In genealogy families are distinguished from branches. A family is a group of people who are related to each other because of a common ancestor. A branch is a part of a family. Therefore people who belong to different branches are related to each other; people who belong to different families are not related.
In the Netherlands four families Beijen or Beyen can be distinguished. As far as we can work out it is a mere coincidence that these families have the same name.
The IJsselstein family is the oldest and largest one. The first mention of a member of this family that we know is from 1530, in IJsselstein near Utrecht. In this family there are three branches: the Gijsbert branch, the Jan Thomas branch and the Johan Franco branch.
The Nieuwkapelle family originates from Nieuwkapelle in the present Belgian province of West Flanders. Around 1750 the ancestor of this family moved to the (Northern) Netherlands.
The Breyell family has its roots in another country too. At the end of the nineteenth century members of this family moved to the Netherlands from the German frontier region east of Venlo.
The Hengelo family originates from the Twente region in the eastern part of the Netherlands. In the second half of the nineteenth century the surname of some people changed from Bijen to Beijen, probably by inaccuracy of a registry officer.
In addition to these four families there has been a Dordrecht family that became extinct around 1750. In the past there were also some "loose ends".
The map on the right shows the towns and cities that gave their names to the different families, and some other places that are mentioned on this family site.
The page about the size of the families and branches contains data about the number of people that belong to the different families, the development of the families and their geographical distribution.