I have found several leads to other Kayes in Belgium in the archives and with the help of other genealogists. I am confident that that can be related to the Kayes which are already in my family tree. Here are some examples which I am working on:
The earliest Kaye in my family tree was born in the late 1600's. He married in the town of Hamme-Mille, Brabant, Belgium in 1721. It has not been possible to determine his place of birth. However, since I have been able to relate all later Kayes to this individual, it seems possible that this may be the first Kaye to live in Brabant, Belgium.
The Kayes which can be found in Belgium have shown very little variation in the spelling in their name. Some examples of the variations found are:
One explanation for the meaning of the Kaye was given to me by Harald Kaye (see
"Huguenots"). Kaye is supposedly a variation of the french word Caille which means
a small bird such as a quail or cornish hen.
My interest in the Huguenots came totally by chance. A Harald Kaye (not related) called me on the phone to inquire whether I might be his nephew. Although I was not, we talked for a while about our common interest - genealogy. His family comes from an area in former East Germany. The Kaye's settled this region about 1728 and have remained in that area numbering around 100. There are about 120 entries for Kayes in the telephone book in Germany today (including myself). He explained that the Kayes were Huguenots that settled after leaving France due to religious persecution. Germany was chosen for being a largely protestant country.
The Kayes which I have found (my relatives) originate in Belgium at the beginning of the 1700's and are catholic. However, this is the same period that the Kayes fled to protestant Germany which opens the possibility that my ancestors may have fled to the Netherlands (later Belgium) for the same reason later becoming catholic.
Since I have been unable to go back further than the 1700's in Belgium, I am interested in following any leads to the origin of the "Belgium" Kayes. My father's theory was that they originated in England and must have emigrated to Belgium. Harald Kaye suggests that the Kayes originate from France.
Most of the records that I have found have been in French. However, older records are kept in occasionally in Flemish and predominantly in Latin. Since I am looking for clues in records dating to the 1600's, I have begun translating Latin to English. At a later date, I may add my own list of translations, but for now, I am including other sites: