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, 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.


  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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