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Delaware River
Colonial New York
New York State

Historical Documents

Key to Names of Persons
In the Early Dutch Records of Albany and Vicinity
By Jonathan Pearson

The use of surnames gradually increased among the Dutch from the time the Province was occupied by the English in 1664, and after the first quarter of the following century few names were written without the addition of a family name.

The following list is intended to serve as a key to such surnames as are occasionally or almost constantly omitted in the ancient Dutch Records of Albany and Schenectady. It is as nearly full as the compiler, after a somewhat careful reading of these documents, can make it. The names of persons without surnames, or if having them were not entered in those records, will not of course be found here; unfortunately these are somewhat numerous. Another embarrassment in the identification of persons arises from the fact, that some bear the same Christian name. When such cases occur in the following list, the dates annexed will sometimes aid in solving the difficulty. Thus the surname of Jacob Abrahamse, found in documents dating 1665-84, was Vosburg Alias Kuyper; in those of date 1705, it was Van Deusen. But where there is little or no difference in the dates this help fails, and all is left to conjecture.
Jonathan Pearson.
Surname Index:
A-G  |  H-U  |  V  |  W-Z

Index to Patronymics:
Ablese to Douwese  |  Egbertse to Jacobuse  |  Janse to Luykase  |  Maese to Ysbrantse

The list is void of many names found in the Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts, 1630-1643, although useful. It is offered at this site in two ways:
1. As compiled by the author with the addition of a cross-reference on doubled names.
Where two names were connected with an "or" for one individual, i.e., Steven Janse Conninck or Timmerman, the name has been indexed under both Conninck and Timmerman.

2. Re-alphabetized by the common surname.
This should prove to be a most useful tool.
For example; A study of one surname listed, may allow the researcher to determine an immigrant ancestors name, other names applied, other surnames derived from an immigrant, or other individuals with the same surname and an approximate date the name first appears in the Historical Records collection.
Be sure to check the Patronymics Index for other persons assuming the same name.

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