Quick tip – “De” Names do not mean Huguenot

The prefix “de” in a name can be confusing. It means “the” in Dutch but can also mean “de” in French.

People who have done Huguenot research often assume a “de”-name indicates a French or Huguenot origin. But when you’re dealing with a Dutch family, think horses not zebras: your Dutch ancestor with a “de” name was probably Dutch.

The most popular Dutch “De”-names are:

  • De Vries [the Frisian]
  • De Jong/Jonge [the younger]
  • De Boer [the farmer]
  • De Groot [the great/tall]
  • De Wit [the white]
  • De Graaf [the count]
  • De Haan [the rooster]
  • De Bruin/Bruijn [the brown]
  • De Ruiter/Ruijter [the horseman]
  • De Lange [the tall one]
  • De Vos [the fox]
  • De Koning [the king]
  • De Leeuw [the lion].
Name cloud of the 100 most popular names

Name cloud of the 100 most popular names

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Nancy DeVries Adams says

    My maiden name is deVries, and fifth great grandfather on my dad’s side came from Friesland and then they settled in North Holland. My mother and all of her ancestors came from Friesland, too.

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