English versions of Dutch last names

When Dutch people arrived in the United States or other English-speaking countries, often their names got changed. This was either done on purpose, to make the name easier to write and remember, or by accident because the clerk didn’t know how to spell the name and wrote it down phonetically. For this reason, a single family name can often be found in many different spellings in different documents.

This article gives an overview of the types of changes that names underwent and also gives a list of English versions of Dutch last names. This list is not complete and even for the names that are listed, chances are that many people with those names used even more exotic variants as well.

Common changes

Some of the Dutch names follow a predictable pattern when turned into English:

  • Prefixes often get stuck to the name: ten Pas becomes Tenpas, de Jong becomes Dejong.
  • Names ending in -ink sometimes change to -ing: Abbink becomes Abbing, Lansink becomes Lansing.
  • V becomes F or PH: Veenhuis becomes Feenhouse, Vink becomes Fink or Phink.
  • -kk- becomes -ck-: Blekkink to Bleckink.
  • An open -e- becomes -a-: Resink to Rasink, Menink to Manink
  • -els becomes -les: Wubbels becomes Wubbles.
  • Parts of the name that are a noun are translated: -huis becomes -house, -kamp becomes -camp. For example ‘Nijenhuis’ becomes ‘Newhouse’.
  • Names derived from occupations get translated: Bakker becomes Baker, Kuiper becomes Cooper, Konings becomes King.
English versions of Dutch last names

English versions of Dutch last names

List of Americanizations

This list gives Dutch names and spellings of those Dutch names as encountered in American documents.

Dutch last name English last name
Aarnink, Arning Arnink
Bargerbos Baggebos
Bekerink Beckerink
Brethouwer Brethower
Brusse Bruce
Buiel Boyle
Damkot Damcott
Demkes Demkis
de Groot DeGroat, DeGroot
Deetman Deitman
Esselinkpas Pas
Fukkink Fern (for obvious reasons), Foking
Gerritsen Garrison
Gijsbers Gysbers, Cysbers
Glieuwen Glewen, Gluen
Goudswaard Houseworth
Greupink Gruepink, Gropink
Grevink Gravink
Hengeveld Hengfeld, Hangrifelt
Hoftijzer Hofterrie, Hoftiezer
Kappers Kappas
Kastein Cartine, Kastien
Kempink Camping
Klompenhouwer Klompenhower
Klumpers Klumpas
Koffers Covers, Covis
Kolstee Coulstay
Konings King
Kortschot Croscut, Cortschot, Crosscut, Croscutt, Koskoty
Kots Coth
Leemkuil, Lemkuil Lemkuel, Lemkuhl, Leemkuel
Legters Lichtus, Ligters
Lohuis Lowhouse
Luikenhuis Lookenhouse, Luikenhouse
Luimes Lomis, Loomis
Meenk Mink, Minks
Meerdink Meijerdink, Meyerdink
Meinen, Meijnen Minon, Mina
Navis Navie, Nabies
Nekkers Neckers
Nieuwenhuis, Nijenhuis Newhouse
Obelink, Oberink Obrink, Obering, O’Brink
Pekaar, Pikaar Pikaart
Piek Pike
Ramaker, Rademaker Ramaker, Reymaker
Reessink Rasink, Resink, Ressink
Reusselink Reslink
Roerdink Rordink
Roerdinkveldboom Veldboom
Rospas Raspas
Schreurs Skewers, Scheurs, Schruis, Schruers
Sleijster, Sleister Gluster, Sluster
Smid Smith
Stapelkamp Stablecamp, Stapelcamp, Staplecamp
te Grotenhuis Te Grotenhouse, TeGrotenhouse, Grotenhouse
te Kolstee, te Kolste TaKolste, Kolste, TeKolste, TeKolstee
te Kulve Teculver, TeKulve
ten Bokkel Tenbuckel, Tembokkel, Buckle
ten Broek Broek
ten Hulsen tenHulsen, tenHulzen, tenHuisen
ten Pas Tempas
ter Horst TerHarst, TerHast
van Albeslo Armslow
Varding, Vardink Fardink
Veenendaal Fendaal
Veenhuis Fainhouse, Fanehouse, Vainhouse
Veldboom Felboom
Vervelde Ver Velde, VerVelde, Felton
Vink Fink, Phink
Walvoort Walvoord, Welfoort, Walfort
Welhuis, Welhuizen Wellhouse, Willhouse
Woordes Wordes
Wubbels Wibbell, Wubbell, Wubbells, Wubbel, Wubble, Wubbles


About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 25 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Joseph Feduniewicz says:

    I am trying to find out more about my dutch ancestors (last name is Hanshe). My 4th Great Grandfather named Henry Hanshe lived in New York City in 1795 and I don’t know if he was born there or immigrated sometime during the 18th century but I do know his ancestors were from the Netherlands. If this helps, his wife’s name was Catherine. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Joseph,

      I would advise you to collect as much information about your brick wall and his family, associates and neighbors and work back from there. The 1870 census lists parents’ birthplaces, so be sure to collect the 1870 and later census records for all his children to see what they tell about his place of birth. Other records such as Henry Hanshe or his wife’s probate records or obituaries may also provide additional information about their origins, as could their children’s obituaries.

      How do you know his ancestors were from the Netherlands? Do you have contemporary sources to confirm that or is it a family story? Hanshe is not a Dutch name. If I pronounce it in English, it sounds like the Dutch first name “Hansje,” a diminutive form of “Hans,” which is short for “Johannes” or John in English. Family stories often have some truth in them but get distorted as generations go by. For example, it may well have been Catherine who had the Dutch roots instead of Henry. I would advise you to keep an open mind about his ethnicity until you find reliable evidence.

  2. Colt Holland says:

    What tips do you have for someone without any background info? I know that my family came from the Netherlands, but I don’t have any documents or any info but my name. Do you know if it was changed?

    • I agree with you that the name Holland suggests that your family is from the Netherlands, but the name “Holland” could easily have been a geographical name elsewhere as well. The Dutch name “Holland” comes from “holt-land,” woodland. It’s not hard to imagine that names like that occurred independently over Western Europe, for example from “hollow land” or “holy land.” The name Holland is pretty common in England as well; it may be that these people came from Holland but I wouldn’t be surprised if their name was derived from an independently created geographical name.

      The best way to find out where your family name comes from is to research your direct male line backwards to find the first person who used the name. That should give you an indication of whether he was from the Netherlands or not.

  3. Gill Batchelor says:

    Hello, my GGGrandfather Jon Rodemark / RODEMARKER born between 1806-1812 came to England between 1840-1850 and settled, he gave his birth place as South Lembritcht, Holland.
    His father’s name noted on the marriage certificate was Henry.
    Grateful if you could give some advice where to start searching please.

    • Hi Gill,

      South Lembritcht is not a place name in the Netherlands. Do you have an image copy of the original document that had this name? It may be worthwhile to double check it to see if there was a transcription error. Of course, the clerk may have transcribed what he heard. There is a village called Limbricht in Limburg, but that’s a small village for which it doesn’t make sense to refer to the southern portion.

      The name Rodemarker or Rodemark isn’t a Dutch name either. There are a few people named Rodemaker, mostly in the province of Groningen. See WieWasWie and search for Rodema*k.

      The best advice I can give you is to first find out more in English records. What if any spelling variations did he use for his name? What were his children’s names (often they were named after grandparents)? What information did his death certificate or probate records give about place of origin or family members? What was his occupation?

      • Gill Batchelor says:

        Hi Yvette,
        The only clue to his origins was from the English census and I doubt if the writer had ever heard of the place name. I was wondering if his surname should have been Rademakers or similar ?His surname was spelt differently on each census until the family finally settled on the spelling Rodemark. He was a basket maker but there are family stoties that he was a shipwrecked sailor. His first daughter was called Christiana and first son Thomas.

        • The name could have been Rademaker (meaning: wheelmaker). Because it was an occupational name, the last name Rademaker occurs in different places in the Netherlands. The Rademaker emigrants I’ve researched came from Gelderland and emigrated after 1845.

          Do you know their religion? If they are from Limburg, if my suggestion about Limbrecht is correct, they would most likely have been Catholic.

  4. Keith Kooistra says:

    Examples of surname changes in my family include:
    – Vedders (sometimes found as Fedders)
    – Knijft became Knyfd
    – Van Keimpema became Kempema
    – Klein Rooseboom became Rosenboom.

    My father’s ancestors immigrated to Iowa in the mid 1800’s when the land was unclaimed. Most of those families did not change the spellings if their names because the population was largely Dutch speaking immigrants.

    My mother’s ancestors immigrated to New Jersey, a densely populated area of mixed nationalities. Many of them “Americanized” their first and last names.

  5. I didn’t Know the Pyke surname came for the Surname Piek, that’s pretty intresting.

  6. I know there some people named Piek went by the name Pyke in the US, but that does not mean that all people named Pyke derived their names from Piek. To find out where your name came from, I recommend you research your family until you find your immigrant ancestor.

  7. Jerri Rudloff says:

    I have an early New Netherlands ancestor referred to as Pieter Luyster and one of the islands off the coast was called “Luyster Island”…some of his descendants continued that surname, but mine is listed as Lester. I’ve been told two versions: one that they were English “Lesters” and Luyster is the Dutch version for records etc…or that they were Dutch “Luysters” but my branch anglicized it to Lester…Is there any to determine which explanation that may be? thanks Jerri

    • The best way to find the origin of any name is to trace it to the first known person who used it. Do you know where Pieter Luyster came from? The name Luyster or Luijster (which would be its Dutch spelling) are not in use today anymore. The name Van de Luijster is, but it is very rare. Without additional research into your immigrant ancestor, I can’t tell you whether the English or the Dutch origin is more likely.

      • Jerri Rudloff says:

        I appreciate the reply. In the interim I heard from another descendant who posted an article written by a Luyster descendant and a Cert. Genealogist. He states that Pieter arrived New Neth. In 1656 with the patronymic of Pieter Cornelis/Cornelisse…and when the English took over and requested Dutch inhabitants adopt a more English sounding surname, Luyster was what Peter chose…he notes as you do, that there is no ‘y’ in Dutch and it was close to lijster…which he says used to mean “frame” and since Pieters was reputed to be a carpenter, it made sense to him….Pieter married twice: first to Aeltien Tyssen and second to Jennetje Sneedicker presumably Dutch women…Unfortunately no one has any information about where he originated and the frequency of that patronymic makes it seem untraceable without an area to explore, but, I’m inclined to believe he was from the Netherlands…Incidentally I greatkt enjoyed my trip to Leiden/Leyden and Amsterdam a few years ago…Thanks Jerri

        • Great that you have been able to find more information. A ‘lijst’ is a frame, a ‘lijster’ is a bird (thrush). I have never heard the word ‘lijster’ be used for a carpenter. A frame maker would be a ‘lijstemaker.’ Do you know if Pieter had any children from his first marriage? If so, the orphan chamber may have been involved and orphan chamber records might tell you who the guardians were. Guardians were often relatives.

          • Jerri Rudloff says:

            I appreciate the tip about orphans…. my ancestor Thomas appears to be the only sibling to marry an English person, Dorcas Gildersleeve…the others seem to have married men/women of Dutch extraction..perhaps that led/contributed to his changing from Luyster to Lester…thanks again…Jerri

  8. Virgil Hoftiezer says:

    My Dutch ancestors from Gelderland lived very close to the border with then Prussia and many records were recorded in the Catholic church records in German (or Latin) and often the ‘K’ at the end of the surname was changed to a ‘G’ in those records. Thus it was not only the English who modified Dutch names, and the German spelling occurred before they migrated to the USA.

    Also, would it be possible to clarify the significance of Klein used before a surname. For some of my Dutch families it seemed to be used some times, but not others. Was Klein a standard prefix or part of the surname?

    • “Klein” means “small” or “little.” Klein is not a prefix but a part of the name of a farm. For instance, there is the Klein Hesselink farm. In the east of the Netherlands, people were called after the farm they were lived on. Sometimes, a farm got split up into different farms, or a younger son built a new farm near the old one. Usually, the original farm kept the regular name. Let’s say the original farm was called Hesselink, then the new farm could be called Klein Hesselink (Little Hesselink), Nieuw Hesselink (new Hesselink), Hesselinkshuisje (Hesselink’s small house), Hesselinksschoppe (Hesselink’s shed) and a variety of other names. The people who lived on this new farm would then call themselves after this new farm. However, their name was sometimes shortened to the original name. This could also happen after emigration, where the link to the farm was meaningless. I’ve seen several members of the Klein Hesselink family be called Hesselink in US records.

      • Virgil Hoftiezer says:

        Thank you, Yvette.
        I have the Nibbelink family that lived in/near Spork and that name was spelled a variety of ways in church records, including Klein Nibbling.
        As always there is no better resource than you!

        • You’re welcome! I’ve seen the (Klein) Nibbelink family in records as well. There was even a Nibbelink from Varsseveld on the Phoenix in 1847, who died with his family. I haven’t found out their identity.

  9. My mother-in-law’s father was born Orin Veneklasen. His family immigrated from the Netherlands to West Michigan with a group of relatives. When he married his Irish Catholic wife and became Catholic he changed his name to Veneklase since he thought that Veneklasen did not sound like a Catholic name. Apparently all of the Veneklasens and Veneklases in the Holland, Michigan area are related.

  10. Karen Schmidt says:

    My mother is convinced that her grandmother’s maiden name “Bird” has Holland Dutch ancestry. What kind of name change from the Dutch would result in Bird, an English name? The Birds came from New York, and Illinois where her grandmother was born, then she ended up marrying a Stephen Parker in Muscatine, Iowa. She lived in Iowa the rest of her life with Stephen How can the Birds be Holland Dutch?

    • Virgil Hoftiezer says:

      Have no explanation regarding ‘Bird’, but the spelling of my family’s name had to occur because English does not have the Dutch ‘letter’ “IJ” and thus either a ‘y’ (in long hand ij looks like a y with two dots above it) was substituted or an ‘ie’ replaced the ‘IJ’. It took me several years to finally discover this myself — although I later recalled my grandmother telling me something to that effect when I was a young child.

      • Karen Schmidt says:

        Some families merely translated their German name into the English equivalent. Could that be the case here? What is the Dutch word for Bird?

        Thank you for your prompt reply.

    • Bird is the English word for “vogel.” It also sounds like the uncommon Dutch name “Baard.” Since people were so creative with finding new variations of their names, it is hard to rule any ethnicity in or out based on an English-sounding name alone.

    • Jerri Rudloff says:

      Hi Karen: Doesn’t answer your question, but I found it an interesting coincidence that my late husband’s Prussian family were ca, 1885 immigrants to Muscatine. His grandfather’s first cousin Pauline Zellmer married Charles Henry or Henry Charles Bird there. His origins apparently were VA and GA…the assumption was that those Birds were from Great Britain…may not be relevant to your family, but I have German ancestors who passed themselves off as Dutch – possibly because- due to wars – being German wasn’t popular…and the confusion over the German Deutsch [sp?] being mistaken for Dutch…Jerri

      • Karen Schmidt says:

        Muscatine, Iowa was just a ferry ride from Illinois. Apparently, it was a popular place to get married. As was Maryville, MO for those from southern Iowa. I am at a loss for finding out where to proceed. One possible connection has a senior Bird, possibly Thaddeus /Elisha Bird’s father starting in VA but died in GA. I know Lydia Griffin Agy (her married name) was widowed with seven children when she married Thaddeus/ Elisha Bird and then had Ruth Elmira about six months after they married, if my dates are correct. Lydia’s youngest child with John Agy was about 3 when Ruth was born. She could have been an Agy conceived shortly before John Agy died. Lydia married again in Muscatine after Thaddeus/Elisha Bird died.

        Thank you for the idea. I will keep that in mind to remember a possible German connection. I wonder what nationality is the name Agy.

        • Jerri Rudloff says:

          Another coincidence: A professor of literature I knew was a big fan of the ‘famous’ James Agee…Prof. maintained that the surname was originally Agy and they were French Huguenots forced out of France for being Protestants [17th Century?]. In addition to relocating to England and USA, they may well have emigrated to Netherlands…Yvette would probably know…Jerri

          • Karen Schmidt says:

            Thank you again! Maybe it is the Agy family that was Dutch. Coming to New York in the 18th century via the Netherlands to New Amsterdam might make sense. With such an unusual name, there were few in America, even today. My, how family stories get passed down. Maybe I will research New Amsterdam for that name.

          • Yes, the Huguenots came to the Netherlands too, mostly to the province of Zeeland but several families settled in Leiden and Amsterdam too. Some of them were in the Netherlands for a few years or generations and then moved to America. Others stayed in the Netherlands. I have several Huguenot ancestors from Zeeland myself.

            • Karen Schmidt says:

              This has been a most illuminating conversation. Just trying to make sense of family stories has opened up a whole new perspective on my ancestors.

              • Karen Schmidt says:

                I’m back tracking down another side of the family. The name is Buell, though sometimes, early on, as Buel or Bewell. de Buele was used after the Norman invasion of England. French, Flemish, Dutch. Variations in spelling were numerous in the 17th and 18th century. Were there Dutch records of those names?

  11. Jerri Rudloff says:

    I have 26 early to mid 16th c ancestors who came to New Netherland in my maternal and paternal lines..Most had or assumed one word surnames; e.g.Moll, Pier, Post, Banckert, Crankheit…..I’m curious as to why the maternal side tended to be ‘vans’ as in Van Couvenhaven [from Deventer], Van Schaik, Van Wert and Vandervliet whereas in my paternal lines there is one Van Etten, but the others are “De” as in De Duyster, De Grauw, De Hooges, De Lange/Longe…..only other difference besides origins in the Netherlands, is that the maternal line tended to settle in Long Island or New Amsterdam area, whereas the paternal ‘de’ line were in Albany and Kingston area [to use their English names]…Am I incorrect in thinking that both ‘van’ and ‘de’ mean ‘of’?

  12. Jerri Rudloff says:

    correction: I meant early to mid 17th C….just off a hundred years is all…

  13. Vince Genre says:

    My uncle traced my dutch ancestors back to Hendrick Van Dyck. He came from Utrecht, Holland. Born in 1610 and died in 1688. He is mentioned in the book entitled “Geneology of the first settlers of Schenectady.” He immigrated in 1640., this came from Salem,NJ Historical Society. He was schout fiscaal under Stuyvesant, whatever that means.

  14. Lesley DeGroodt says:

    My husband’s family has disagreed with the pronunciation of our last name for years. Part of the family says De Groodt with a long oo sound while others say it like “boat”. That is the first question. The second question is, is the original way to spell it with the “d” or De Groot? He once met a man who said he came from Holland and that spelling was the old way to spell it. Any help would be appreciated as my husband has always wanted to know.
    Thank you,
    Lesley De Groodt

    • Alyssa den Uyl says:

      Dear Lesley, in dutch spelling your last name would be spelled as de Groot.
      Greetings from The Netherlands

      • Thank you for clarifying the correct spelling of our name. I was so pleased that you responded. Our next question is the pronunciation. Is it De Groot like “boat” or like “oot” like in the word “loot” This has been a big deal to our family. I Will be on the edge of my seat.
        Thank you for your time,
        Lesley DeGroodt

        • Groot rhymes with Boat. But I would be very surprised if you can manage the guttural Gr-sound 🙂

          • I Wasn’t on the edge of my seat for long.My husband is so happy to know that we are teaching our children the correct way to say our name. You are so appreciated. I Wish I could shake your hand.
            Can’t thank you enough.
            Lesley De Groodt (De Groot)

          • Dan Stille says:

            I’ve had an interest in the pronunciation of American surnames for a while. It’s always seemed tricky to me to predict when the sound-spelling correspondence of the source language (Dutch in these threads) is retained–to some extent–rather than an English sound-spelling correspondence used. When I lived in Denver, a Councilmember, Mary De Groot, ran for mayor. People were surprised to hear De Groot pronounced with a ‘long o’ and I would have predicted otherwise with vowels spelled using digraphs, at least when the source language was Germanic (I’ll spare you the reasons). So I have a few questions: (1) Do some people in the U.S. pronounce their name, De Groot/Groot to rhyme with ‘boot’? (2)
            Is Dutch ‘oo’ mostly pronounced as a ‘long o’ in American surnames (there is debate at my work how to pronounce the name of the American athlete Jesse Van Doozer)? (3) How much does popularity of a name (De Groot is a fairly common Dutch surname) condition the retention of Dutch sound-spelling correspondence? (4) Similarly, in areas less settled by the Dutch did greater Anglicization of pronunciation take place (e.g. the pronunciation of Stuyvesant in New York with a ‘long i’ doesn’t surprise me, but, hypothetically, a street in Denver so pronounced would.
            I realize these are onomastic questions that don’t directly address genealogy, but I have found these threads very informative and I think people are interested in how Dutch names relate to their Americanized/Anglicized pronunciations. Even brief, informal answers would really help me.

            • 1: I don’t know how most people in the US pronounce “De Groot”. Even if they pronounce the -oot the Dutch way, I doubt they know how to pronounce the guttural G 🙂
              2: the -oo- in Dutch is pronounced like -oa- in English, so like you would say groat. Van Doozer is another situation. I think that name may have been Van Duyzer originally (after Duysart in Scotland). The Dutch pronounciation of Duyzer is close to the English pronounciation of Doozer. I think the spelling got changed when people wrote what they heard.
              3: I do not have any statistics on this. Many families were in the US for a long time before the De Groot name became so popular in the Netherlands, so I don’t think that has a large effect. Literacy of the people using the name may also be a factor in retaining the original spelling.
              4: I have seen this effect in my own research, where Dutch emigrants in the 1800s who settled in English speaking area changed their names much more than people who settled in Dutch speaking areas.

              • Virgil Hoftiezer says:

                Regarding how Dutch names are pronounced in US, it should also be noted that the Dutch IJ has no equivalent in English and those of us with the IJ had the spelling changed to either ‘y’ (which I am not sure the Dutch use at all) or in my case to ‘ie’. It took me a long time to figure out the IJ in Dutch, but maybe I am just a slow learner.

  15. Hello my father’s dad’s side comes from the Netherlands or so I’ve read. The last name is now Conine but was konijn before it got changed in 1600’s when first arrived. The ancestors I’m looking for are leendertse Phillip konijn, or conyn…so many different spellings I’ve seen. From what I’ve read they migrated from the Netherlands ( leedertse was born in ghent) and moved to Albany,NY. I’ve also read that they started the name coney island because there were so many living there in that time. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Jerri Rudloff says:

      Hi Autumn:
      I have several books on early New Netherlands/New York..and I checked the indexes…
      in one title “Beverwijck” by Janny Venema..she lists two Coningh – a Frans and a Thomas

      Coninck/Coning{h}, Coningk, and Koning are a few variations in “Deacon’s Accounts 1652-1674 of the First Dutch Reformed Church of Beverwyck/Albany, NY”

      “List of Inhabitants of Colonial New York” by O”Callaghan has 4 Conines: Casper, Derk Phils, Lenarad, and Phillip,,but they seem to be more in the 1700s..the first 4 are on lists of residents of Livingston Manor [not sure of date], .the last Phillip is listed as taking in a 12 year old Palatine boy [ca. 1710-1714] as a bound servant..don’t know if this helps at all..
      P.S. per Wikipedia: Coney Island was originally called Konijnenlland which was translated as Rabbit Island…[Yvette could verify that translation] however others refuted this as the origin and other explanations are offered..

  16. Colleen King says:

    We were under the impression that my husband’s King surname came from Koenig. And you show Vink as becoming Fink or Phink but I have an ancestor whose surname appears to have been Vink/Vinck but his son (who was a child when they arrived from Rotterdam via Dover in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 18 Sep 1727) later used “Wink”. I believe both families were from Germany/the Palatinate. I realize that illiteracy and the language barrier resulted in many surnames being changed – some into different variations even in the same generation.

    • Hi Colleen,
      This list contains English versions of Dutch names that I or visitors of this site found in their own research. This list is not exhaustive, the US names could have come from other names too, or the Dutch names could have turned into other names. Koenig in German and Konings in Dutch both mean King, so both names could have been translated to King in English.

    • Jerri Rudloff says:

      I, too have a German Palatine ancestor named Winegar…however in 1790 census and other earlier records in New York it is written as Vinegar which is apparently how it was heard by person writing it down…

      • Virgil Hoftiezer says:

        I had an aunt (by marriage) who grew up in a German speaking community and she pronounced the letter ‘v’ as a ‘w’ when, and visa versa, when it was the first letter in any word — including my name as Wirgil. So not surprised that the same thing would happen when writing a name.

  17. Joshua Veldboom says:

    Hi Yvette, so I often browse around the internet trying to find out more information about my surname. But when I do I can only find links for Facebook pages or news articles of people not really any historical data. I’m not really sure what I’m looking to find but was wondering if you had any insight into the meaning or where it came from. I do know the name was originally Roerdinkveldboom but when my ancestors migrated to Wisconsin some dropped the Roerdink and some dropped the Veldboom.

    • Roerdinkveldboom was one of the cottages belonging to the Roerdink farm in Winterswijk. “Veldboom” literally means “field tree” and probably refers to an old defensive barrier in the area (the ‘boom’ would bar the road). I have many Roerdinkveldbooms and Roerdink-Veldbooms in my database.

  18. Shelley Goffstein says:

    My paternal ancestor was Leendert Phillipse Konyn or Conyn. Born in Ghent, Belgium, in 1620, he settled in Albany, NY around 1645. I assume that his name was really Konijn and there are numerous Jewish Konijns who died in the holocaust. There are also quite a few Jewish Konijns in the Netherlands. Even though my early ancestors were baptised in the Dutch Reform Church, could they have been crypto-Jews? I also read somewhere that they were also Huggeunots.

    • Crypto-Jews were uncommon here, since Jews weren’t persecuted. Most Jews did not have family names before 1811. Konijn (rabbit) is a common Dutch and Flemish word so I would not suspect any foreign origins on the name alone. One thing you could do is research the family and see who they associated with. If those people all belonged to the protestant church, they most likely did too.

  19. My New Jersey grandmother’s last name was Sweetman. While researching our genealogy I kept coming up with English names when I finally looked up the Dutch equivalent. There they were, as SOETEMAN, from Goedereede. My Frisian relatives didn’t change the last name of De Vries, but they changed all their first names. Foppe became Frank, Aukje became Agnes and Trijntje became Trina (pronounced Tryna.

    Thanks for sharing al this information!

    • Great example of a name part that got translated, thank you!

    • marcia culp says:

      Trying to reach holly,because I too have a new jersey soeteman/sweetman connection. Also trying to determine what diimmen van den houten might have been Americanized too. Thanks for taking the time to get back to me. Take care and have a great day.

      • Marcia – happy to see your reply. Dimmen Soeteman ended up as Demmin Sweetman. He is listed at a girl on the transcribed passenger list and came to NY on the wooden Barque North Sea in 1857. Lets compare notes – e-mail me at Myquest55@aol.com

        • Marcia – never heard from you- I hope you will still contact me. I welcome anyone else with a Sweetman/Soeteman or NJ De Vries connection to contact me at the above e-mail address. Happy to “meet” new relatives and share information!

  20. A. Giltaij says:

    Dear Yvette,

    As a Dutch person it can be quite the challenge to figure out as well, I admire your work!
    My search is about trying to find where ‘Giltaij’ originates from. Because of the ‘ij’ , a Dutch origin is likely, although ‘Giltaij’ does not sound Dutch at all. However, we can be traced back to Zuid Holland (Sliedrecht/Dordrecht) late 18th/early 19th century. I’ve read about the English/American surname ‘Gilday’ and the Belgian/French ‘Giltay’, but nothing on these names having changed or translated through immigration. Have you heard of or read about my name before? Any tips on where to proceed my search? Bij voorbaat dank!

  21. Hello Yvette
    I am hoping that you may be able to help me identify possible Dutch ancestry. My 5x Great Grandfather John Staines (silk weaver of East London- possible Huguenot descent?) married one Alice Vandebaize in St Dunstan Stepney, London in 1775. Alice’s father was Charles Vandebaize, a gun maker born 1731 Aldgate, London, and his father was Phillip Vandebaize born c. 1680, place unknown. The name was spelt in different ways, Vandeboose being one variation. Would this family have come from the Netherlands in the late 1600s?

    I would be very grateful for any guidance
    Many thanks

  22. Susan McNeill says:

    Hello Yvette,

    I have ancestors that emigrated to upstate New York long before our Revolutionary War, although I am not sure if they were Dutch or German. The name was eventually transformed into Runyen(s) or Runyan(s). Their religious records are from the Reformed Church which could be either Dutch or German. One married a Cook, also spelled Kook and she is a known speaker of Dutch or German. All were illiterate in English until the 20th century. I have also seen the name Runjan and Runjen in Reformed Church records in upstate New York. Can you shed some light on this surname’s origin?

    Thank you very much.


  23. Mackenzie says:

    I was wondering if you could tell me what my name means. I’ve been trying to find out about myself lately like what is my nationality and one of them was figuring out my name. My last name is Lesterhouse which i was told it meant cuckoo bird nest or bird nest but i really don’t know anymore.It would be great to have someones help.

    • Richard F. America says:

      What is the history of the family surname America? A group of them in Limburg.

      Among early settlers in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware USA is Nicholas America, 1680

      Who were his lparente, there, – and descendants over here. ?

      • According to the Dutch Family Names database, the name America comes from the Antilles. I am surprised by that, I would have thought it had something to do with the town America in Limburg. By researching your male line, it should be possible to figure out which of the two explanations applies in your case.

  24. Rebekah Dykstra says:

    Hi Yvette- My grandmother’s maiden name was Goudzwaard and I have been able to trace roots back to the 1400’s. I am curious about this name because through the paperwork I have seen it spelled as above with the z, Goudswaard and Goudswaert. These are all very different. Gouswaert is German but depending on the spelling it translates into Gold Sword or Gold Worth. 2 very different meanings. Several of the ancestors names are sea related such as Marinus and I see that one of the Goudswaard daughters married Simon Van Der Stel, Governor of Mauritius. If I went with the Gold Sword version I would believe that they could have been Jewish Pirates possibly? It seems that I came across documents at one point showing me they may have come from a Jewish Ghetto in Portugal but the Goudswaert leads me to believe they came from Germany. My research has me blocked at around 1490 which makes sense considering the Spanish Inquisition occurred in 1492. I also thought I saw the original Goudswaard village flag had the 6 stars of David. Documents also show baptisms throughout the years so could they have been converso’s? I had always thought a surname beginning with Gold was more than likely Jewish.
    Any help you could provide would be fantastic. Thank you!

  25. I’ve learned through a census that my great grandfather was named James Whiterock and on the US Census of 1930, it shows he was born in 1867 in Nebraska and his mother and father were from Holland. I can’t find anything further. I would love to know what name Whiterock came from and anything else I could find out about my history.
    I was adopted and there is not anyone that I’m aware of living who can help or remember..

  26. autumn snoop says:

    Hello. I know my family came from holland way before I was bor nand im sure our name was changed. My last name is snoop so i was wondering if you could help me

  27. Kathryn says:

    Hello Yvette,

    My family name in Canada has been changed to Vanderyacht and Vanderjagt. My father, Adrian Vanderyacht, was called Dutch as a nickname. He was the eldest child and the only one of five children to be born in Holland in 1914. However, I have been told, in Holland, that Vanderyacht is not a Dutch name. What do you think our original name was or do you think we might have been immigrants to Holland before we moved to Canada? This is a very interesting subject.

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