Quick tip: find the origin of your name in name taking records

Name taking record of Jelmer Sipkes Sipma

If your family is from the northern provinces, or Jewish, you may find them in name taking records. When the civil registration was introduced, people who did not have a last name yet were required to record their last name. In such cases, the name taking record is often the earliest record you will find for your name. Sometimes, clues about the … [Read more...]

Dutch term: Register van naamsaanneming

Name taking record of Jelmer Sipkes Sipma

A register van naamsaanneming is a register of name taking. In 1811/1825, people that did not have a last name yet, like people from the northern provinces or Jews, had to register their new name. See the article about name taking records for more information. … [Read more...]

Name taking records

Name taking record of Jelmer Sipkes Sipma

The French occupation from 1795-1813 introduced many new types of administration, including the civil registration. To properly record people, it was necessary that they all had a last name. In 1811 and 1813, Napoleon decreed that everybody had to register their last name. After the French occupation ended, the Dutch government decided to keep … [Read more...]

Quick tip: surnames database

Spread of the name Hoitink in 2007

The Meertens Instituut (Institute) has a database of surnames in the Netherlands where you can search for a name to get a map that shows where people by that name lived in 1947 and 2007. This can be a great way to find out where in the Netherlands your ancestors may have come from, as many names are specific to a certain area. The example shows … [Read more...]

Quick tip: maiden names after marriage

Wedding photo

In the Netherlands, official records usually refer to women by their maiden names, even after their marriage. So when you're looking for a death record of a female ancestor, look for her maiden name rather than her married name. … [Read more...]

Dutch term: tussenvoegsel

portrait photo

A tussenvoegsel (literally: something put in between) is a prefix of a surname. Common prefixes are De (the) or Van den (from the). Tussenvoegsels are ignored when determining the alphabetical order, so De Vries can be found under the V. See the article about prefixes in surnames for more information. … [Read more...]

Top 10 most common Dutch surnames

Name cloud of the 100 most popular names

The ten most popular surnames in the Netherlands in 2007 were De Jong, Jansen, De Vries, Van den Berg, Van Dijk, Bakker, Janssen, Visser, Smit and Meijer. More than 5% of the people in the Netherlands had one of these ten last names. 1. De Jong (86,534 in 2007) De Jong literally means "The Young". Often used when two people in the same … [Read more...]