26 October 2010 by Published in: Surname Tags:, , , 4 comments

Is our name Dutch? The question has appeared many times in the email response box of our website GoDutch.com. A simple Yes or No would hardly satisfy the curiosity hidden below the surface of that question. Many of such inquiries should not be answered either with Yes or No because it may well obscure an extremely interesting story.

A surname, even if it is is a one-syllable noun is still, at least in my opinion, ‘archeological’ evidence of family roots even if no document can be found to verify it.

The ancestor likely did not pick his own surname. Others, neighbours, friends or detractors should shoulder that blame.

My interest in this subject stems from the many questions we have received over the years. The history of family can turn dry genealogical information into a very interesting history once the context of origin is researched.

In numerous cases, the surname can serve as the landmark in such an effort.


  1. Tue 26th Oct 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Great post! Do you know who picked our surname: Vanderheide?

  2. albert
    Tue 26th Oct 2010 at 11:19 pm

    My great-great-great-grandfather Jacob Alberts, who lived in Noorderdragten at #278, at or near the heather (heide) owned by his father-in-law.

  3. Jack
    Wed 27th Oct 2010 at 11:02 pm

    my great-great- great-grandfather came from the fishing village of Egersund, Norway – from my mother’s side of the family that is – last name LAND.

  4. Sun 12th Feb 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Browsing through various American internet sites last year, I discovered that our family has a large “branch” in the U.S.A., mostly located in Iowa.
    The Van Engelenburg family has its origin in the early 1600s in Veenendaal in the centre of the Netherlands.
    I would like to get in contact with one of our American descendants who can help me complete these data.
    In 2007 I published the 1st book on Van Engelenburgs from 1600-1900 and I am now working on the sequel from 1900 until recent time. You can see further information (also in English) at our website http://www.vanengelenburg.nl.


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