If surnames are to serve as the archeology of genealogy than no one should be satisfied with a superficial explanation of the meaning of the name.

The author of one of my reference books on the subject, for example, laments in the book the fact that someone laid the connection between the surname Van Grieken with Griekenland (Dutch for Greece). It may add an exotic feeling to one’s origin but it certainly does not do justice to the subject.

Grieken is actually the name of a hamlet that now belongs to the western Dutch town of Rijnsburg. A hub of Dutch floral culture today, Rijnsburg has a history going back over a thousand years!

The hamlet of Grieken could be as old as well but was simply ‘overgrown’ by its neighbour.

Anyone with the surname Van Grieken wanting to know where the earliest Van Griekens are from, may want to focus their roots exploration on that Rijnsburg vicinity connection.

Any research on surnames starting with a “Van” should start with focussing on place names, including hamlets, villages, towns in the Netherlands, Belgium but also Germany, and, to a lesser degree, beyond. I hope to get back to the “Van” Something subject with more research suggestions.


  1. albert
    Mon 29th Nov 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Greetings. I’ll pass the remark onto our GoDutch.com webmaster who also assists with this blog. Thanks for visiting. Albert

  2. Wed 08th Dec 2010 at 10:55 am

    Thanks for the post, keep posting stuff

  3. Tue 14th Dec 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Your website is great! This post really caught my eye when I was searching around. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Fri 17th Dec 2010 at 9:31 am

    Well … all I can say is, wow. This is an impressive collection of resources, thank you for taking the time to put everything together.

  5. Lianne Huizinga
    Wed 22nd Dec 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Thanks for creating this. I really feel as though I know so much more about the topic than I did before. You should continue this, Im sure most people would agree you’ve got a gift.

  6. Wed 05th Aug 2015 at 10:21 am

    Thanks for the information Albert.
    I was given the information that there were van Grieken knights in the 14th century Holland.
    Given that date how would we call the Duchy? Was it Brabant?
    Are there any historical sources on these van Grieken and/or village?

    • albert  –  Tue 01st Sep 2015 at 5:33 pm

      It is not wise to comment on things others say they heard if one was not there in the room at the time. Always ask for documentation so verification can take place on the basis of that research.


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