Quick tip – Common Spelling Variations in Dutch names

If you can’t find the name you’re looking for, try a spelling variation. Most Dutch search engines only find exact matches, so playing around with variations and wildcards may be necessary to find the person you’re looking for. Knowing the different spellings of certain sounds in words can help.

Examples of spelling variations

Element Example
k, kk, or ck Hoitink, Hoitinck
Bakker, Backer
Van Dijk, van Dijck
Dirk, Dirck
o, oo Gosens, Goosens
Noteboom, Nooteboom
e, ee Velen, Veelen
Neven, Neeven
a, aa, ae Lamers, Laamers, Laemers
u, uu Van Buren, Van Buuren
ij, y, ie Nijkerk, Niekerk, Nykerk
Meijer, Meyer
Wiebe, Wybe, Wijbe
s, sch, ss Visser, Visscher
Marsman, Marschman
s, z Rosen, Rozen
s, ss Jansen, Janssen
f, v De Vries, De Fries
g, gh, ch Van den Berg, Van den Bergh, Van den Berch
t, d Smit, Smid


two boys showing blackboards with their names

Two boys  in the Moluccas show their Christian names. Credits: Tropenmuseum via Open Cultuurdata (CC-BY-SA)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, MLitt, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist, writer, and lecturer in the Netherlands. She has a Master of Letters in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee, and holds the Certification of Genealogist and Qualified Genealogist credentials. Yvette served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists and won excellence awards for her articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. Yvette has been doing genealogy for over 30 years. She helps people from across the world find their ancestors from the Netherlands and its former colonies, including New Netherland. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Jay Fonkert says

    Thank you from Fonkert (Fonckert), whose 9th great-grandfather was Dirk (Dirck).

  2. Shirley Crampton says

    I agree. My mother-in-law’s maiden name has gone through many variations over the years, some in the Netherlands and some in the US. I will use the name that she was born with “Veneklase”. The name has been spelled with nn, aa, ss and of course Veneklasen before her father dropped the “n”

  3. Marie Rovero says

    I am helping someone with their tree and have started coming across Dutch names like this:

    Jacobsz. (ending with a period), Is this an abbreviation for “son of Jacob”?

    Sijmonsdr. (ending with a period). Is this an abbreviation for “daughter of Sijmon”?

    Thank you kindly.

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