Jolink Genealogy

Jolink research

This is the Jolink Genealogy web site. It provides a variety of information on the ongoing genealogical research into the Jolink name, which includes all spelling variations. Those variations are the current names Jolink, Joolink (double o) & Jonink (n instead of l), and historic variations such as Jolinck (ck instead of k).


In the past, spelling of names wasn't fixed, and could vary with local dialect, but also from scribe to scribe, even from one occasion to the next. Spelling of Dutch family names became fixed in 1811, when emperor Napoleon Bonaparte decreed that everyone had to have a family name, and civil authorities took registration upon them.

Jolinck, Jolink and Joolink are all just different spellings of the same name.

O and K variations

Names like Jalink (a instead of o), Joling (g instead of k) en Jaling (a and g instead of o and k) are all just spelling variations of the same name, but that the names share a common root does not immediately imply that the families do so too.

The focus of the Jolink research is on the name with the vowel o and the consonant k. The other names are not part of the research into the genealogy Jolink, but there is a page with links to related genealogies.

Jolink names

Jolink, Joolink, Jolinck

Jolink is by far the most common spelling of the name today, but there is one branch that spells their name Joolink (double o), and in the past the name was often spelled Jolinck (ck instead of k).


The Jonink name is a variation on Jolink that I traced back to a single couple in the Jolink genealogy. A partial genealogy is on the Jonink page.


The names Jolink & Joling seem unrelated in general. Limited research shows that most Joling are from Drenthe & Groningen, while the Jolink are from the Achterhoek in Gelderland. An exception is noted on the Emigration page.

I am not aware of anyone currently researching the Jolink name. I would like to hear from you if you do.


There is some relationship with the Jalink. In particular, the Jalink that can be traced back to Jaelinck in Zutphen are possibly related to Heyndrick Dirrecksen Jolinck.

Research into the Jalink has been going on for years and a Jalink Genealogy is already available on the web.


The Eenink name is related too. This is not obvious from the name itself. The Eenink name is no spelling variation of Jolink. To understand how these two name are related, you need to know about farm names.

farm names

Dutch family names

Jolink is a Dutch name. Many Dutch families can trace their family name no further back than 1811, when one of their ancestors first adopted a family name.

In 1811, the Netherlands were briefly ruled by the French emperor Napoleon. Napoleon decreed that everyone in the occupied territories of the Netherlands should have a family name. At the time, many people adopted their patronyms, occupation or place of origin as their family name. Although Dutch families can generally be traced back to about 1650, many family names cannot. The family was chosen in 1811 and did exist before that time. Before that time, most regions used patronyms, as they are still in Iceland today.

farm name

The Jolink name can be traced further back than that. It can in fact be traced back as far as the surviving birth, death and marriage records allow, and these start around 1650 GC. However, the Jolink name wasn't a family name back then, it was a farm name, and that is a crucial difference.

A farm name does not indicate the family you are born into, but the farm you live on. People often lived their whole life on a single farm, so it often works out just the same as a family name. As a result, it seems deceptively similar, but it really isn't the same thing at all. When people moved from one farm to another, they changed their name. Special care and attention must be paid when researching old records to correctly interpret the available data, especially when people move, or when a farm is left to the eldest daughter instead of a son.

other names

Jolink op Eenink

About half the Eenink alive today are descendants from Berend Jolink (1733-1799) who married Dersken Eenink and went to live on the Eenink farm. He was soon known as Berend Jolink op Eenink, and later simply as Berend Eenink. The Jolink genealogy lists him as Berend Jolink op Eenink.

Jansen alias Jolink

Many Jolink living in and around the town of Zutphen today are descendants from Johannes Jansen (1795) from Empe in Brummen. Johannes Jansen married Hendrika Jolink from Voorst, who later moved to Zutphen. The Jolink genealogy lists him as Johannes Jansen alias Jolink.

Interestingly, Johannes Jansen was one of the first people in the Netherlands to officially change his family name. He married Hendrika Jolink in 1816, only a few years after the mandatory adoption of family names. His actual reason for changing his last name is not known, perhaps he simply disliked the new-fangled family name system.

The official document from 1826 April 19, made by Paulus Daniel du Bois, burgomaster of Brummen, reads:

Op heden den negentienden april achttienhonderd zes en twintig is voor ons Burgemeester, Ambtenaar van den Burgelijken Stand der gemeente van Brummen verschenen Johannes Jansen, wonende te Empe in deze gemeente, zijnde vader van vier kinderen genaamd Jenneken, Everdina, Hendrika en Willem, allen nog minderjarig bij hem inwonended en heeft verklaard aan te nemen voor geslachtsnaam den naam van Jolink

J. Jansen
P. D. du Bois

translation into English :
On today, the nineteenth of April eightteenhundred and twenty six, did appear before us, Burgomaster, Registrar of the municipality Brummen, Johannes Jansen, residing in Empe in this municipality, being the father of four children named Jenneken, Everdina, Hendrika and Willem, all still under age, living with him and did declare to take as surname the name of Jolink
J. Jansen
P. D. du Bois


origin and spread

The oldest birth, death and marriage records for the name Jolink originate in several small places, particularly Varsseveld in the municipality of Wisch and Halle in the municipality of Zelhem. These places are located in a Dutch region known as the Achterhoek, in the East of the province of Gelderland, adjoining Germany. Even today, most Jolink live in Gelderland and the adjoining provinces Overijssel in the Netherlands and Nordrhein-Westphalen in Germany. Today, the Jolink name can be found in all Dutch provinces, most West-European countries and spread over various countries in the major continents of the World, including the United States of America, Canada, South Africa and Australia.

number of name bearers

The Nederlandse Familienamen Databank (Dutch Surname Databank) of the Meertens Institute shows that, at the time of the last Dutch census, performed in 1947, just after the Second World War, there were 578 Jolink in Netherlands.
I estimate that there are roughly seven hundred Jolink alive today.

status of research

I started research into the family name in 2000 GC. Hundreds of phone calls, emails, visits to national, provincial and municipal archives later, there currently are more than thousand Jolink in the Jolink genealogy, but it is still far from finished.

Several initial research projects have largely been completed:

Research into Jolink who lived before 1938 continues.