It’s a real boon for genealogists researching their Netherlands roots to have so much great information listed on websites such as www.genlias.nl and www.treasor.nl. These sites have digitized thousands of vital statistics on the people of the Netherlands.
Several naming customs have been helpful to know about in my experience researching my Netherlands roots as well.
Netherlanders did not have surnames until 1811. They instead used a patronymic naming system, using their father’s given name as a second name. A variation of this is found in Scandinavian countries such as Peder Anderson and Brigit Pedersdatter which in essence says ‘this is Peter, Ander’s son and Brigit, Peder’s daughter.’ In the Netherlands, particularly in the provinces of Friesland and Groningen, they only used the father’s given name, with the addition of an ‘s’ on the end, and usually did not indicate the sex of the child by using the son or daughter suffix. For example, on the baptism register listing my ancestor Harm Kiel, he is recorded as ‘Harm, son of Hindrik Harms and Geesjen Lammerts, born 18 February 1808.’ Knowing about the patronymics can be very helpful in researching a Dutch family. With this baptism record alone, I know the infant Harm’s paternal grandfather was also named Harm and his maternal grandfather was named Lammert.
|Harm Hendrik Kiel's baptism, 1808|