THIS GENALOGICAL RESEARCH BASED ON THE ONE HAND THE SIMILAR COAT OF ARMS OF BOTH FAMILIES, (DE) GRAEFF AND VON GRABEN (16TH CENTURY), THE GENEALOGICAL AND OFFICAL CERTIFICATES OF THE AUSTRIAN EMPEROR (17TH CENTURY) AND ON THE OTHER HAND - OP DEN GRAEFF - ON THE SCHEUTEN MANUSCRIPTS (16TH CENTURY). A GENALOGY OF BOTH FAMILIES MADE UP BY PIETER DE GRAEFF (1636/1707).
The meaning of the Graeff family name seems to be allready clear. During the middleage the german word Graben meant Graeff in the Netherlands. The name roots back to the austrian noble family Von Graben. Originally descendant from Wolfgang von Graben (1465-1521) who arrived to Holland in 1483. It is reported that he had a son called Pieter Graeff (1484) a creator of the (De) Graeff family. Descendents of the former german Op den Graeff family claimed that he had another son, the later german Abraham op den Graeff (1485-1561). The dutch (De) Graeff family coat of arms shows the spade and the whole crest of the Von Graben. The Von Graben itself where a bastard line from the House of Meinhardin, a princely dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire.
The fate of the Graeff families in the centuries thereafter is a true picture of the political changes in the Netherlands, Austria, South Africa, Germany, the United States of North America and New Zealand.
The official statement of the family association reads: An origin of the originally German or Dutch family Op den Graeff from the Von Graben house cannot be verified. But this theory is maintained by their descendants.
Diplom (Free imperial knight of the Holy Roman Empire) loaned to dutch Andries de Graeff, july, 19th 1677:
"Fide digis itegur genealogistarum Amsteldamensium edocti testimoniis te Andream de Graeff non paternum solum ex pervetusta in Comitatu nostro Tyrolensi von Graben dicta familia originem ducere, qua olim per quendam ex ascendentibus tuis ejus nominis in Belgium traducta et in Petrum de Graeff, abavum, Johannem, proavum, Theodorum, avum, ac tandem Jacobum, patrem tuum, viros in civitate, Amstelodamensi continua serie consulatum scabinatus senatorii ordinis dignitabitus conspicuos et in publicum bene semper meritos propagata nobiliter et cum splendore inter suos se semper gessaerit interque alios honores praerogativasque nobilibus eo locorum proprias liberum venandi jus in Hollandia, Frisiaque occidentale ac Ultrajectina provinciis habuerit semper et exercuerit."
FAMILIENVERBAND GRÄFF - GRAEFF, HISTORIE - GEGENWART - ZUKUNFT E. V.