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.
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.
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
|Fern (for obvious reasons), Foking
|Croscut, Cortschot, Crosscut, Croscutt, Koskoty
|Lemkuel, Lemkuhl, Leemkuel
|Obrink, Obering, O’Brink
|Rasink, Resink, Ressink
|Skewers, Scheurs, Schruis, Schruers
|Stablecamp, Stapelcamp, Staplecamp
|Te Grotenhouse, TeGrotenhouse, Grotenhouse
|te Kolstee, te Kolste
|TaKolste, Kolste, TeKolste, TeKolstee
|Tenbuckel, Tembokkel, Buckle
|tenHulsen, tenHulzen, tenHuisen
|Fainhouse, Fanehouse, Vainhouse
|Ver Velde, VerVelde, Felton
|Walvoord, Welfoort, Walfort
|Wibbell, Wubbell, Wubbells, Wubbel, Wubble, Wubbles