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Reader's question: Origin of the Hartel surname

A reader of Trace your Dutch roots asked me about the origin of his surname, Hartel.

Hartel is an uncommon name, I have never encountered it before. There are only 67 hits in Genlias, without a clear geographic concentration.

The best place to find information about a surname is the Family name database of the Meertens Institute. About Hartel they tell it's a name derived from an address or toponym. In other words, the Hartel family originates from a place called Hartel (or something similar). Unfortunately, Meertens does not tell where or what that place was.

From the 56 Hartels in the 1947 census, 22 came from Amsterdam and another 17 from the rest of the province Noord-Holland. Similar names like Härtel (4 out of 7) and Hertel (33 out of 58) show a similar concentration in Amsterdam. So my next step was the Amsterdam registers.

The old marriage registers - which usually list place of origin of both spouses - are not online yet, but the Amsterdam baptisms are. There is only one Hartel baptism: Johanna Maria Christina Fredrica, daughter of Johan Gerrit Hartel, was baptized in 1783. One of the witnesses was Diedrik Philip Hartel. She was baptized by Wilhelm August Klepperbein, a German minister. This suggests the Hartel family may come from Germany. There are also a few hits for Hertel, most of them seem to have a German connection too.

I have no proof yet (for that I have to visit the Amsterdam city archive), but I expect the Dutch Hartel family originates in Germany. Just to be sure I checked the online German phone book and I found 687 hits for Hartel, 3744 for Hertel, and 2857 for Härtel.

So my hypothesis is that the Dutch Hartel family actually came from Germany. What Mr. Hartel needs to do now is confirm that he descends from the Amsterdam Hartel family, and then check the pre-1811 Amsterdam marriage books (this can be done in his local FHC) to confirm they came from Germany.

Do you also have a question about Dutch genealogy that you want me to discuss? Leave your question in the comments below this post, or use the contact form.

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Blogger Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Interesting question! Is your reader sure his family is of Dutch descent? Some of the Hartel descendants are from Jacques Hertel, interpretor to Samuel de Champlain in New France (present day Quebec) in the early 1600s. Jacques was the founder of Trois Rivieres, and one of my ancestors. He was the father of several legitimate children by his French wife plus an illegitimate daughter by a Mohawk woman. See Van Slyke Family for more information

Blogger Henk van Kampen said...

Hi Lorine,

Thanks for your reply. While I was researching for this post I also found the (20th century) emigration record, so I'm sure that this reader has (recent) Dutch roots.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all the help
you have,given me
.Kind regards.Hendrik Anthony Hartel Hopperscrossing Victoria 3029

Blogger Thomas said...

hi can anyone help. Trying to find the origin of surnames Grelling and Lanting.
Also as a first name Yantje.

Blogger Henk van Kampen said...

Yantje is probably Jantje in Dutch. It's a diminutive of Jan, which is the Dutch form of John (so Jantje means little John). Diminutives of male names were often used as female names in Holland.

Blogger Henk van Kampen said...

Grelling is a rare name from the southeast of the province Drenthe. I expect there is only a single Grelling family, and you can trace them through the 19th century in Genlias.

Blogger Unknown said...

hello my name is anna elisabeth gerekink. i live in australia my family migrated to australia 1957 on the sibajak i was born1958..in melbourne my mother became very sad and missed her family she returned to holland..4 a holliday sorry to say mom never returned.dad became very ill in the 1980s he passed this year he loved mom till the end hislast wishes were if i do find her that i must tell her somthing.dad passed away in my arms . if any family member of wilhelmina adriana klaassen gerekink read this please email anna410brown@gmail.com I traveled. to holland in 2008 I was so happy I
did this as i saw my fathers home before he passed
please if you know my family could you contact my mother is a great grandmother 4 times
anna down under australia

Anonymous Anonymous said...

my mom is a Hartel and her roots are from the Liege or Luik area from 1700 this part of Europe was back and forth part of Netherlands, France and now it is Belgium but just a stone throw away from the Dutch and German border. My mom and her father are from Groningen , Netherlands but her grandfather from the Luik/Liege area. we don;t have anything else.


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