1811 – The Tjalsma Name is Chosen

In 1811 people were forced to pick a surname in the Netherlands as part of civil registration for military drafts. http://www.dutchgenealogy.nl/civil-registration/

In this family tree some helpful Dutch person crafted there is not Tjalsma prior to Sjoerd Tjallings Tjalsma (the grandfather of the Sjoerd who came to USA.  Sjoerd Tjallings Tjalsma died in 1816, hence died with his new official surname that the government required of him.  http://members.chello.nl/t.tjalsma/Tjalsma/index.html#p111

Note:  Tjalling is a first name in Dutch, so is Sjoerd of course.  Hence, Sjoerd Tjallings, son of Tjalling Jans (another first name) needed a surname!

The Frisian Historical and Literary Center maintains a database of scanned documents.  Picking your surname and registering it with the government sounds like a document that would be saved and end up being scanned.  Let’s hope the Germans didn’t destroy it in the war!


NL-0400410000_29_0092_000153 UR Chalsma



One thought on “1811 – The Tjalsma Name is Chosen

  1. Thank you for linking to my article! Tjalsma means something like “of Tjal”, in other words, Tjalling’s people. Interesting to see it changed to Chalsma, which would have been pronounced exactly the same as Tjalsma in Dutch.


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