Nobility from Leuven in Wallonia15th till 19th century
Gentry in Flemish Brabant
Nobility from Leuven in Wallonia
Sometime in the fifteenth century, when people moved massively to the cities, the ancestors of Queen Mathilde moved to Leuven and Guertechin, a domain in Bossut that passed into the hands of the House of Udekem in 1468. Georges d'Udekem, ca. 1410, 15.8.1472, acquires Guertechin in 1468 from Margareta van Wilre, who was married to Mathias van Bierbeek. Margareta van Wilre was a daughter of Guillaume van Wilre and Elisabeth d'Udekem, a daughter of the Jan van Udekem who was married to a van Herent. The estate Guertechin thus passes from one grandchild of Jan V van Udekem to another.
Gérard d'Udekem, the grandson of Georges d'Udekem, married Gertude Pinnock, a member of the chivalrous family from Leuven that resided in the castle of Horst, but later on, until the French Revolution, the ancestors of Queen Mathilde found their spouses in Wallonia.
In the turbulent sixteenth century, which was plagued by religious wars, when so many noblemen from Brabant moved to Holland, Guertechin in Walloon Brabant became the residence of the House of Udekem. It is there that the name Udekem will continue. Until the French Revolution the seigneurie Guertechin remained in possession of the ancestors of Queen Mathilde, who were military men in the service of the Dukes of Brabant and later catholic leaders. They married daughters of seigneurs with important families like de la Marck-Arenberg and d'Ursel in their ancestry. Up till 1720 (the age of the Enlightment), the men in the Udekem family take up arms by tradition. From 1720 on, the House of Udekem will bring forth mayors and other politicians. The heraldic device of d'Udekem d'Acoz, 'Bello et jure senesco' (I grow old through war and law), refers to the long military tradition in the family.
Ferdinand Philippe Joseph d'Udekem, the son of Michel Joseph d'Udekem, was mayor of Leuven in 1776 and 1777. When emperor Frans II, the Duke of Brabant, visited Leuven in 1794, his daughter had the privilege of handing over the city keys. His son, Jacques François Joseph d'Udekem, will marry the daughter of another mayor of Leuven, Maximilienne Josephe d'Onyn de Chastre.
For many noble families, the French Revolution brought an end to their privileges, but under the reign of the Dutch King Willem I they were restored to honour. Jacques François Joseph d'Udekem, who was seigneur of Acoz, Villers, Potteries and Lasprelle before the French Revolution, was appointed Baron in the Knighthood of Hainault in 1816. His son, Baron Gérard François Xavier d'Udekem, resided in "hotel d'Udekem d'Acoz" in Leuven. His grandson, baron Jacques Albert Bernard d'Udekem, obtained permission in 1861 to bear the title of Baron together with his father. In 1886, after he had sold the castle of Acoz, he acquired the right to add d'Acoz to the family name. The castle of Acoz was in possession of the House of Udekem since 1759, when Catherine d'Udekem inherited it from her nephew, the Count of Quiévrain (from the family de Marotte, into which Maximilien François d'Udekem was married in 1676).
The brother of Baron Jacques Albert Bernard d'Udekem d'Acoz, Franciscus Philippus Felix d'Udekem, was councillor of Leuven. His son Ferdinand was senator and mayor of Leuven from 1842 to 1852. Ferdinand's son Léon will acquire the right to add 'de Guertechin' to his name in 1888.
The bond with Leuven was severed in 1860, when the great great grandfather of Queen Mathilde married Alice Marie de Kerchove and moved to Bellem.