Let’s say you’ve gone all the way back to the 1500s, 1600s or 1700s and can’t find the parents of your brick wall ancestor. Could it be that your ancestor was the first one to use the name?
Perhaps your Van Etten really was from Etten, and his parents only used a patronymic. Perhaps your Hoitink ancestor was born on another farm, and only called himself Hoitink after he married a Hoitink daughter and moved into her farm. Perhaps your Marijnissen ancestor was the son of Marijnis, whose patronymic was Peters.
Next time you’re really stuck, try asking yourself if this ancestor was the first to use that last name. Could his parents be hiding under a different name?