Quick tip: surnames database

Spread of the name Hoitink in 2007

Spread of the name Hoitink in 2007

The Meertens Instituut (Institute) has a database of surnames in the Netherlands where you can search for a name to get a map that shows where people by that name lived in 1947 and 2007. This can be a great way to find out where in the Netherlands your ancestors may have come from, as many names are specific to a certain area.

The example shows that the Hoitink name was most common in the eastern part of the Netherlands. This matches my genealogical research, that proved that the family originated from Winterswijk on the Dutch-German border.

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.


  1. Charlie Murphy says

    I’m struggling to learn whether my ancestors named Hyatt (in St George’s Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware, USA circa 1750 forward–) may have originated in the Netherlands. By chance has any one ever noted such surname in early Dutch records? My research indicates my Hyatt people lived in Delaware near many confirmed Netherland folks, So, I’m very curious as to whether they were truly Dutch, and if so, what part of the Netherlands they may have come from circa 1700 onward. Appreciate any suggestions for discovering the truth of their origination. Charlie Murphy

    • I have never come across the name Hyatt in Dutch records, it sounds rather English to me.

      • Charlie Murphy says

        Yvette…..Thanks very much for your helpful observation; based on that I’ll attempt to look further in the UK for a Hyatt or two in early records there. Charlie Murphy in the Pacific Northwest of the US, Olympia, Washington State.

  2. Mary Helmer says

    My great-aunt left a note stating that our ancestors with the surname Lines were of Dutch origin. She said the name had gone through a few changes: from Lynes or Lyons to Lines, but originally had been Van L……… (unknown) in the Netherlands. Do you know a name that Lines may have come from? Thanks!

  3. Yanitza Viera says

    Hello, I write from Venezuela, south america. My grandfather had the surname Thoyssen, I have been looking for the surname, my aunt said that it was for Irish, but I could not find anything.
    My grandfather: Ramon Thoyssen
    My great grandfather Eduardo Thoyssen and his father Juan Thoyssen. They lived in Caracas, Venezuela

    • Guillermo Bonacia says

      hola, yo soy descendiente directo de Eduardo Thoyssen, soy nieto de Carlos Bonacía Thoysen, para mas información te puedes comunicar conmigo al +584125486428.

  4. Todd Heideman says

    Thanks for the website. Very interesting. One thing I noticed it appears some of my Ancestors are listed at Heideman and other are Heijdeman (y). The site is saying its an old variation does that mean Heijdeman is being dropped in favor of Heideman? I seen this with other names too where one record it has i and others its ij.

  5. trevor plaatjies says

    good day, i was appraoched by a Dutch man who now lives in south africa, and he said to me that me surname, Plaatjies is relatively common in The Netherlands, is this true. Could you confirm this please. He further mentioned that the surname De Wee was also common.

    Trevor Plaatjies
    Pretoria, South Africa

  6. Brandon Badenhorst says

    Hello Yvette, I am Brandon from South Africa. Ive always wanted to know where my last name comes from, knowing South Africas history I have just assumed it may be Dutch but I would also like your expertise on this.

    Brandon Badenhorst

  7. Cedric Reeters says

    I’ve been looking for the origins of my last name. I found one clue on the States that pointed back to Amsterdam. The last name is Reeters. I can’t find any current records of anyone with that name in the Netherlands .

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