Who we are

The Lem Family Association researches the history and connection of the families Lem Lemm and Leme and wants to bring this to the attention of a broad public.

The beginning of the Association
Early in the twentieth century, Father Leon Lem, born in Bruges (Belgium) but most of his life working and living in Rio de Janeiro, started his study of the history of the family Lem. He not only collected data from previous Portuguese and Brazilian genealogists and historians from Bruges, but he also made contact with family namesakes worldwide to request information about the family.
In the Netherlands he corresponded with Piet Lem, who started from Nijmegen the Dutch research.
In 1982 Ruud and Wil Lem, two distant cousins, began a re-examination in which they could used all the collected data from Leon and Piet Lem.

For over 25 years, they visited archives and maintained contact with namesakes and other agencies. In 1993 the vast amount of data was summarized and they published:

Genealogia Lemniana
The world history of Lemm Lem and Leme.

Meanwhile a third genealogist, Ronald Sylvester Lem, started his research into the family where he was especially interested in the life of the family in the fifteenth and sixteenth century in Bruges.
His ultimate goal was to write a historically correct novel about Martin Lem the adventurer from Bruges, who traded with Portugal and was the founder of the Portuguese and Brazilian Leme families.
Sadly Ronald passed away too early, but his records were saved.

Due to this, Ruud and Wil decided to involve multiple younger namesakes into their research and to formalize the collaboration with the founding of The Lem Family Association on February 11th, 2009


  • Consolidate and open the archives and acquired data to a broad public
  • Add data to the archives by means of research
  • Create interest into the family history through publications and meetings