Quick tip – (Not) Naming Children After Parents

Traditionally, many Dutch children were named after family members: grandparents, deceased siblings, deceased spouses of their parents, or aunts and uncles. Though some children were named after their parents, this is rather rare.

One instance where it is common for a child to be named after their parent is when the parent had died. For example, if a father died when the mother was pregnant, a son would often be given the father’s name, and a girl might receive a variation of the father’s name (think Hendrik > Hendrika). If the mother died in childbirth, her daughter might be given her name, and a son may be given a variation of her name. This is no rule, and there are many exceptions, but it is something to watch out for.

For more information about naming patterns, read 8 Dutch naming patterns to watch out for.

Mother with baby and child

Mother shortly after giving birth. Unknown photographer, circa 1885. Credits: Rijksmuseum


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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