Another Long-term Tenant

A few weeks ago, I wrote about two tenancy contracts that showed that the Ten Haken farm in Winterswijk was in the family for three generations of tenants. As a result, reader Gerrit Stemerdink shared the story of his Wieberdink ancestors with me. They were tenants of the Wieberdink farm for more than two centuries. The following is an adaptation … [Read more...]

Two Tenancy Contracts from the 1700s

Most farmers in the Netherlands were tenants, not owners. This can make it hard to find out where they lived, since we can usually only find deeds for the owners, not the tenants. Since so many of us descend from tenant farmers, I thought I'd share two tenancy contracts with you that I found for my ancestors. It is rare to find such a contract, … [Read more...]

Case study – Working with farm names

In parts of the provinces of Drenthe, Overijssel and Gelderland, people used to call themselves after the farm they lived on. It wasn't until the introduction of the civil registration in 1811 that their names became fixed. My own name, Hoitink, is an example of such a farm name. Since the name could change every time a person moved, this … [Read more...]

Dutch name: Ten Hoeve

Dutch Names is a new series of videos on Dutch Genealogy, where you can learn how to pronounce a Dutch name and learn about the origins of that name. The first episode features the name Ten Hoeve. Do you want me to feature your Dutch name in a future episode? Please leave a comment. Watch the video on Youtube View the slides on Slideboom … [Read more...]

Dutch term: boerderij

A boerderij is a farm. Sometimes, you will find boerderij doende (doing farm) as an occupation, which means that the person was a farmer. Most farmers were tenants who did not own their farms. Some farms are very old; not necessarily the buildings, but the agricultural business at that location.  The buildings got renewed, the property got sold, … [Read more...]

Farm names

In the days before the Civil Registration forced everyone to stick to a surname, people in the eastern part of the Netherlands were named after the farm they lived at. You can still see that in the surnames today: Derk te Kolste, Piet te Lintum, Gerrit Jan Hoitink, etc. Since the surname might change every time a person moved, this sometimes offers … [Read more...]