Medieval Naming Guides: The Low Countries

Names from the Low Countries

Early Medieval (before 1150, including Old Dutch, Old Frisian)

10th Century Frisian Masculine Names, by Talan Gwynek
A list of about 130 names, with some comments on naming customs of this culture.

Names in the Low Lands before 1150, by Kees Nieuwenhuijsen (updated Jan 2005)
A large collection of men's and women's names taken from a number of fine sources. The latest update added quite a bit of new data to an already excellent study. For each name, the author indicates the centuries and regions in which he found it, how many instances he found, variant spellings, and which sources he consulted. He includes an article on customs in using and construction Dutch names and some useful discussion of how spellings changed over time in the section Variations through the centuries and between regions. The discussion of bynames breaks down the usage of bynames by century, social class, and gender; and shows what kinds of bynames were used by men and women in each class. His sources are rather varied, and some are not entirely reliable as sources of spellings used in Dutch; but his notes make it easy to identify the source of a particular name.

Late Medieval (1150-1500)

Given names in the Low Lands 1250-1300, by Kees Nieuwenhuijsen
A survey of names from six towns in the Netherlands, with lists of masculine and feminine given names, with etymologies, broken down by Germanic and non-Germanic names. Also includes an analysis of bynames.

Female first names in the annual accounts of Deventer 1337-1393, by Bertus Brokamp
A list of feminine names with Latin and medieval Dutch forms.

Male first names in the annual accounts of Deventer 1337-1393, by Bertus Brokamp
A list of masculine names with Latin and medieval Dutch forms.

Dutch Names 1358-61, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
A collection of feminine and masculine given names from a collection of Dutch trade documents.

Dutch Names 1393-96, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
A collection of feminine and masculine given names from a later collection of Dutch trade documents.

Vlaamse Vrouwennamen (Dutch Women's Names), by Guntram von Wolkenstein
Lists of the most popular names at several times and places in medieval Flanders, mostly 14th-15th century. These tables were copied from O. Leys and J. van der Schaar, Vlaamse Vrouwennamen en Hollandse Naamgeving in de Middeleeuwen, appendix III. The spellings have probably been normalized, i.e. variants are counted together under a single standard spelling. This article may be found at the SCA Laurel website; it is also posted by the SCA Shire of Adamastor.

Names from Leyden, 1463-1464, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael.
The names of about 200 men from 15th century Leiden, primarily skileld workers. There was one woman mentioned.

Names from Antwerp, 1443-1561, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael and Kymma Godric.
Names from state records from Antwerp. Many of the people recorded in these documents are not Dutch, but are from France, Lombardy, Venice, or Germany.

15th Century Dutch Names, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Lists of given names and surnames from a collection of Dutch trade documents.

Names from Bruges, 1400-1600, by Loveday Toddekyn
This collection of names was compiled from records of guild members. The names are mostly masculine, but a few are feminine. The names show a mixture of French and Dutch influence.

Renaissance (post-1500)

Names from Bruges, 1400-1600, by Loveday Toddekyn
This collection of names was compiled from records of guild members. The names are mostly masculine, but a few are feminine. The names show a mixture of French and Dutch influence.

Dutch Given Names from 1573, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael.
A collection of given names from late 16th C tax records.

Names from Dutch Records Between 1584-1585, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael.
Names from a collection of late 16th C Dutch letters; in these letters some French, Spanish, and English people are mentioned.

Records of the Reformed Dutch Church in New York, Marriages
These names were recorded starting in 1639, slightly after our period, but the earlier samples are a useful guide to late-period Dutch naming practices. Note that the 17th century was a time of change in patterns of naming, especially in the Americas, so the bapitism records and the later marriage records have to be used with caution. In particular, some of the surnames are based on English or American placenames (e.g. van Bristol) and should be avoided for a native Dutch name. Note that Olive Tree fills the top of its pages with advertisements; the real data is below.

Passenger Lists of Some Early 17th Dutch Ships to America
See the previous entry for some cautions. This data starts in 1628. Note that Olive Tree fills the top of its pages with advertisements; the real data is below.

General Information

Bibliography of Netherlandic Onamastics, by Walraven van Nijmege


The Medieval Names Archive is published by the Academy of Saint Gabriel and Sara L. Uckelman. It was historically published by Joshua Mittleman.
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