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Subject: Re: Dutch last name Kerkhof/Pilmeijer
Author: Sean Foglai   (guest)
Date: November 6, 2006 at 10:38 AM
Reply to: Dutch last name Kerkhof/Pilmeijer by Mango

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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