Dutch Naming Tendencies

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels:

My husband, Kirk, is of Dutch ancestry.  Some of the following naming practices were generally followed by the Dutch.  It sometimes varied by the location and time period.

v  When a child died, the next child born of the same gender was often given the name of the deceased child.  Neeltje van den Bos Luyendyk, Kirk's great grandmother,  was the third Neeltje in her family. 

v  If the father died before a son was born, the child was given the name of the father.

v  If the wife died and the husband remarried, his first daughter was given the name of the deceased wife.

v  The child’s middle name was often the first name of the father.  Thus, Jacob Christiaan Luijendijk would mean that Jacob’s father was Christiaan Luijendijk.  A girl name Neeltje Christiaane Luijendijk would be the daughter of Christiaan Luijendijk.  We didn't know this when we named our son, Travis Kirk.  We just got lucky!

v  Before 1811 it was not required to have a last name.  Most people did, however.  Often the last name was the name of the father.  An “s” or “sz” or “e” or “dr” was usually added in the child’s name.  Thus, Baartje Claesdr would be the daughter of a man named Claes.

v  If you see a name ending in “a” or “je”, it is probably a female.  A male name would be “Klaas”.  The female name would be “Klaasje”.  Most male names ended in a consonant, not a vowel.
v  Children were often given names of close relatives.  The first children were often named as follows:

o   1st son was often named after his father’s father.
o   2nd son was often named after his mother’s father.
o   1st daughter was often name after mother’s mother.
o   2nd daughter was often named after her father’s mother.

v  English speaking persons should not be confused by the use of the letters “ij” which are often used in Dutch names.  It is pronounced like you pronounce a “y”.  If you write a cursive “ij” and leave off the two dots above the i and the j, it looks like a “y”.

The Luyendyk/Luijendijk family followed Dutch naming patterns for the men in the family from early 1500's into the 1800's.


Celia said...

Thanks for posting this information, Brenda. Very helpful. Similar name patterning to the Scots as well. I have a few New Amsterdam settlers, and these details are great!

Unknown said...

Interesting historical perspective.

a3Genealogy, Kathleen Brandt said...

I absolutely love naming convention posts. I have actually broken brick walls by keeping them as a guideline to distinguish families. Thanks for the reminder.

Judy Webster said...

A friend of mine had a breakthrough with her family history research thanks to Yvette's Dutch Genealogy site. Yvette works for the Nationaal Archief, the National Archives of the Netherlands. Her Web site includes articles about the English equivalents of Dutch surnames and given names.

Brenda Leyndyke said...

Celia, I have used naming patterns in my Scottish ancestry too. I find them interesting.

Unknown, thanks,

Kathleen, thank you. There is nothing better than breaking down brick walls.

Judy, I have Yvette's saved to my favorites for Dutch research. Thanks for sharing.

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