First and last names can come from so many places and can be influenced by so many various cultures. Especially in countries that have been heavily influenced by other cultures. In case you did not happen to know, the Netherlands and the United States share a long and extensive history with one another. This makes me as a Dutch person wonder, which “Dutch names in the USA” are being used?
Many individuals throughout America have Dutch names or at least names that were influenced by the Dutch culture. Several prominent political figures in America have shared their ancestry with the Dutch, and you will find high populations of Dutch Americans in towns throughout the United States.
In today’s article, we are going to take the time to discuss and learn about everything there is to know about Dutch names existing in the United States, and how they came to be.
Names are one of the best ways to get an indication of where someone might be from or a way to be able to trace way back in their ancestry.
Names are like looking at history in a way, or like learning about a true story that has happened over time and has landed you in the present moment.
Now, you may be wondering, are there a lot of Dutch names around in the United States?
The answer to this question is yes, Dutch names can be found in more places than you probably expect.
There are probably more names that can be traced back to the Netherlands than you are even aware of. It would not be completely unlikely that someone in America could have Dutch roots and not even know! The influence the Netherlands has had on the United States is massive.
When it is said that there are a lot of Dutch names throughout the United States, what exactly is even meant by that?
There are all sorts of various types of names throughout America.
There are first names of people, last names, towns throughout the country, famous political figures and actors, and just words in the everyday language that have made their way into America from the spoken language of the Netherlands.
It has been said that there are over 4.5 million Americans alone that claim to have partial or total relation to the Dutch heritage. That is a lot of Dutch Americans!
Why exactly are there so many Dutch names throughout the United States?
It seems to be that there is such a high quantity of Dutch names throughout the United States because of the sheer number of Dutch natives that migrated to America since 1600. The Dutch have thrived in the United States and have kept deep roots there.
An interesting fact that many people may not even know is that the name Santa Claus did not exist in the everyday household before the Dutch made their way to America!
The Netherlands has its version, which they call “Sinterklaas”. The Santa Claus that America knows and loves started gaining immense commercial popularity starting in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
It is phenomenal that one of the most widespread traditions in the United States even originated from the Netherlands.
Some Dutch first names are more common than others in the United States.
A lot of Dutch American names have been altered slightly to the more typical “American” spelling, but there is still a fair number of Dutch names that have stayed the exact same in America.
Some of the most popular Dutch American first names:
These are all names that can have the same spelling in the Netherlands as well as America.
A lot of these names have become normalized in American culture, so someone with any of the above-mentioned names might not even be of Dutch descent!
There are even more first names that exist that are spelled in a more traditional Dutch manner that you might come across once in a while around the United States, such as Willem, Catharina, and Hendrik.
What are some of the most common Dutch last names throughout America?
You can more easily tell if someone is of Dutch descent based on their last name rather than their first name. Last names are traditionally passed down through generations, so someone with a typical Dutch last name likely has ancestry tracing back to the Netherlands.
Once again, someone might have a last name that they had no idea it even stemmed from the Netherlands. Let’s go ahead and take a look at some common Dutch last names you may find in the United States.
Some of the most common Dutch American last names:
There are many more uncommon Dutch American last names that exist, but these are rarer so you won't come across these very often.
There are several American presidents over the course of history that have been of Dutch descent, as well.
For example, Martin Van Buren, who was the 8th president of the United States, was of Dutch descent. His first language did not even happen to be English, as he grew up speaking Dutch within his family.
There are at least four other presidents that have prominent Dutch ancestry, too.
The Dutch also use a lot of "van" in their last name, read our article on this topic to find out why this is the case.
Not only are there tons of Dutch names for people throughout the United States, but there are good amounts of different towns and cities all around the country of America with a strong Dutch influence.
People from the Netherlands have been settled in America since at least the 1600s. The original Dutch settlers landed in what we now know to be New York City, but it was originally called New Amsterdam.
Over the course of the next few hundred years, people from the Netherlands continued to make their way to the United States for farming prospects and to avoid religious persecution.
Aside from people with Dutch names throughout America, a lot of towns have Dutch-inspired names, as well. Most of the regions throughout America that you will find Dutch influence in include Ohio, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
You might find towns in these states with names such as Holland, Amsterdam, and Delft. These states have a lot of citizens with Dutch ancestry because they are Midwestern states that many of the original Dutch migrants settled in.
These states have amazing soil and farming land, which made it ideal for migrants hundreds of years ago.
The towns that have Dutch names and still have strong ties to the culture even have celebrations each year to commemorate the Dutch heritage. Many of these celebrations include tulip festivals, parades, Dutch cuisine, and traditional clothing from the Netherlands.
Many of the Dutch American towns even have functioning windmills to pay homage to the Netherlands. It is pretty incredible how much influence the Dutch have had on these towns!
By reading this blog you have learned all about the connection that the Dutch and American people have with their names.
Not only are Dutch first and last names extremely common throughout the United States, but many towns and cities around the country have stuck with their Dutch roots and still have names.
Dutch American names can be found throughout the country, even in places, you would not normally expect. The Dutch language has influenced the American language astronomically over time, due to the long history between the two countries.
If you are in America and pay super close attention, I am sure you will begin to notice Dutch names all over the place.