Dutch term – Oom

Oom means “uncle.” Like in English, the Dutch word oom is used for the brother of a parent, or the husband of the sister of a parent. There is no separate word for paternal or maternal uncle.

You may encounter references to ooms in guardianship records, estate inventories, as specification of how witnesses are related to the main parties, and in many other types of records. Records do not usually differentiate between full and half uncles, or between uncles-by-blood or uncles-by-marriage. Sometimes you may see someone referred to as oom van halven bedde [uncle of a half bed, meaning half-uncle] or as bloedoom [blood uncle, uncle-by-blood].

Family portrait, 1920s. Credits: J.M. de Wildt, collection Rijksmuseum (public domain)

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.

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