View Full Version : Typical Afrikaner/Boer Surnames

Sunday, May 10th, 2009, 10:08 PM
What are the typical Afrikaner/Boer surnames and what is their origin?

Sunday, May 10th, 2009, 10:45 PM
What are the typical Afrikaner/Boer surnames and what is their origin?

That would be a mixture of both original and Afrikaner-adapted versions of French, Dutch and German surnames (and a handful of others). A few examples off the top of my head:

Le Roux, Vorster, Coetzee, Smuts, Schoeman, Fourie, Visser, Van den Bergh, Van der Merwe, Barnard, Van Rensburg, De Villiers, Groenewald... :shrug

As an example of Afrikaner surname evolution - my own surname is of German origin, and I know how it was spelled back when that particular ancestor of mine landed at the Cape, but, as with many other colonist surnames, its spelling was later changed to fit better with the existing Cape Dutch population. It was only two vowels switched around so that Dutch readers would pronounce it correctly (or at least a little better), but nonetheless, an Afrikaner surname was born.

By implication, you'll find much more Dutch surnames amongst Afrikaners which have kept its original form, less so for French and German surnames.

Monday, May 11th, 2009, 10:00 AM
Other typical Afrikaner surnames i can think of right now includes:

Pretorius, van der Westhuizen, van Wyk, van Zyl, Marais, Swanepoel, Dreyer, Meyer, Botha, Malan, Nel, Oosthuizen, Venter, Vermaak ...

Typical Afrikaner surnames of French Hugenot origin (1688):

Blignaut, de Klerk (Le Clercq), de Villiers, du Plessis, Du Preez (Des Pres), du Toit, Franck, Fouche, Fourie (Fourier), Giliomee (Guilliaume), Hugo, Jordaan (Jurdan), Joubert, Labuschagne (la Buscagne), le Roux, Lombard, Malan, Malherbe, Marais, Nel (Nell), Pienaar, Rossouw (Rousseau), Taljard (Taillard), TerBlanche, Theron, Viljoen (Villon) and Visagie (Visage).

Keep in mind that these days if a person has a typical Afrikaner surname in South Africa they might be coloured or even black! The differences in culture remains however.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009, 09:11 AM
Dagna, The following book will answer your question in detail:

Someone looking for Afrikaner family arms may well come across Dr Cornelis Pama's Die Groot Afrikaanse Familienaamboek (GAF), which was published in 1983. Although it's a dictionary of the origins and meanings of more than 3000 Afrikaner surnames, some 445 of the entries include details of coats of arms, which were illustrated in colour by the artist Sidney Ivey.



Does any Skadi member own a copy?

Sunday, July 5th, 2009, 04:14 AM
I have unlimited access (so to speak) to Dr Cornelis Pama's Die Groot Afrikaanse Familienaamboek , though I do not personally own a copy:(. This is a useful tool for Afrikaners to trace their Germanic heritage. Through this book I found out my very common Afrikaner surname inherited from my father traced all the way back to Den Haag and my Mother's maiden name (though 'Afrikanerised' over time) hails from North-west Germany, close to Bremen, it also depicted both of these families' coat of arms.

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009, 02:02 PM
Does any Skadi member own a copy?

Dr Cornelis Pama's Die Groot Afrikaanse Familienaamboek is no longer in print, but it's available from ancestry24.co.za in electronic format (to order by CD), and rather cheap. I received my copy today.

This is a useful tool for Afrikaners to trace their Germanic heritage.

It seems useful to use as a quick reference, but I wouldn't put too much stock in it when looking for where one's own ancestors came from (except if you've already traced your lineage back to one of the persons mentioned therein). The first thing I did with my copy was to compare what it said about the surnames of two friends of mine with what they have researched themselves, and found it pointing to other, older European immigrants with the same name in both cases, so one has to be careful.

I'm thinking of ordering Hoge's German Personalia at the Cape (as mentioned here (http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php?p=651723&postcount=205)) as well, though I'd first like to make sure there aren't considerable overlap of information between these two books.

Edit: Hoge's German Personalia actually appears in Die Groot Afrikaanse Familienaamboek's reference list, so ordering the former as well probably wouldn't make sense.