Dutch names often have prefixes like Van der, De, and Ter; and patronymics like Jans (son of Jan) or Pietersen (son of Pieter). Dutch genealogy programs have separate fields for prefixes and patronymics but most international programs do not. So where do you enter these name parts in a genealogy program that only has fields for First name and Last name?
Here is how I handle it:
- I put prefixes in the Last name field, uncapitalized.
- For people who do not use a last name, I put patronymics in the Last name field.
- For people who used a patronymic in addition to a last name, I put the patronymic at the end of the first name field.
- For people who sometimes use a last name and sometimes just use a patronymic, I add an alternate name.
This means that names will be alphabetized by their prefix, “De Vries” would be under “D.” In the Netherlands, “De Vries” would be capitalized under V, not D, so this is not the Dutch way. But if you are using an international program you probably expect “De Vries” to be capitalized under the D anyway.
I recommend against creating custom fields for recording the patronymics and prefixes, since these won’t display as part of the name in lists, reports and overviews. You run the risk of seeing only a part of the name which can be confusing.
|First name field
|Last name field
|Pieter Jelles Troelstra
|Greta de Jong
|Wolfert Gerritse van Kouwenhoven,
also known as Wolfert Gerritse
Gerritse (alternate name)