Quick tip: The first of same-named siblings probably died young

Etten-Leur, population register 1860-1869, household of Martinus Trouw.

If you see multiple siblings with the same name, the first one probably died before the next one was born. Dutch parents typically named their children after relatives. By giving the new child the name of the deceased sibling, both the deceased sibling and the relative that that sibling had been named after were commemorated. There is one … [Read more...]

Quick tip: naming patterns

Gerrit and Mien Woordes

Most Dutch parents followed a strict pattern when naming their children: the first son was named after the paternal grandfather, the second son after the maternal grandfather; the first daughter was named after the maternal grandmother and the second daughter after the paternal grandmother. When you find a source that lists children in their … [Read more...]

English versions of Dutch first names

Garret Hesselink gravestone

Many Dutch people took American names when they came to the US. Some common combinations are listed here. All of these combinations have been found in actual documents, even though the translations aren't always what you would expect. Tip: use the search-function in your browser to search for a name (Ctrl-F or Command-F in most browsers). … [Read more...]