Hals was an ancient and honourable patrician family, intimately
connected with Haarlem for well-nigh three hundred years. The name first
appears in the annals of the city in 1350, and again and again
individuals bearing it held the offices of Burgomaster, Treasurer, and
_Schepen_--Alderman or Magistrate.
Pieter Claes Hals, Franz' father, was appointed a magistrate in 1575. In
1577 he was one of the _Regenten_, or Governors of the city Orphanage,
and in 1578 he became President of that famous institution.