Do You Search for Patronyms and Father’s Last Name?

When querying databases for individuals who hailed from regions were patronyms were used, make certain you query for the father’s actual last name and the last name his child would have had. In some cases when immigrants entered a country where patronyms were not used, they would “take” their father’s last name as their last name instead of the patronymic name they had used earlier.

So Hinrich Jacobs son of Jacob Gerdes may appear in databases in the “new country” as Hinrich Jacobs (using his patronymic last name) or Hinrich Gerdes (using his father’s last name as his own).

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