Not sure where the surname Dietrechsen originates, any ideas?

+2 votes
I know that my Grandfather was born in 1916 in Heidelberg Transvaal in South Africa. I am not sure about the history before 1916 and where the surname originated.

I am looking to engage with anyone that might be able to shed some light on this please.
WikiTree profile: Joel Dietrechsen
in Genealogy Help by Joel Dietrechsen G2G Rookie (190 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote

Surnames can be hard to track down, and without a family tree on your profile to work with, it would be anyone's guess on where your surname originates.

With that said, I would make a wild guess that Dietrechsen may be similar to Diederik or Dederick, which have Dutch origins. This guess is based on the long history of Dutch settlement in South Africa, such as Afrikaners from the Dutch East India Company.

by Steven Harris G2G6 Pilot (775k points)
0 votes
The -sen suffix to the last name could indicate that he was of Danish or Scandinavian origin.  The Dietrech part is a variant of a rather common German name, Dietrich, posssibly spelled with an e as a Danish spelling.  You might look to Denmark, northern Germany, or Sweden for his origins.
by Dan Sparkman G2G6 Mach 2 (26.5k points)
Probably not Scandinavia, unless you include Schleswig-Holstein. The Scandinavian form of the name is usually spelled Didrik or Did(e)rich. I'd guess on North Germany.
I think Schleswig-Holstein is a very good guess.  Over the centuries it has been schuttled back and forth between Danish and "German" ownership, the last change was in 1864.  Danish is still an officially recognized minority language in Germany for this reason.

      Stadardized spellings of anything weren't "standard" before the early 19th century, and this must be taken into account with names.

     Someone else has suggested the Netherlands, and this also would be a sound suggestion.  The spelling could come out of the Friesian area and language,  but this is just conjecture on my part.

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