Prior to the 1680s, the Dutch did not use family surnames. Even then the practice was not universal until it was made compulsory by Napoleon in 1811. Before that, the Dutch system was similar to the Norse. Men usually either added “sen”, “se” or “s” (meaning “son of”) to their father’s given or took a place name preceded by van (meaning “from”). Thus Jan, the son of Hendriks who lived in Ness could be Jan Hendriks, Jan Hendrikse, Jan Hendriksen or Jan van Ness. Women often used the ending “x” or “dr” (short for “dochtor”, meaning daughter) rather than “s”. Women did not change their name when they married. Often, different members of the same family adopted different surnames.

The name Hendriks, means “son of Hendrik”, Hendrik being the Dutch equivalent of Henry.