Dutch last name Kerkhof/Pilmeijer
My last name is Kerkhof (meaning cemetry in english) and about 300 years ago it used to be 'van der Kerckhoff' ('from the cemetry'). I suppose somebody who used to work on/live close to a cemetry must have made it up. Does anybody possibly know where else it could come from? And my mothers last name is Pilmeijer. It doesnt really mean anything but I wondered if somebody knows anything about where it might be from, because this is the only family in the whole of the Netherlands that carries this as last name and my grandfather is the only living person with this last name.xxxProud 'mummy' of Ivy, Semmi and Emi!
Tags:  Dutch
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Kerkhof looks to me to be a combination of Kerk, more commonly Kirk which is "church" in many Germanic languages. -Hof is common also in German languages, usually meaning a manor or farmstead (I think it's actually related to 'hoof', hence a farm with animals). Anyway, therefore it may be a cemetery as most cemeteries were located in churchyards.As for Pilmeijer, I'll venture a guess ...Pils, from where we get Pilsner, the pale lager, is names after a Czech town where it was first made. I'm not sure what the origin is for it, but the second syllable looks like version meyer which I found as:German and Dutch: from Middle High German meier, a status name for a steward, bailiff, or overseer, which later came to be used also to denote a tenant farmer, which is normally the sense in the many compound surnames formed with this term as a second element. Originally it denoted a village headman (ultimately from Latin maior ‘greater’, ‘superior’).
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Thannks so much for that! Now i finally know where my names are from! :D xxxProud 'mummy' of Ivy, Semmi and Emi!
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