Naming Conventions

According to Dutch law, each citizen has one or multiple first names, along with a family name.

Family names with “van” refer to toponyms – i.e. “Van Buren” (“of Buren”)

Names ending in -sen are patronymics i.e. “Jansen” (“son of Jans”)


The Netherlands did not take census every 10 years. Instead, from 1850 on, every municipality was required to use population registers. Population registers were an ongoing registration of every person who lived in the municipality.

In the beginning of the 20th century, municipalities began using one card per family. Shortly before WWII, municipalities switched to one card per person.

Useful Websites
Translate »