Top 10 most common Dutch surnames

The ten most popular surnames in the Netherlands in 2007 were De Jong, Jansen, De Vries, Van den Berg, Van Dijk, Bakker, Janssen, Visser, Smit and Meijer. More than 5% of the people in the Netherlands had one of these ten last names.

1. De Jong

(86,534 in 2007)

Map of the Netherlands

De Jong in 2007

De Jong literally means “The Young”. Often used when two people in the same family had the same first name. The youngest one would be called De Jong, similar to somebody who is called “junior”. Its counterpart, De Oude (the Elder) is a lot more uncommon, which can be explained since the older person was the one who was already known by that name, so the next person with that same name needed a new designation to identify him.

The name is common throughout the Netherlands, with concentrations in Friesland, Utrecht, Zuid-Holland and the western part of Noord-Brabant.

Variants include De Jonge, De Jongh, DeJong and  De Iongh. After immigration, the name sometimes got changed to DeJong or DeYoung.

2. Jansen

(75,698 in 2007)

Map of the Netherlands

Jansen in 2007

Jansen is a patronymic, a name derived from the father’s name, in this case to denote the son of Jan (Dutch version of John). Jansen is the Dutch equivalent of Johnson.

The name can be found throughout the Netherlands, with concentrations in Drenthe, Gelderland and Utrecht.

Variations include Jans, Janse, Janssen, Janzen, Janssens and Jansonius (Latinized form). After emigration, the name sometimes got changed to Johnson.

Other common last names that started out as patronymics are Peters (son of Peter), Hendriks (son of Hendrik/Henry), Jacobs (son of Jacob), Gerritsen (son of Gerrit/Garret), Willemsen (son of Willem/William), Hermans (son of Herman), Evers (son of Evert/Everett), Driessen (son of Dries, a form of Andries/Andrew), Wolters (son of Wolter/Walter), Sanders (son of Sander/Alexander).

3. De Vries

(73,152 in 2007)

Map of the Netherlands

De Vries in 2007

De Vries means “The Frisian,” somebody from Friesland. In the Middle Ages, the entire coastal region of the Netherlands was known as Friesland, not just the province we know today. In 1811, when Napoleonic laws required everybody to have a hereditary surnames, many Frisians chose the surname De Vries. These were usually people who did not already have a last name but who went  by patronymics.

Not surprisingly, the name is most popular in Friesland, but also occurs frequently in Noord-Holland  and Groningen.

Variations include De Vriese, Devries and De Fries. After immigration, the name often changed to DeVries.

4. Van de Berg / van den Berg / van der Berg

(60,135 in 2007)

Map of the Netherlands

Van de/den/der Berg in 2007

These names all mean “From the Mountain”. The word Berg (mountain) is often used to describe locations, often higher grounds. So even though there are no mountains in the Netherlands, there are many topographical locations called Berg. People from these locations called themselves Van den Berg after their place of origin.

The name occurs most frequently in the provinces of Gelderland, Utrecht and Zuid-Holland.

Variations include Van den Berge and the latinized version Montanus. After immigration, the spaces were often dropped, turning the name to Vandenberg, VandenBerg or even just Berg. The Frisian form of Van den Berg is Bergsma.

5. Van Dijk

(57,879 in 2007)

Map of the Netherlands

Van Dijk in 2007

A dijk is a dike, so Van Dijk means “From the dike”. The name could also denote somebody from a town that ends with -dijk.

The name is common throughout the Netherlands, especially in the lower areas such as the provinces of Utrecht and Zuid-Holland.

A variant in the Netherlands is Van Dyk. This variant is also the most common version that people used after emigration. Another Americanized version is Van Dyke. The Frisian form of Van Dijk is Dijkstra (Dykstra in the US).

6. Bakker

(56,864 in 2007)

Map of the Netherlands

Bakker in 2007

Bakker is a baker, so he first person who took this name probably had this occupation.

The name is found predominantly in the northern and western provinces of Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe, Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland.

Variations include Backer, De Bakker, Bakkers, Bekker and Bekkers. Immigrants named Bakker to English-speaking countries often changed their name to Baker.

Other common surnames derived from occupations are Visser (fisherman, see nr. 8), Smit or Smits (blacksmith, see nr. 9), Mulder  (miller), Brouwer (brewer), Kuiper, Kuijpers or Kuipers (cooper), De Boer (the farmer), Schipper (scipper) Timmermans (carpenter) and Snijder (tailor).

7. Janssen

(55,394 in 2007)

Map of the Netherlands

Janssen in 2007

This is a variation of Jansen (see nr. 2), meaning son of Jan (John).

The variation with double -ss- is more common in Gelderland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg.

8. Visser

(50,929 in 2007)

Map of the Netherlands

Visser in 2007

Visser is a fisherman. Like Bakker (see nr. 6), Visser is a name derived from an occupation.

Not surprisingly, the name is found more in the coastal provinces of Friesland, Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland and less in the interior provinces.

Variations include Vissers, Visscher and Visschers. After emigration, many people named Visser called themselves Fisher.

9. Smit

(43,498 in 2007)

Map of the Netherlands

Smit in 2007

Smid (old spelling: Smit) is a blacksmith. Like Bakker (nr. 6) and Visser (nr. 8), this name is derived from an occupation.

The name Smit is originally mainly found in the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe, and later also in the densely populated provinces of Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland.

Variations include De Smit, De Smid, Smid, Smidt, Smith, Smits and Smitstra. Emigrants called Smit often called themselves Smith after emigration.

10. Meijer / Meyer

(41,497 in 2007)

Map of the Netherlands

Meijer (Meyer) in 2007

In some regions, a Meijer  or Meyer was the farmer who represented the landlord of feudal estates. The function evolved over time but often involved collecting the harvests, overseeing the farmers or advising the lord about customs.

This last name originated in the eastern part of the Netherlands, where feudal estates with serfs had meijers who oversaw them. This can still be seen on the distribution map: the name mainly occurs in Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel and Gelderland, plus the provinces in the west where many people migrated to since the medieval period.

Variations include Meijers, Meijerink,  Hofmeijer (hof = court, manor) and Nijmeijer (nij = new).  After immigration, people called Meijer often called themselves Meyer or Meyers.

Is your name not in the top ten of most popular names in the Netherlands?

You can see how popular your name is in the Family Names Database of the Meertens Institute.

If you want to know more about the origins of your family, you can hire a professional genealogist to do research for you.


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. anita maijer-schrot says

    and what about Maijer then, is it also a variation of Meijer/Meyer? thanks!

    • Maijer is the German form of Meijer.

      • anita maijer-schrot says

        maar onze Maijer familie is afkomstig van Oldeboorn, Friesland, ik heb trouwens ook de naamsannahme document van 1811…(Tresoar)..dus …???

        • Ik ken niet elke familie in Nederland natuurlijk. In het algemeen ken ik Maijer als Duitse naam maar wat de reden is geweest voor die Friese familie om die naam te kiezen weet ik niet. Was die naamsaanneming van 1811 de eerste vermelding van de naam?

          • anita maijer-schrot says

            ja, de eerste vermelding, ik heb hun stamboom vanaf 1600, ze waren dus allemal van Friesland, (Goyngarijp, Joure, Oldeboorn..) in die tijd vanaf 1600 tot rond 1820 waren het boeren met grondbezit , daarna waren ze winkelieren enz…. een Maijer is toch ook een beroep geweest, misschien is het darom…

      • Thank you I was so happy to come across this as my father was Black dutch and my maiden name is Smith . I Iearned much from this .

    • Sam Potelwa says

      Hi Mam I’d like to know if there is any variation of this interesting surname called Van Loggerenberg because it’s only found in South Africa 🇿🇦 but the stamvader originated from Rotterdam, Netherlands.

  2. You can find a full list of Dutch surnames here:

    I extracted the names of over 3 million Dutch Facebook accounts to create that statistic.

  3. LaVerna van Dan says

    What about van Dam (or van Damme)?

  4. Lane D Brooks says

    I have many Dutch ancestors who settled in new Amsterdam: Vandergrift (various spellings, same family), Sjoerts, Elswaert, Van Zandt, Hendricksen, Jansen and Pouwelsen. I am interested in identifying which towns/provinces they came from. They are all well documented in the Holland Society, DAR library, the New Netherland Institute and the USA Library of Congress. Dank u wel!
    Douglas Brooks

  5. Anthonia Jessamine says

    I would like to know how to record Dutch names i.e. van der Berg or de Jong into a family tree program.
    When do you use capitals?
    thank you.

    • Several people have asked me that. I will write an article about that next week. Stay tuned!

      • Lane Brooks says

        Dear Yvette, love your website! My Dutch
        ancestors settled in New Amaterdam (Van Der Grift, Elswaert, Sjoerts, Van Zandt and Luvbertszen) between 1639 and 1656. I am aware of the New Netherlands Project in NY State, have done research there, is there a Dutch West Indies Company archive that
        Can be accessed on-line? Dank U wel!
        Lane Brooks

      • Marion Murfiftt says

        i was born in Groningen,the Netherlands and have lived in the USA for over 60 years.I would like to know how many people have the surname Voornhout,since I’m sure they’re all related to me……thanks!!!

  6. I am looking for descendants of a man named Jan Claeszen who was born in Dordrecht in 1619 or thereabout. How should I start my search? Any help would be appreciated.

    • Claeszen is a patronymic, meaning you are looking for a Jan, son of Claes (Dutch version of Nicholas). Since both Jan and Claes were very common names, you will need to know more than just his name to make sure you have the right person. You can search some indexes of Delft sources at the Delft Archives website. But for the early 1600s, you will usually need court records or other records to prove parent-child relationships, which would require a visit to the Delft Archives. Please contact me if you are interested in a proposal for me to do that research for you.

  7. Christy Holland says

    My last name is Holland and my ancestors come from Lancanshire England , Dukes , etc .. Very interesting . Then I discovered further back than that , ancestors come from Friedsland , Holland .. I would so love to visit Holland one day and see the beautiful sites and learn more about geneology and speak to the professional genealogist there .. I live in the United States ..

    • Hi Christy,
      There are not many professional genealogists in the Netherlands. I am one of only a handful who do this fulltime. Dutch people are less interested in genealogy than Americans, and people who are interested can easily do the research themselves since they live close to the archives and speak the language. If you ever do come to the Netherlands, contact me and we can catch up!

    • Looking for information about my ancestors from and around Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands.I w as s born a Jones but I’m related to DeHarts from The Netherlands. I also have family with the names of Jones,DeHart,Foster,Stiles,

      • When searching for DeHart, make sure to leave of the “de” since that is a prefix and not part of the surname in the Netherlands. Also, remember that information about people born less than 100 years ago is not public and won’t be online.

  8. Have you also considered Flemish family names? There are a number of those with very weird (archaic/celtic?) spelling: Merckx, Hendrickx, Declerq.

    • My specialty is genealogy in the Netherlands, so this article only deals with those names. It would be interesting to do a similar article for Belgian names, thanks for the suggestion.

  9. Julie Campbell says

    My Grandfathers name was Everett Van Kuiken and my mom told me that a lot of Dutch people do not have middle names, is that true?
    If Van means place what does Kuiken mean?

    Thank you

    • Dutch people don’t have middle names, but they can have multiple first names. “Van” means “from,” usually followed by a place name. But Kuiken is not a place, that’s a family name in itself from Friesland. Could it be that Van was adopted as a middle name in the US? Tracing your immigrant ancestor back to the Netherlands should tell you what the original Dutch name was. A “kuiken” is a chick, but I don’t know if that’s the origin of the name.

  10. Leah Hendrik says

    My husband’s father was a man of few words. But he did tell my husband and his brothers that his surname, Hendrik, was from Dutch origins. Is this correct? Thank you or your time.

  11. Hi Yvette, My grandfather Nicolaas Booy come to the USA in1902 from Dubbeldam, Netherlands and settled in the small town of Pella, Iowa. What can you tell me about the name Booy? I’ve been told it was originally spelled Booji and meant messenger.

    • The Dutch spelling would be Booij, with a long y that is a special letter in the Dutch alphabet. I have not researched the name and do not know its meaning. Messenger would be “bode,” not booij, although that could be a derivative.

  12. This doesn’t have to do with last names but I came upon this list while searching for info about my Dutch husbands origins. Would you have any knowledge of different physical traits ie: skin color, hair color, eye color, in Dutch families and how they might relate to what region they originated from?

    • Hi Mel,
      I don’t know of any studies that link particular traits to areas. From my own observations, people tend to be taller in the north, but that’s about it. Zeeland had a lot of Huguenots settling there, so you may see more people with French features (short, dark hair, dark eyes) there than in the rest of the country. But I can’t look at a person and guess where they’re from with any amount of accuracy. Naming patterns, immigration patterns, studying friends, associates, and neighbors, are far more reliable ways to determine the place of origin.

  13. Sorry, i have a question.
    I was born in colombia but i know my grandparents were from the netherlands, i didnt know him because they died before i was born, where the last name Buskens come from? What it means?

    • I don’t know the meaning of Buskens. According to the Family names database it’s a patronymic, but I don’t know which first name it would go with. As you can see on that page, the name appears throughout the Netherlands. It could be Limburg in origin. You would have to research your grandparents’ tree to find out.

  14. David Romeijn says

    What about Romeijn?

  15. Hey have you ever come across the last name Bron?

  16. Paula VanSlyke says

    I am curious about my last name, VanSlyke. My husband’s grandfather came from Holland long ago and he really doesn’t know the origin onf it. How do we find this out?

    • There’s a place called Slijk in Gelderland. To determine whether that is where your family got their name, would require researching the male line back to the person who first adopted the name and to see if he came from Slijk.

  17. What about Zaalberg? is it of Dutch origin or elsewhere?

  18. My mother’s maiden name was Stehouwer. I haven’t found this name but once in the US in the last 67 years other than in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and all of them are related to me!
    Can someone please inform me of the details of this name? My great grand parents came from Friesland

  19. Wout Faes says

    Who has “Faes” like me?

  20. I think you .missed my maiden name. Soorsma

  21. Mauricio de Pool says

    Hello, my surname is De Pool. Any register of this name in the Netherlands?

  22. How many genuinely inherited people in Fries land have name FRIES and not changed to that in Napolionic times –my family came from Sweden near Uppsala and there is a river Fryslan so obviously of origin -We were in uk before Romans who called England Friesland -also found in Derbyshire uk a stone carved by Friesian roman centurian probably taken as a slave and forced to fight against his own people –its the Melandra stone says I valerius -a centurian of the 1st cohort frisiavones–see online —Ingrid Fries —

  23. Robert Greweling says


    My sur name is Greweling and my ancestors came from Morbach Germany to America in the late 1840s. But researching my last name, I understand it is originally from the Netherlands and spelled Greveling. I also understand it is not a very common name in both Dutch and German. Any thoughts?

    Dank U wel

  24. Have you heard the name Van De List

  25. Aisha Zeigler says

    Hello, my surname is Heeres. I was told that my dad was from blue blood. Neither of my parents are alive now and I’m so curious if this is 100% accurate or too far fetched. Both my parents were prisoners of war in the Dutch East Indies during WW2. My mothers father was Dutch military and his last name was Meijer. Any interesting facts would be appreciated.

  26. The sur BOX …Dutch?
    Sur name Oland….Sweden?

  27. I have ‘Holtz’ and ‘Schuwer’ but cannot find either meaning. Would happen to know ?

  28. I have family on census from Holland but it seems their name was misspelled as “Koaler”. Is there anything that sounds similar to that or is it pointless for me to continue looking

  29. Audrey Van Beurden says

    HELP!!! What is the meaning of the surname Van Beurden? Or just Beurden?
    Thank-you from Canada!

  30. Hi Yvette, what about the surname Wijnberg? It sounds quite Jewish? Is this a common name in the Netherlands?

  31. Denise Wolke says

    My maiden name was Van De List is there many in Holland with that last name.


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