Heyning wapen 1

The Family Coat of Arms


Two subtle changes have been made in 1704 to the Heinsius coat of arms, probably to demonstrate that Nicolaas Heijning  -then 18 yr- was an illegimate son of Daniel Heinsius:

The dolphin swims downwards and  seven arrows have replaced the sheaf of wheat.

The shield is quartered:

1. on silver, a short, wide-armed anchor cross
2. on red, three gold rings, placed two over one
3. on red,  a bunch of seven arrows
4. on silver, a dolphin of natural color swimming downwards
5. in the center, a silver shield with a red lion


The lion can only be the Lion of Flanders. As pet of the old county it appeared in many city and family coat of arms. The dolphin was, also upright, in the coat of arms of Dunquerque, the city where the Heinsius family originated. The sheaf of wheat from Heinsius was replaced by a bunch of seven arrows, the sign of “unity makes power” , since 1648 the official seal of the Republic of the seven united Provinces.

The Heyning coat of arms is almost identical to the Heinsius coat of arms, and in an “offcial” publication of all Dutch family crests (2001), both are presented as belonging to the Heyning family. But there are two discrepancies:

1. In the Heinsius shield the dolphin swims upward with its body trailing below. In the Heyning shield the dolphin does the opposite: it swims down.
2. In Nicolaas Heijning’s shield the sheaf of wheat has been replaced by seven arrows. Later, in his son Daniel’s it was a sheaf of wheat again; and it appears to have remained that way through the generations. But in his letter of March 1820 to Mr.van der Lelie van Oudewater great- grandson Jacob Daniel enclosed a drawing which c1early shows the bundle of arrows again.

The Heinsius shield is known from the Leyden professor Daniel Heinsius (1580-1655) and his children and grandchildren after him. We know of Nicolaas Heijning’s coat of arms from the “mourning board” in the church in Capetown, and from wax-seal impressions on legal documents in the Capetown archives