from brewer’s son to minister and general
The youngest son of brewer Van Severen
André-Alfred Van Severen was born in Rue Fossé aux Loups in Bruges amidst the turmoil of the Belgian revolution. While on that Sunday 29th of August 1830 his mother gave birth to her fifth child, Bruges faced strong agitation. During the night the house of Public prosecutor Pierre Sandelin, situated a few hundred yards away in Rue Sainte Catherine had been plundered and burnt down. Members of the vigilante patrol, who had attacked the rebels and killed a few of them, were also under threat and their houses had to be guarded by policemen. One of the threatened riflemen was the impulsive physician Antoine Herrebaut (1794-1865), a name we will encounter again in this story.
André was the Benjamin, after his brother Charles (1822-1892) and his three sisters, Adelaide (°1822), Valerie (°1826) and Therese (°1829). His father was Charles-Jean Van Severen (1801-1842), owner of the brewery The Keys in Rue Fossé aux Loups (Wulfhagestraat). His ancestors, living in Menin in the 16th C., had moved to Izegem and from there to Bruges. They had become affluent as cattle farmers, horse breeders and meat merchants. Several members of the family continued these activities, but the father of Charles-Jean, Charles Van Severen (1755-1823) had decided to take another direction, and had bought a reputed brewery, with centuries of history, activity in which he was succeeded by his son. Charles-Jean’s wife was Adelaide Wieland (1800-1858), daughter of August Wieland (1757-1833), of Swiss origin, important and influential citizen of Ostend and Westkerke. Her sister was married with doctor Constantin Rodenbach (1791-1846), one of the prominent revolutionaries of 1830 in Bruges, whose grandson Georges Rodenbach (1855-1898) would become famous as a novelist and poet.
André was only twelve when his father died. A couple of years later his mother sold the brewery and moved to Ghent with her three daughters, to join her widowed sister. The eldest son emigrated, first to California as (unsuccessful) gold digger and later to Norway as a sawmill manager, where he married and had children, with descendants until today. André joined the Belgian army. He was almost eighteen when on the 26th of July 1848 he signed a six years contract and was drafted as a corporal in the 12th Infantry Regiment. A few months later he became a sergeant. In June 1850 he entered the Military Academy and came out two years later as a sublieutenant and with a post in an artillery regiment. Again two years later, October 1854, he was transferred to the Third infantry regiment and assigned to the staff of lieutenant general Van der Linden, commander of the garrison in Mons. In August 1855 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and remained on the staff of Van der Linden.
On the 8th of May 1860 he was promoted to the rank of captain, but that same day his resignation from the army was accepted. He had informed his superiors that he had received an offer for a managerial job, so attractive that he couldn’t refuse it. In his resignation letter to the minister of War Pierre Chazal (1808-1892), Van Severen insisted that, in times of need, he would always be available to serve his country. He was now thirty and ready to start a new career.
Laborious permission to marry
Although from 1848 on he no longer lived in Bruges, Van Severen kept contact with family and friends in his native town. This explains how he made the acquaintance of the young Brugeois lady, Daphne-Elisabeth Herrebaut (1828-1890), daughter of physician Antoine Herrebaut, and he proposed to her. They married on the 6th of November 1856, first in the town hall, then in the Saint Walburge church. This was however preceded by an agonizing period.
In accordance with military rules, Van Severen had asked permission for his marriage. In September his request had been addressed to minister of War Leonard Greindl (1798-1875), accompanied by a favourablerecommendation from General Van der Linden. Obtaining permission seemed no more than a formality and so Van Severen had already started the official procedures, both for civil and religious marriage, announcing the forthcoming wedding, in Bruges as well as in Mons. Everything was well planned, the bride’s father and the groom’s mother had given their agreement, a marriage contract had been signed, family and friends had been informed. It thus all looked in perfectly good order.
Yet, like a bolt out of the blue, a letter from the minister, dated 8th of October 1856 announced a refusal. The reasons given were that he was too young (he was 26) and that a rumour told that his bride was pursuing commercial activities, not compatible with the dignity of an officer’s wife. Van Severen was now threatened by a cancellation of the wedding, which would mean to him, to his bride and to both their families a humiliating shame within the bourgeois circles. He therefore immediately put up a fight and asked the ministry for an audience. On the 20th of October he was received by the minister himself and enabled to plead his case, with success, as on the 25th came favourable news, confirmed by a Royal decree signed on the 28th. Just in time!
The army archives keep the personal file of André Van Severen and it contains a number of documents concerning this challenged marriage. A letter written to the minister by the mayor of Bruges, Jules Boyaval and another by the governor of West Flanders, Adolphe de Vrière, both dated the 11th of October 1856, in favour of the Van Severen wedding, explained the whole ‘drama’. It is clear that the young man or the respective families had brought these two powerful connections into action.
It appeared that Daphne Herrebaut, before her engagement with Van Severen, had been courted by a young officer of the garrison in Bruges, named Meuleman, and that she had been inclined to accept his marriage proposal. However, her father had thwarted this plan, because the young man was short of financial means. When she then had accepted Van Severen, the refused rival, inflamed with anger, had spread some unpleasant gossip. According to him she had commercial activities (this was later found to be untrue), she was of the frivolous kind and he had deflowered her. These rumours had been brought to the desk of the minister and had caused his refusal of the marriage.
Mayor and governor gave a completely different version. According to them, Daphne, just as her sisters, was ‘pretty and witty, having a nice voice and musical talents, with nothing unfavourable to be said about her character and manners, on the contrary being a charming woman, perfectly well educated’. Daphne had as her closest friends the sisters Chantrell, who according to the governor, were ‘models of reservation, distinction and grace’.
The letters also gave hell to father Antoine Herrebaut. Yes, he had qualities of humanity, helpfulness and charity, he was appreciated as general practitioner and he enjoyed a large clientele. As a result he had become affluent. But on the other hand he lacked education, he was ill mannered and rash. This had resulted in his being partly responsible for the rumours spread about his daughter, because in order to scare off the unwanted pretender, he had depicted to him her character and behaviour in unfavourable terms. Meuleman had taken due notice of what the dismissive father had told him. Be it as it may, both Brugeois personalities insisted that the minister should no longer withhold his permission, because ‘the wedding is announced, the date is fixed’. And as for the gossiping Meuleman, the governor suggested that he should be inflicted a fitting punishment.
And so, on the 6th of November 1856 the wedding took place. In the town hall, the civil marriage was presided over by mayor Boyaval himself. The two witnesses for the bride were her brothers in law, Isidore Lescarts, attorney in Mons and Edward Van Brabant, businessman in Dunkirk. The bridegroom’s witnesses were his brother, the ‘Norwegian’ Charles Van Severen and their cousin André Donny, husband of Françoise Van Severen. Then they all went to the Saint Walburge church for the religious celebration. A public humiliation had been avoided and the last remaining daughter of the impetuous doctor was now safely married. He remained alone in his house on Place des Biscaïens A3-87, where he would die on the 28th of November 1865.
With his bride, Van Severen returned to Mons and took up residence in the suburb of Houdeng-Aimeries. His military activities were, according to his file, above reproach. Was the same true regarding his private life? Not sure. Or had the rejected lover been right and was the young woman indeed of a somewhat frivolous nature? At first all had seemed normal. On the 15th of June 1859 a daughter, Marie-Antoinette, was born in Ghent. Probably Daphne had been staying with her sisters in law, towards the end of her pregnancy. On the 28th of December 1860 a second daughter was born, in Houdeng-Aimeries this time and christened as Louise-Augustine. Then the family moved to Ougrée near Liège, indicating that the lucrative job André had found was most probably with one of the important industrial companies there. One day however, he abandoned wife and children and left Belgium. Louise remained in Ougrée until she, in 1874, accompanied by her two daughters, took up residence in Bruges, where she found several members of her family, including her brother Antoine Herrebaut junior and her sister and brother in law Van Brabant, who had also retired there.
Van Severen eventually turned up in Latin America. We did not find an exact date for his departure, which must have taken place somewhere between 1861 and 1864. The tradition within his second family has it that he sailed off in early 1864, as one of the people accompanying the newly appointed emperor of Mexico, archduke Maximilian of Austria and his wife, princess Charlotte, daughter of king Leopold I. Next to the French, the Belgians were very present during the brief period of the Mexican empire. The cabinet secretary of the emperor was the Belgian mine engineer and confidant of Leopold I, Felix Eloin (1819-1888). Ladies in waiting and servants accompanied the empress.
A ‘Regiment Empress Charlotte’, under the command of the flamboyant colonel Alfred Van der Smissen (1823-1895), had been formed in Belgium, with 1600 volunteers: 875 professional soldiers and almost the same number of civilian assistants. The regiment had its own uniforms and marched behind its own military band. A significant number of its members would die, either by illness or in combat, including captain Ernest Chazal, the son of the Belgian minister of War, who succumbed on the 11th of April 1865 at the battle of Tocambaro. The minister was informed of the death of his much beloved son on the 26th of May, six weeks after tumultuous debates in parliament over the Mexican adventure had led to a duel between Chazal and the MP De Laet, and a few days before they both were condemned for this duel by the Supreme Court.
Was Van Severen on the staff of Eloin or had he enlisted as an officer in the Mexican army? Possible, but we found no confirmation up till now. What seems improbable is that he enlisted in the Belgian regiment Princess Charlotte. Albert Dechesne has published the list of volunteers of this regiment and Van Severen is not mentioned. By all means he must have known several officers in this regiment including three Brugeois, a few years his juniors. There was Léon Visart de Bocarmé (1837-1900), de younger brother of the Amedée Visart who would soon become an MP and be appointed as mayor of Bruges. The second was Auguste Doudan (°1834), grandson of alderman Charles Doudan. The third was Edward Leys (°1841), member of a family of gardeners and horticulturalists.
Therefore the family recollections could be correct, that he was recruited for the building of railways, something in accordance with his training as an engineer at the Belgian Military Academy. In that case he probably worked for the Imperial Mexican Railway Company, owned by Antonio Escandon (1825-1882), who in 1861 had began the enormous undertaking of building a 425 km long railway between Vera Cruz and Mexico-city, a work to be completed only in 1872. In the years 1864-1867 more than 10.000 labourers and 6.000 mules and horses were employed and smaller parts of the railway were inaugurated, despite the fact that the country was war-stricken and soon overcome by a bloody revolution. Several engineers must have been employed for such an enormous task.
In 1867 the empire collapsed and the young emperor was taken prisoner and executed. His widow had returned to Belgium where she lived until 1927, never recovering from a mental illness.
Settling in Central America
When it was decided that the Belgian regiment would leave Mexico, a number of officers and soldiers did not want to be repatriated and resigned. Some of them, including captain Edward Devaux, joined the republican army of Benito Juarez (1806-1872). Others started a business, took up jobs as teacher or employee. Andres Van Severen, as his Christian name now was, left Mexico and, clearly looking for adventure, headed towards the recently independent states Honduras and El Salvador, two countries plagued regularly by uprisings, where conservative generals alternated with liberal generals. Van Severen immediately appeared to be linked to some of the leading circles within the liberal cause.
He became a close friend of the Honduran José Trinidad Cabañas (1805-1871). This highly esteemed officer, with the reputation of being of great integrity and valour, had gone into exile in El Salvador, after his chief and former president of Central America, General Francisco Morazán Quesada (1792-1842) was executed in Costa Rica. In 1852 the Honduran parliament asked Cabañas to return and elected him President, but already in 1855 he was deposed and replaced by General Jose Santos Guardiola, imposed by president Jose Rafael Carrera of hostile Guatemala. Cabañas remained active in promoting liberal and democratic ideas and favoured closer ties between the Central American states.
The bonds between Cabañas and Van Severen were strengthened by the fact that Julia, the General’s daughter, and Van Severen soon became a couple. He did not formally marry her and this reinforces the assumption that he had abandoned his lawful wife. Indeed, no divorce was mentioned on the marriage certificate in Bruges, as would have been the case if such a divorce had been pronounced. The union between Andres and Julia was to last for the rest of their lives, and they produced five children to whom Van Severen gave his name.
General Trinidad Cabañas was married with Petronila Barrios, sister of Gerardo Barrios (1813-1865), a Salvadorian general, nourishing the same ideas as his. Barrios was president of El Salvador between 1858 and October 1863. In fact, Julia was not the daughter of Petronila, but was a love child, product of a relation between the general and a camp follower named Hilaria. But he legitimated the child who was brought up in the Cabañas household, where no other children were born. It makes us assume that Petronila was a wonderful and dutiful woman. Julia herself was an upstanding daughter, who took great pride in her father's legacy.
During the period of Barrios’ presidency, Cabañas became successively minister of War for El Salvador and president of its parliament. After being deposed by president Dueñas, Barrios continued to fight, was taken prisoner, condemned to death and executed. Van Severen, like Cabañas, then returned to Honduras.
In 1871, after his ‘father in law’ had died, Van Severen returned to El Salvador. He joined the revolutionary movement of the liberal general Santiago Gonzalez (1818-1887), who became president that year and remained in charge until 1876. As a result, Van Severen became one of the three directors of the Military Academy of the country. In 1873 he was appointed together with physics professor Luciano Platt to make a survey after an earthquake had shattered the country. El Salvador was regularly struck by earthquakes, but the one that hit the capital on the 19th of March 1873 was a major one.
In February 1872 Van Severen was back in Honduras, where he fought against the troops of General and President José Maria Medina who had declared war against El Salvador and Guatemala. Medina was deposed and succeeded by Carlos Celeo Arias (1835-1890). Van Severen was appointed for a brief time as minister of War.
He returned again to El Salvador, but when this country was presided over - from 1876 until 1885 - by Rafael Zaldivar, he retired from public life. He moved to the town of Santa Ana and devoted his life to teaching and agriculture. He also wrote articles in various publications and founded a brewery under the name ‘Van Severen and Keymeulen’.
In 1885 it was again time for a revolution and Zaldivar was ousted. Van Severen joined the revolutionary troops of General Francisco Menendez (1830-1890), who became president in June 1885 and remained in charge until June 1890. As a result, the career of Van Severen took a new turn.
When on the first of October 1885 a new jury was appointed to oversee public education and the national curriculum, Van Severen was one of its members. In 1886 he became professor at the faculty of engineers of the San Salvador University and lectured in mathematics, physics and surveying.
His final appointment was as commander and director of the seaport La Libertad. After a short period, he was brought back, severely ill, to San Salvador where he died of a heart attack on the 9th of June 1888. He laid in state at the Universidad Nacional and was buried at the cemetery of San Salvador with the honours reserved to a general. In recognition of his services to further the development of Central America and his devotion to the advancement of the region, Andres Van Severen was granted a site ad perpetuam in the Cementerio de los ilustres. He lies next to his colleagues in arms, the Generals Francisco Morazán and Gerardo Barrios and other Central American patriots.
Shortly before or after Van Severen’s death, the Imprenta nacional of San Salvador published a critical note of 14 pages written by him and by Rafael Arbizú and addressed to the engineer A. J. Scherzer on the subject of the railway road between Acajutla and Santa Ana.
Latin American descendants
The couple Van Severen – Cabañas had five children: Andres, Alfredo, Estanislao, Adela and Julia. With the exception of Alfredo, they married and had altogether at least sixteen children, who in turn have had a numerous offspring. The eldest son, also named Andres, had two sons, who had no descendants and twin sisters, Tula and Julia Van Severen, both known as Salvadoran writers and poetesses in the early twentieth century.
The youngest daughter of Van Severen - Cabañas, Julia Van Severen, married Julio Lewy, who was prominent within the small Jewish community of El Salvador. Their eldest son Herbert Lewy Van Severen was a medical doctor. He was a student at the Sorbonne during the Second World War and was awarded the Legion d’Honneur for his participation in the Resistance. Their second son, Dr Mario Lewy (1904-2004), was an important Latin American chemist and his son, Ricardo Lewy Soler is the president of the Salvadorian association for astronomy. Their third son Rodolfo Lewy Van Severen is a well-known civil engineer in Costa Rica.
As a strange twist of irony, Adela Van Severen married Carlos Dueñas, a son of the conservative president Francisco Dueñas (1810-1884), the man who had ousted and executed the liberal president Gerardo Barrios, whom Andres Van Severen had strongly supported. One of the four children of Carlos and Adela was Dr.José Ricardo Dueñas Van Severen (1914-1974), well-known historian and jurist in Central America. Ricardo’s daughter, Ana Maria Dueñas (°1943), is author and illustrator of successful books, including the best-selling children’s book Goig, telling the life of a dog with sensitivity and a pointed sense of humour. Her sister, Marta Dueñas-Tancred teaches Latin American culture and literature at the Metropolitan University in London.
Another son of Andres, Estanislao Van Severen had three children. The eldest, Adela Van Severen, was married to José Luis Contreras, and was from 1954 till 1958 mayor of Santa Tecla, the First woman mayor in El Salvador. Her sister Marta, married a business man, Ernesto Daglio, and her brother, Mario Van Severen (1924-1988) became a physician and worked for the Health Ministry. He had two daughters, Celina (°1957) and Julia (°1961) both married with Americans. His son, Mario Estanislao Van Severen (°1954) is an engineer for water treatment in Florida and his son, airline pilot Mario Ernesto Van Severen (°1979) is at present the youngest male namebearer Van Severen.
Descendants of Andres Van Severen and Julia Cabañas are currently living in Central America, the United States, England and France. They are following the adventuresome spirit of their ancestor who, after leaving Belgium, contributed to the development of the Central American states. Aware of their roots in Bruges, they in turn contribute to society with their efforts in the fields of their choice: academia, medicine, banking, literature, politics, chemistry, engineering and agriculture.
In Belgium the descendants of the couple Van Severen – Herrebaut are also numerous. In 1884 their daughter Louise (1860-1929), mentioned as proprietor and person of independent means, married in Bruges a lieutenant of the Second regiment of mounted riflemen, Maurice van Lidth de Jeude (1859-1931), a member of a recently ennobled family. On this occasion, for the first time it seems, her father was brought up again into the family’s concerns. Louise had not yet reached the age of twenty five, and needed therefore the consent of her parents. There was no problem from her mother’s side, but as she could not produce a similar consent from the father, Louise appealed to the justice of peace. Just one month before the wedding, the judge delivered a certificate declaring that, according to public knowledge, Andres Van Severen had been absent for many years. The mother attended the wedding and signed the marriage certificate as Louise Van Severen – Herrebaut.
The couple van Lidth de Jeude – Van Severen had two daughters, Henriette and Yvonne. Henriette van Lidth de Jeude (1887-1977) married Marcel Wyseur (1886-1950). He was successively attorney and banker in Bruges, after having been clerk at the Military Court during World War One. This bosom friend of playwright Michel de Ghelderode was himself a poet and published his poetry, written in French but devoted mainly to Flanders and Bruges, under eloquent titles as La Flandre rouge, Les cloches de Flandre, La vieille Flandre, Les Beffrois au soleil, Le Zwyn and Quelques poèmes de Flandre. Their eldest son, Pierre Wyseur (1912-1979) was an officer in the Belgian army and married Marie-José Vin (1912-2001). They have had four children who in turn have children and grandchildren. The second son, Jacques Wyseur (1918-1994) became a judge and married Françoise De Necker (1931-2003); their two married daughters have six children.
Yvonne van Lidth de Jeude (1890-1979), married Henri Lienart (1881-1938). The sons of this couple, Henry (1920-2004), Josse (°1922), Roger (1923-1995), André (°1926) and Fernand (°1928), who changed their name into Lienart van Lidth de Jeude, have all together eighteen children and some forty grandchildren. They and their descendants have married within the bourgeoisie (Lamarche, Eggermont, Lawton, Verwilghen, Thiry, Schotte, Hermans, Le Jeune) or with nobility (Dumont de Chassart, de Wasseige, de Pret Roose de Calesberg, de Jamblinne de Meux, de Robiano, de Thomaz de Bossière, Visart de Bocarmé, Orban de Xivry, de la Croix, van Doorslaer de Ten Rijen).
Josse Lienart van Lidth de Jeude married Marie-José d’Udekem d’Acoz (1919-2004), what points towards a relation – be it a distant one - with other descendants of the Van Severens of Bruges, namely princess Mathilde of Belgium and her family. One of the sons of Josse, Marc Lienart van Lidth de Jeude (°1950), achieved fame in the seventies as a popular crooner under the name Art Sullivan. Amongst other regions, he was very successful in...Latin America! His brother Roland, known as Roland d’Acoz, is an artistic photographer.
Jehan Lienart van Lidth de Jeude (°1957) is honorary consul of Gabon. His cousin Xavier (°1957), a software engineer, is politically active in his Brussels suburb and is director of KBC, one of the major Belgian banks. Thierry Lienart (°1955) is director of the Bank of Kigali. They and other descendants have professionally done well, in particular in computer activities and software. They have also increased the number of descendants of André Van Severen.
Returning to the couple André Van Severen – Herrebaut, their eldest daughter, Marie Antoinette (1859-1943), married in 1889, age 29, with Henri Louis Berghman (1854-1919), who was a notary in Ostend. On the marriage certificate it appears that after all, the contacts with the expatriate father had not been completely broken off, because this time it was duly mentioned that he had passed away in San Salvador on the 9th of June 1888. Mother Van Severen – Herrebaut was still around – she would die a year later -, and also the younger sister was there, with her husband, who was best man. Also acting as witness, was a cousin of the bride through his marriage with a Liebaert, Alfred Ronse (1835-1914), Member of Parliament and prominent alderman in Bruges. The couple had two daughters, Marie-Louise Berghman (1892-1932) who married Charles Micheletti and Jeanne Berghman (1898-1923) who married Albert Broquet (1887-1928) and had one daughter, Jacqueline Broquet (°1923), married to a Sutter.
Despite having been abandoned by her husband, Madame Van Severen -Herrebaut succeeded in giving a good education to her daughters, and in gathering savings for their dowry, with advantageous marriages as a result. She could be proud of what she had achieved.
The Latin-American Julia Van Severen – Cabañas had also reasons to look back with satisfaction upon an eventful life and to look ahead towards her well established Van Severen children.
As for the brothers Charles and Andres Van Severen, both restless in their search for adventure, they had left Bruges and the family brewery, the first to go and live high-up North, the second to embark upon an uncertain future in Central America. They both left traces of their passage on this earth and by all means they are at the origin of a numerous and interesting offspring.
Andries Van den Abeele
(published in Dutch in Brugs Ommeland, 2007 – the English text only on this website).
 The building is now in activity as ‘Hotel Azalea’. It has kept much of the nineteenth century decor, as it was when the Van Severens lived there.
 See my article in Brugge die Scone 2005.
 Museum of the Belgian Army, Brussels, file Van Severen, n° 5577.
 Albert DUCHESNE, Edouard Joseph Felix Eloin, in: Biographie nationale XXXVII, 1973, col. 203-212.
 Albert DECHESNE, L’expédition des volontaires belges au Mexique, 2 vol., Bruxelles, 1967-1968; B. DE GROOF, De Belgische vrijwilligers in Mexico (1864-1867), in: E. STOLS & R. BLEYS, Vlaanderen en Latijns-Amerika. 500 jaar confrontatie en metissage, Antwerpen, 1993.
 L. TINDEMANS, Duel met de Minister, Antwerpen, 1991; Wim BOUW, Het Mexicaanse avontuur van Maximiliaan en Charlotte door Belgische ogen. Het Mexicaanse keizerrijk in de dagbladpers ( 1864-1867) Licentiaatthesis KU Leuven, 2003 (onuitgegeven).
 After his studies at the Military Academy, Visart became a sublieutenant (1857) and a lieutenant (1862). Volunteering for the Belgian Regiment Carlotta, he served as a captain, was promoted to major and was commended for his bravery in battle. Returned to Belgium in March 1867 he resumed his career in the Belgian Army, until he resigned (1869). In 1870 he was elected an MP and was always reelected until his death, so that two brothers were collegues in Parliament for thirty years. He became also mayor of the rural village of Alveringem.
 After graduating at the Military Academy he became sublieutenant (1855) and lieutenant (1859). In 1863 he was downgraded to sergeant, aftera an unjustified absence. Volunteer for the Mexican expedition, he became again a lieutenant. He returned to Belgium in October 1867.
 E. Leys, professional soldier, was a sergeant (1857-1864) and joined the Mexican expedition in december 1864. In 1866 he was made a lieutenant.
 David M. PLETCHER, The building of the Mexican railway, in: The Hispanic American Historical Review, 1950, p. 26-62; Robert H. DUNCAN, Maximilian and Mexico’s first steps toward the Global Market-place (1864-1866) in: Memorias del segundo congreso de historia economica, La historia economica hoy, entre la economia y la historia, Mexico, 2004
 Carlos CAÑAS-DINARTE, El Salvador: cronología de una tierra danzarina, in: El Diario de Hoy, San Salvador, 2005.
 Contestación al informe del señor ingeniero A.J. Scherzer ... sobre los ferro-carriles de Acajutla a Santa Ana, 1888.
 The last common ancestor is Jean-Baptiste Van Severen (1676-1747), great-grandfather of André Van Severen and of the distant niece of Andres, Clémence Van Severen, ancestor of the d’Udekem d’Acoz family.
 From the d’Udekem side, the singer and the princess have common great-great-grandparents
 I thank specially Ana Maria Dueñas (Berkeley, California), Xavier Lienart van Lidth de Jeude (Brussels), Anabella Daglio van Severen (San Salvador), Mario Van Severen (North Port, Florida), Julia Van Severen de O’con (Sacramento, California), Philippe Lienart van Lidth de Jeude (Nivelles), Maurice Muyshondt (San Salvador), Victor Valembois (Costa Rica) and Michel Van de Velde (Brussels).