and Emigrants to America

Dutch Terminology

        See also:
• –» Dutch language
• –» Dutch Names

More than one name is used to refer to the Netherlands, both in English and in other languages. Some of these names refer to different, but overlapping geographical, linguistic and political areas of the country.



Dutch text • –»  English text
This page contains a translation of Dutch words that you might encounter when you consult Dutch genealogical records. If you do not understand certain translations, or you are of the opinion that the explanation is incorrect, please let me know.

Advocaat = lawyer
afkomstig van = from
afschrift = copy
aldaar = there / in that place
ambtenaar = civil servant
apotheker = pharmacist
arbeider = labourer (male)
arbeidster = labourer (female)

Bakker = baker
bakkersknecht = baker’s assistant, baker’s hand
bediende = servant
begraafboek = register of burials
belastingambtenaar = tax official
bevolking = population
bevolkingsregister = population register
bgm = abbreviation for ‘bridegroom’
bierbrouwer = brewer of beer
bijlage = appendix, annex
bijzonderheden = particular detail
blikslager = tinsmith, tinker
bloemist = florist
boekhandelaar = bookseller
boekhouder = bookkeeper
boerenknecht = farm hand
brd = abbreviation for ‘bride’
bron = source
broodbakker = baker
brouwer = brewer
burgemeester = mayor
Burgerlijke Stand = Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Chauffeur = driver
chef = station-master
chirurgijn = chirurgeon, barber-surgeon
collectie = collection
commissaris = commissioner, chief constable

Dagloner = day labourer
dg = abbreviation for day / days
dienstbode = maid-servant
dienstknecht = hand servant (male)
dienstmeid = maid-servant
dijkgraaf = chairman of the dike-board/ polder-board
dr. or dochter = daughter
drukker = printer

Echtgenoot = husband, spouse
echtgenote = wife, spouse
echtscheiding = divorce
emigrant = emigrant

Fabrikant = manufacturer or owner of a factory
familienaam = family name, surname, last name
familienaam = surname, familyname
familiewapen = coat-of-arms
fotokopie = photocopy
Fr. d.d. = abbreviation for ‘French date’. The First French Republic used between 1793 and 1805 the so-called Republican Calender. A year started on September 22. Every month lasted 30 days and were grouped to the seasons.

Geboorteakte = certificate of birth, birth certificate
geboorteplaats = place of birth
geboren = born
gehuwd = married
genealogie = genealogy
genealogieën en kwartierstaten = genealogies and family trees
genealogische bestanden = genealogical files
gepensioneerd = retired
gescheiden = divorced
geslacht = gender
gezworene = member of the polder board
grootmoeder = grandmother

Handarbeider = labourer
handelaar = salesman, broker
havenmeester = harbour master
heelmeester = physician
hengstenhouder = owner of stallions
herbergier = innkeeper
herder = shepherd
Hervormd, Nederlands = Dutch Reformed
horlogemaker = watchmaker
houtzager = sawyer
huishoudster = housekeeper
huisknecht = manservant
huisvrouw = houswife
huwelijk = marriage
huwelijksakte = marriage certificate
huwelijkse bijlagen = marriage appendices
hypothecair schuldenaar = mortgager
hypotheek = mortgage
hypotheekbewaarder = recorder of mortgages

Ijker = inspector of weights and measurers
impost = impost, duty
ingenieur = civil engineer
inlandskramer = hawker
inwoner = inhabitant

Journalier = labourer (male) (a French term)
journaliere = labourer (female) (a French term)
jr = abbreviation for ‘junior’
jr = abbreviation for year / years

Kantoorbediende = office worker, clerk
kantwerkster = lace worker
kapelaan = chaplain
kastelein = innkeeper or bartender, publican
kerkenraad = church council
kleermaker = taylor
kleinlandman = small-scale farmer
klompenmaker = maker of wooden shoes
knecht = assistant, apprentice
koehouder = cattle farmer
koetsier = coachman
koewachter = cowherd
kok = cook
koopman = salesman, merchant
kroeghouder = owner of a bar or cafe
kuiper = cooper
kwartierstaat = pedigree chart, Ahnentafel

Landarbeider = farm labourer, agricultural labourer
landbouwer = farmer, agriculturalist
landman = farmer
landvrouw = farmer’s wife
leerling = apprentice
letterzetter = compositor, typesetter
leurder = hawker
leurster = hawker (female)
levenloos = still born
lidmaat = (church) member
logementhouder = hotel or lodging house operator
loods = pilot

M = abbreviation for ‘male’
machinist = engine driver
makelaar = house agent
mannelijk = male
marsdrager = pedlar, hawker
matroos = sailor
mattenmaker = mat maker
meid = maid
metselaar = bricklayer, mason ?
milicien = soldier
mnd = abbreviation for month / months
molenaar = miller
molenaarsknecht – miller’s helper
monteur = mechanic
mutsenmaakster – maker of caps, bonnets

N N = Nomen Nescio = name unknown
n.v.t. = abbreviation for ‘irrelevant’
naaister = seamstress
nakomeling(e) = descendant
Nationale Militie = National Militia (?)
Nederlands Hervormd = Dutch Reformed
niet opgenomen = not mentioned

O = abbreviation for ‘unknown’
onbekend = unknown
ondertrouw = intended marriage
onderwijzer = teacher
ongehuwd = unmarried
onroerend goed = real property, estate
opperhoutvester = chief forester
opzichter = supervisor
overl. = abbreviation for ‘deceased’
overleden = deceased
overlijden = death
overlijdensakte = certificate of decease, death-certificate

Pagina = page
particulier(e) = self-employed person
patroniem = patronymic
polderwerker = worker in a polder
pottenbakker = potter
predikant = clergyman, minister

Raadsheer = councellor
rechtbank = court
registers van de Burgerlijke Stand = Civil Register of Certificates
rentmeester = steward

Schaapherder = shepherd, sheepherder (US)
schepen = sheriff
schilder = house-painter
schipper = master mariner
schipper = skipper (on interior waterways)
schipper op de kleine vaart = master mariner
schippersknecht = skipper’s assistant
schoenmaker = shoemaker
schoolmeester = schoolmaster, teacher
schoonmoeder = mother-in-law
schout = bailiff, sheriff, judge
secetaresse = secretary
secretaris = secretary
sjouwer = porter
slachter = butcher, one who slaughters animals
slager = butcher
smid = blacksmith
smidsknecht = smith’s assistant
soldaat = soldier
spoorbeambte = railroad employee
sr = abbreviation for ‘senior’
stamboom = pedigree
stoker = fireman (for an engine)
strandwerker = beachworker

Tapijtwerker = carpetmaker
tapper = tavern keeper
tapster = tavern keeper, publican (female)
tekenleraar = art teacher
timmerman = carpenter
touwslager = rope maker
trouwakte = certificate of marriage, marriage certificate
trouwboek = register of marriages
tuinier = gardener

Uit dit huwelijk = from this marriage

V = abbreviation for ‘female’
varensgast = seafarer, seaman
veehouder = cattle farmer
veldwerker = fieldhand, labourer
verpleger/verpleegster = nurse (male, female)
vertegenwoordiger = salesman
vertrokken = left
verwant met = related to
vissersknecht = fisherman’s assistant
vleeshouwer/vleeschhouwer = butcher
voerman = driver, carrier
vonnis = sentence
voornaam = first name
voornaam = first name, given name (US)
voorouders = ancestors
vrachtrijder = carrier, lorrydriver
vrouwelijk = female

Wagenmaker = cartwright, wagonmaker
wdnr = abbreviation for ‘widower’
wed = abbreviation for ‘widow’
weduwe = widow
weduwnaar = widower
werkman = labourer (male)
werkmeid/werkster = charwoman
werktuigbouwkundige = mechanical engineer
werkvrouw = labourer (female)
wethouder = alderman
wijk = district
winkelbediende = shop assistant
winkelier/winkelierster = shopkeeper
wk = week / weeks

Zager = sawyer
zakenman = businessman
zeeman = mariner
zilversmid = silversmith
zonder = without, no
zonder beroep = no profession
zn. or zoon = son