Quick tip: names change

“The past is a foreign country, they did things differently there.”1 One of the fundamental differences is the way that people were named. In many parts of the Netherlands, people did not have a hereditary surname until 1811. But even after 1811, names could get changed, for instance if someone emigrated or if the clerk made an error.

The next time you’re stuck, ask yourself: what other name could this ancestor have used?

Military recruits showing name signs

Military recruits, 1934

Related articles:


Sources

  1. Leslie Poles Hartley, The Go-Between (1953)opening sentence.
About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for 20 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

Leave comment

*