Friesland Genealogy Research Guide

Friesland traditional dressFriesland is one of the northern provinces in the Netherlands. It borders on the province of Groningen in the east, Drenthe and Overijssel in the South, the IJsselmeer in the west and the North Sea in the north.

The capital city of Friesland is Leeuwarden. The largest towns are:

  • Bolsward
  • Dokkum
  • Drachten
  • Franeker
  • Harlingen
  • Heerenveen
  • Sneek
  • Wolvega

The province also includes several of the Wadden Islands:

  • Vlieland
  • Terschelling
  • Ameland
  • Schiermonnikoog.

Genealogy in Friesland

Before 1811, hardly anyone in Friesland had a last name. People called themselves after their father, which was called a patronymic.