kortrijk" and "Zaffelare".


As archives are, unfortunately, not always publically published on the internet, as it is the case in the USA, several visits to archives in Belgium are mandatory.


GŁnther Polfliet