Quick tip: find the origin of your name in name taking records

Name taking record of Jelmer Sipkes Sipma

Name taking record of Jelmer Sipkes Sipma. Image credit: Tresoar

If your family is from the northern provinces, or Jewish, you may find them in name taking records. When the civil registration was introduced, people who did not have a last name yet were required to record their last name. In such cases, the name taking record is often the earliest record you will find for your name.

Sometimes, clues about the origin of your name can be found in the name taking records. For example, a carpenter may had called himself Houtsma (hout = wood), an ancestor living in Camstraburen may have called himself Camstra or an ancestor who used Sipkes as a patronymic may have called himself Sipsma.

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. thelma Plantenga says

    I am looking for immigration records for Poppe Thuenis Wynia en Johanna Ulbes Bakker(married name Wynia) They immigrated to the USA in 1880 or 1881 and went to La Mars Iowa. They took 2 children along Theunis Wynia and Janke Wynia. They left Minke Wynia behind and we don’t know who raised her. Minke was my grandmother. I live in Oregon USA and am looking for descendants of Poppe and Johanna Wynia in the USA.
    sincerely Louie Plantenga(Lieuwe)

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