Explained here: Names and Name Fields for Dutch Profiles !!

+17 votes

I would like to draw attention to a new and clear explanation, with practical examples, how to properly add names in Name fields of profiles of Dutch born ancestors. Through this link you can read it on one of our Dutch Roots Project pages.
Names and Name Fields for Dutch Profiles 

in Requests for Project Volunteers by Joop van Belzen G2G6 Pilot (121k points)
edited by Bea Wijma

1 Answer

+9 votes
Best answer
Thank you Joop you're the greatest ! :)

Joop has been working on a very helpful explaining for all members working on Dutch ancestors /profiles !

It answers, at least we hope it does,  all questions for many members:

* Where do we add patronymics ??

* No Middle names ??

* LNAB ??

* What if ...there is a last name and a patronymic ??

Just take a look and if you still have questions or think something still is missing just let us know !
by Bea Wijma G2G6 Pilot (281k points)
selected by Philip van der Walt

Exellent explanation.

I do not agree though that middle names are not used in the Netherlands. From a certain period they did appear. That one drop advertisement I see on TV - Johannes Lodewicus .... something from Leeuwarden is one example. My middle (second) name is Johan, even though it is Afrikaans. I'm sure that there are loads of Dutch (post-1812) examples of the same.

Putting the full-name (meaning if there are more than one name) in the first name box just makes searching on first names a lot more difficult.


These are the rules that were agreed in the Dutch naming convention by Wiki Tree Leaders involved. When leaders change these rules, I will adjust the explanation.

The concept of "middle name" is ridiculous anyway. If I were to be named Johannes Anton Nico Terink, how do you define middle name? Anton Nico? Nico?

Put another way: what is the formal definition of "middle name" and why should Europeans adhere to this apparently anglo saxon concept?

Also searching is not made harder. My name actually is recorded here with PFN Gerrit Jan. Searching Gerrit, searching Jan, searching Gerrit Jan all return my profile. So what's the problem?

Well it's not that complicated, we just really don't have, know or use a middle name, we did not in the past and we do not now .. but I really understand it is not always easy to understand this, there even are lawsuits about the subject ! I think this is a great example to show how confusing and complicated it can be. 

So to not make it more difficult and keep things easy, it's just a fact we didn't and still don't know, have or use(d) middle names in our naming convention, so for all Dutch profiles checking the no middle name box is most correct. 

See Dutch name and I think many of our members know Yvette Hoitink a well respected Dutch genealogist ? Well she explains it here as well Quick Tip No middle names  ;)

Is it possibly a cultural misunderstanding (and appropration of) to what the terms Full Name and Second Name means?

I mean to me it is clear - the famous Dutch Duck Alfred Joducus Kwak has as "first name" Alfred (in seems that in the US with exception of the LNAB all the names go in the field "full name") and "middle name" (second name) Jodocus and as LNAB Kwak.

Geciteer (maar 1 bron van internet): 19 apr. 2015 - Het kiezen van een middelste naam voor je baby oftewel 'tweede naam voor je baby' kan soms nog lastiger zijn dan een roepnaam.

Our forefathers in South Africa have been applying the use of multiple names ever since the patronymic days, especially rife in the ninetheenth century. See the profile (and the profiles of his surrounding family) of Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (1825 - 1904).

It seems to me that simple denial cannot change the facts. Is it that the proverbial UnDutchability of the Dutch is at play here ... :-)?


The name of my dentist is:  Leonardus Johannes Adriaan Maria Wevers.

Roepnaam: (preferred name) Mattie

Can you tell me his Middlename?

After an extensive consultation on this subject they has reached an agreement. On Dutch profiles for persons born in the Netherlands,  dont use the Namefield Middlename. Why now again questioning? Should anyone have complied with the rules of the Dutch Naming Convention then customize their profiles?

I'm only asking because

a) We are not all Dutch (no middle name[s])

b) We are not all from the US (full name[s] in the first name field)

c) It is confusing to us South Africans who do have second, third and fourth (middle) names

and it seems that we might have been doing it al wrong either way with hundreds of thousands of profiles already ... once again in edit mode see: Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (1825 - 1904)

I just had to edit the names into the fields as we alway do with thousands of South African profiles (somehow "Uncle Paul" mysteriously ended up with his full name in the first name field). You see no difference. It is only when one searches in combination with multiple names [all in the first name field] and a lnab that one gets hits one all the names independent of their position in the socalled "Full name field". It might be thousands of names and only the first 100 will show in this combination of search - one major cause of duplicates.

Another issue is that besides (after the patronymic period) there were also variant spelling variants of the different middle names. We solve that by - depending on the specific profile - putting it in the "nickname field" or "preferred name field".

Sorry there's a misunderstanding here, the rule (no use of the  middle name field) is only for profiles of persons born  in the Netherlands.

Mister Kruger is born in South Africa so you can use your own rules.


It still suggests some semantic clarification. At least two new Dutch Roots Project members are South African. Besided, this is an US-born "forum" as some call it. Therefore it would perhaps be a good idea to tend to clarify "culturally" what is meant by each field as is defined by WikiTree.
In context.

Well I don't think it's a misunderstanding, it's just how it is in the Netherlands, so these are the facts, for Dutch people that is... no middle name was known and it still isn't, (see the lawsuit where you will find a whole explanation about it ;) ) so for the Dutch Profiles the names added as Joop explains is the most accurate . 

Of course these are only guidelines and we totally understand it can be confusing, but ... so is a middle name for people from Countries that don't know or use middle names ? 

I mean what is a middle name exactly, is it the same as our first names, but than added to the middle name field ? So the name(s) that come(s) in the middle (so between the call or preferred name and the last name ?) Looking at the Kruger profile I think that's how it is ? But .. if I read how the middle name for the Philippine woman is explained in the lawsuit (the meaning of it) I think it is a totally different use /meaning as how the middle name is used in the United States or South Africa and other Countries ?  

It says :in the Philippines between the first name and the surname of the father often the mother's surname served as a middle name . The middle name has the function to distinguish people with the same first and last name of each other and as such a sui generis feature. hence the middle name has its origin or the genus name of the mother, but does not have the function of a last name.

If someone for example from America emigrates to the Netherlands, if he/she has a middle name, in the Dutch Civil registrations his middle name either is not kept at all or..it is added to the first names if he or she wants to keep the middle name. And so was the middle name of the Philippine woman (lawsuit), her middle name was actually the family name of mother, so she disagreed her middle name (mother's Family name) now was added to her first names and she disagreed and now filed a request for it to be added to the last name field.. but...this request was not granted, because of the Dutch naming laws, in the Netherlands as family name only the surname of the father is mentioned in a Dutch birth certificate and passport (of course if there is no known father the family name of mother is used)

The naming convention for every Country of course is different, and apparently so is the use and meaning of the middle name(s). So this explanation of the naming fields is only accurate and how it is according the Dutch naming convention/laws. 

So it's not to make it more confusing, but to prevent confusion and make things absolutely clear for all members from all Countries, we now have added this explanation for the use of naming fields for Dutch profiles. ;) We before this only had the Glossary Netherlands where it all was explained in very short, but Joop has done a great job and has added some examples as well , we of course get many questions about this so I think it's wonderful to have it explained very well somewhere eeh :) 

And If people emigrated to or were born for example in South Africa and/or became South African citizens later in life than of course using the South African naming conventions is correct as well, so Stephanus Johannes Paulus (Paul) "Oom Paul" Kruger is perfectly fine, a great profile by the way :) 

And no need to correct things right away of course, it's just to prevent confusion and to explain and make clear why many (Dutch) profiles have all these names added to the first name field, sometimes people are moving them to the middle name field not knowing and understanding why on earth someone adds them all to the first name field ...I assume there are thousands of Dutch Profiles that still have the names added to the middle name field, maybe if they are imported all names maybe are or were, automatically added to the middle name field ? 

And @ All, if it's easier or more pleasant we all of course can talk Dutch as well, sometimes it's easier especially if we try to explain complicated stuff and terms we don't use  every day eeh :) 

Still trying to figure out what Undutchability means ...please could someone explain...in Dutch ??   Must be a dumb and blond question but well :P 

You make me smile Bea ... :-) Your answer / comment just confirms how much context (political / historical / cuitural / sociological [etc.]) defines perception and understanding ... I am so happy to have you as leader of two of the projects that I am member of ... in answer ... I had to forgo (unlearn so as to speak) my Afrikaans heritage and learn the Dutch "context" to understand how outsiders experience the "Dutchness" of Dutch folks. Perhaps it can only be understood from the outside, but honestly - I do not know the answer. I know though that I love this Dutch culure and I love living among Dutch people in Holland. The Dutch rock!

Thank you @ Jan and @ Joop  now that's a name eeh ..for a dentist :)  

* And if I understand the use of the middle names correct than it would probably be :

1. First name: Leonardus 

2. Middle names : Johannes Adriaan Maria

3. Preferred name: Mattie

4. Last name: Wever 

* But he is born in the Netherlands, so :

1. First names: Leonardus Johannes Adriaan Maria

2. Preferred name: Mattie 

3. Last name: Wever 

So it is not very complicated , in fact the only difference between both ways here, is just one name field, so all first names (first, second, third and fourth) go in the first name field, might even be easier, than figuring out what was the middle name ?

And @ Philip thank you so much, I am very happy to be a part of both Projects, and not only these but all projects I'm member of of course, it's great to work and collaborate with so many wonderful people from all over the world to reach our one shared goal, make Wiki Tree as accurate and 'healthy'  as possible and the projects I think are a great way to make it happen. 

All response of course is really appreciated, it's always great and very important I think to discuss things here in G2G . Input from fellow (team/Wiki Tree/project) members is really needed to be able to see things from more than one point of view. 

And think I understand it a little now, you mentioned you had to ''unlearn'' your South African heritage, so I think the more you are settled and ''Dutch(ified)'' the more Undutchable you are ? At least something like that is mentioned here the undutchable as well by someone who moved to the Netherlands. Think we all just have to read the book , love a good laugh :)

Dank Bea :-) Wat ik bedoel te zeggen misschien moet men zich buiten de eigen cultuur verliezen en buiten komen te staan om het goed te kunnen zien en in alle opzichten te begrijpen (het gezegde gaat toch dat wanneer men los laat dat men zal vinden ... zo was het met mij en mijn eigen Afrikaanse cultuur ...) - dat boek is verplicht kost voor alle expats in Nederland ... Het is niet lachen om de Nederlanders, het is lachen wanneer men het eigenheid van Nederland begrijpt in het licht van alledaagse zaken waar de Nederlanders niet zo opgelet over zijn ...

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