I Could Have Been Named Jeanesdotter

A Picture and 1000 Words

“I am a flower of the open field and a lily of the steep valleys, like them whose bloom is brief, I to shall fade away.” Watercolor by Wendy Harty, 2023, Jeane’s daughter.

Four hundred years ago, people didn’t use last names. As they gathered into villages and left the hunter gather era, their identification changed. Sometimes they used the place where they lived as an identifier. Thus, my 12 the grandfather, was called Hendrick Roelof Schenck Hendrisckse Van Nydeck 1446-1520. Isn’t that a handle? Schenck meant cup-bearer, the “se” meant son of Hendrick, Van meant of and Nydeck was the name where they lived.

My eleventh great grandmother was Neeltje Evertson Lambertsdotter 1524-1570. Can you guess her father’s name? Lambert Evertsz Hendrickse, born 1501 at Ultrecht, Pays-Bas which would today be Holland. Neeltje did not have the Hendrickson name that my great grandmother, Samantha, would use as a last…

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