Dutch terms – Bunder, Roede, El

Bunderroede, and el were measures of land. You can find them in cadastral records and other land records. These terms have been used for centuries, and reflected different sizes in different areas. A bunder was typically 400 or 450 roede. An el was around 68-70 cm (distance from elbow to end of finger) and an el used for a surface area was a square with the sides of an el.

In 1816, the metric system was introduced and these terms were given metric measures:

  • Bunder: 10,000 m2 (100 x 100 meters)
  • Roede: 100 m2 (10 x 10 meters)
  • El: 1 m2 (1 x 1 meters)

These names remained in use in official records until the 1930s, and are still used informally.


Surveyor, about 1650-1674. Credits: Anynomous artist, collection Rijksmuseum (public domain)



About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG® is a board-certified genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 30 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