Is the Dutch Naming Convention WikiTree Policy?

+12 votes

I'm doing some work on my Terwilliger ancestors.  The person profiled as Solomon Terwilliger was given the name Zalomon Van Der Willigen at birth, and his Dutch ancestors on both sides of the Atlantic had similar Dutch names.  I was uncomfortable seeing the Terwilliger name carried back several generations where I know it wasn't used, and came across the Dutch_Roots Naming Convention, 


which would tell me the older LNABs should be Van der Willigen. Since convention is quite emphatically different from the EuroAristo convention, I thought it would be worth checking to make sure this is the consensus!

WikiTree profile: Solomon Terwilliger
in Policy and Style by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (345k points)
edited by Jack Day

Yes Jack, use the appropriate specific project's convention. So for Dutch roots ancestors, follow Bea's example, LNAB van der Willigen .

Be aware that the Euroaristo single word convention was merely adopted for covenience of simplicity in that project because of the confusing multiple ways that medieval Aristocrats would be named, as "of" a particular royal House, from a time when surnames did not exist as we know them.

But such an artificial designation is in no way appropriate for Dutch ancestors and the like, who were never arsitocrats, and certainly far removed from medieval. So use their real Dutch names, as they would have used them in their lifetimes.

I learned something today -- that "Terwilliger" apparently derives from van der Willigen!

Now I wonder Terpenning (the name of some of my New Netherland ancestors) has a similar origin.

I see, however, that the Kingston RDC baptismal record for this man doesn't hint at the name van der Willigen or Terwilliger. He's listed (#1190) as Salomon. Father's name is the patronymic: Jan Evertsen. (Mother is Sydje van Etten.) It appears to me that they weren't yet using a family name when he was baptized in 1700.

If you need sources for your Dutch ancestors , just ask in a G2G for some help of our project members Jack (or anyone else that could use some help sourcing their Dutch ancestors of course)  , tag dutch_roots and if you're lucky you will have them all sourced and with correct names in no time :)
Thanks, Ellen, for the link to this resource.  I had imported into my personal records a Gedcom back in 2007 which gave the baptismal record number but no indication of the source or where it might be found. Your link closes the loop on this!  

The baptismal resource also emphasizes the importance of not rushing to change LNABs -- we can be pretty sure that Solomon's LNAB was NOT Terwilliger, but we now have a question as to what it actually was.  So my strategy is always to gather as much sourced information as I can in the narrative before making changes in the data field, especially the LNAB!

I would add one thought on using baptismal records for LNAB -- one stream of thinking at baptism was that at baptism one was made a Christian ("christened") and was given a Christian name, like James or Mary.  Family names answering, "what kind of James or Mary?....oh, James the Smith's son or Mary of the Kent family"  would not be used in the baptism -- and thus possibly not in the baptism record.  So in this case, his "given" name was Salomon, but we don't know (from this record) what his actual "LNAB" would be.  Since his father was Jan Evertsen, one might reasonably speculate that he could have been called "Salomon Janssen"!
Glad to have been able to "turn you on" to the Kingston RDC records book compiled by Roswell Randall Hoes, Jack.

As for the business of "christening" vs. "baptism", comments I've seen on G2G lead me to understand that this is something that differs between denominations and cultures. For what it's worth, all of the Reformed Dutch Church records that I've seen call it baptism (and in Dutch it's a "doop" -- a word that I enjoy, as my literal mind translates it as "dip", which clearly connotes baptism).

The question of whether a person's LNAB should be a patronym or a family name is one that has gotten a lot of attention in New Netherland G2G discussions. Some Dutch settler families in New Netherland seem to have used family names from the time of immigration (for example, in Salomon's record the mother is called by the family name Van Etten), but many families didn't convert from patronyms to family names until around 1700 or in the subsequent decades. From a superficial perusal of the index of the Hoes book, I get the impression that Jan Evertsen was recorded with the patronymic for all of his children's baptisms, but his children started using the name Terwilliger (or variations thereof) around 1720.
Shouldn't Solomon have the Community category and follow the NNS naming conventions since he came to America?
Michelle, The answer is yes on NNS naming conventions.  At this point, I think we're pretty sure what is true LNAB isn't, but we're not quite convinced yet what it is.  My own style is to focus on the research and make changes in the data field, and especially LNAB, only when I'm convinced the necessary research has been done.  BTW, what is the "Community" category?

Indeed proper sources should always be what the LNAB is based on ,and if there are Birth records mentioning parents with only the patronymic, the patronymic very likely should be the LNAB and versions they used when they got married or had children baptized, those are the last names we add to the current last name field or if these are all different versions , to the other last name field. 

This ''rule'' is the same for the NNS and the Dutch and I guess all over the world convention ;) ( so first research and proper sources are needed)

Thanks Bea, yes, NNS and Dutch Roots Naming Conventions are pretty much identical, and the general rule is to prefer the use of a good patronym in LNAB, or failing that, a toponymic with a small case van prefix, and which is not concatenated, especially on the generation of immigrants and early descendants (so for example, we prefer van Something, not Van Something or VanSomething, the latter two being Americanisms).

Jack, Community is the category [[New Netherland Community 1674-1800]]. If the profile has a PPP and is a descendant of an NNS Settler, then it will also properly have the category NNS. But NNS category is not required for Community category. Too many profiles, and too little time for all that.

The Community category simply means that the person was resident in and integrally part of the Dutch New Netherland Community in the period after the October 1674 final capitulation to the English conquerors.

There are tens or potentially hundreds of thousands of these Community profiles, so they are not all categorized. Yet.

1 Answer

+6 votes
Best answer

Hi Jack, 

Yes it's ok to use their convention instead of ours now :) You can find all info about the Dutch Naming convention there as well , if his LNAB was Van der Willigen in Holland this was written as  LNAB van der Willigen 

So no capitals used for the : van , de , van der , op, aan etc words used in any Last name

by Bea Wijma G2G6 Pilot (277k points)
edited by Bea Wijma

Here's a previous G2G where this was the answer as well ;) 

So no capitals used for the : van , de , van der , op, aan etc words used in any Last name

Bea  It needs to made clear that there are some differences. 

The naming conventions state 

The words "van" and "van den", "van der", etc. are descriptors of origin, meaning "from," or "from the." Even in modern English it does not make sense to capitalize such words, if describing a person, as in "John from the Bronx." So for the old Netherlands, old Dutch preposition parts of the LNAB should always be lower case. The place name remains upper case, as in a town name. And always use discretion when assessing the prepositional LNAB of a later or modern Dutch person's name. Exceptions are some descendant Americans, who commonly capitalize. But not always.

Here are the green lined NNS profiles. All using Van instead of van.


But many of these old profiles are from before we had the Dutch Roots Project and maybe even from before we had the NNS project, so before a more specific naming convention other than the Wikitree style and guidelines were used. And many of these people didn't use last names in the NNS either, but they were added for some unknown reason or because some people just added the place mentioned at some records where people came from as their LNAB. 

So for a lot of these profiles (from this list) the LNAB still needs to be corrected when and if there are sources found in the Dutch or other archives that prove and make very clear their LNAB were either just the patronymics or maybe the same last name but without the capitals.

The versions as found in the archives should be the proper LNAB and the NNS version they used later (if there are sources that prove they used this for last name) are the ones that should be added to the current last name field. Many profiles as you know don't have any sources or just the ones , but the info from these sources is only visible if you're a member of 

So I assumed that's what we all are working on now , so on trying to get the people from this list sourced and their names corrected as well ? Of course this takes some time,  proper sources need to be found for most of them, so correcting the LNAB for all people from this list takes a while I guess ...Here's just one example from this list ,Willem Van der Schuuren  his LNAB now is based on the name he used after arriving in the NNS, but his actual LNAB in fact is still Unknown because there is no Birth record found or added for him yet   


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