De familienaam Van Boven duidt de woonplek of plaats van herkomst van de eerste generatie aan: een plaats of plek die gelegen is boven een andere plaats die wellicht met de voorzetsels 'beneden' of 'onder' werden aangeduidt. Vergelijk bijvoorbeeld de plaatsnamen Boven-Leeuwen en Beneden-Leeuwen. Van Boven is een antoniem van de familienaam Van Beneden. In Oldebroek is deze onmiskenbaar gereateerd aan de familienaam Bovendorp ('boven het dorp').
Leendert Brouwer, 'Van Boven', in: Nederlandse Familienamenbank = CBG Familienamen, Amsterdam, Meertens Instituut / Den Haag, CBG Centrum voor familiegeschiedenis, 2000...
Veel familienamen zijn van toponiemen (aardrijkskundige namen) afgeleid. Deze namen geven aan waar men vandaan kwam (herkomstnamen), welk gebied of landgoed men bezat of beheerde, of welke huizen men al dan niet met bijhorend land in eigendom of huur had.
Bij deze laatste groep duiden de namen tevens aan waar men woonde. (Straatnummers waren immers nog niet ingevoerd!) Dit type naam wordt dan ook wel met de term 'adresnaam' van de herkomstnamen onderscheiden. Herkomstnamen gaan voornamelijk terug op namen van steden, dorpen en landen; adresnamen op microtoponiemen: namen van huizen, velden, waterlopen, straten. De elite die zich naar haar bezittingen noemde, plaatste zich als het ware tussen deze categorieën in.
• Habitational and Topographic Names --- As noted above (in the section of patronymics), in former times surnaming by a patronymic was often supplemented by reference to where the person lived or worked. Thus an innkeeper might be recorded as Joris Willemsz. inden Roscam. In English this would be "George William's s(on) 'in the Horsecomb'", the name of an inn where horses could be groomed (see Roskam). Eventually this practice of naming a person from his current or sometimes former place of residence produced the vast category of inherited habitational or "address" names, a great many of which refer to house names in towns. These house names were frequently indicated by a pictorial sign above the entrance door. One that appeals to everyone's imagination everywhere and has even induced a fairy tale, is that of the (little) man in the moon, often depicted with a bunch of branches on his back. Several houses are known with a signboard of this "Mannetje van de Maan" from which derive the surnames 't Mannetje (i.e. 'the little
man') and Maan (i.e. 'moon'). The name Halvemaan also exists, referring to a signboard with a picture of the half-moon.
Habitational names also originated in the names of the farms where their original bearers resided. It is usually supposed that Roosevelt, the name of two (blood-related) American presidents, comes from the name of a farm in Tholen, Zeeland, although this is not proven. Such farms were often named from a defining feature of the landscape. At first sight Rozenveld (the modern form of Ro(o)sevelt) can be interpreted as a 'field or area of open land growing with (wild) roses or perhaps with poppies (in Dutch: klaprozen)'. But roos- in fieldnames often goes back to ancient Germanic rausa-, Middle Dutch rusch- 'rush, reed'. Roosevelt might therefore be a variant of the Flemish name Van Ruys(s)evelt, from a farm name in Brabant denoting a 'field growing with rushes'. The surname was taken to New Amsterdam (now New York), by Claes Maertensz. van 't Rosevelt in 1649.
It is in principle difficult to distinguish this type of surname from topographic surnames, where the reference is to the feature rather than to a place named from it. The name Dijk or Van Dijk (from Middle Dutch van den Dike) is a classic instance. It could theoretically be a topographic name for someone who lived by any one of the thousands of dikes in the Netherlands, but all the evidence suggests that it is usually a habitational name for someone who lived at one of the farms or villages in the Netherlands and Flanders named with dijk, either in simplex form or as part of a compound place-name. Jacob Egbers van Dijk, for example, took his name from the Hasselterdijk, but van Dijk was sufficient to be used as his habitational or "address" name. The diphthong -ij- is characteristically Dutch, with the same pronunciation as -ei-, that is [ i]. It is one of the most common surnames in the Low Countries, and was borne by many migrants to the US,where it is mostly spelled Van Dyke and pronounced in the American English way as /da k/. Jan Thomassen van Dijk, the first mayor of New Utrecht, Long Island (now part of Brooklyn, NY), came from Amsterdam to North America in 1652.
Surnames with Van are particularly common in North Brabant and Gelderland, often in combination with the article de('the'), which is usually in the declined form den or der. There are many families with these names in North America, for example Van Meter (= Dutch Van Meeteren), Vandenberg (= Van den Berg), Van Over (= Van den Oever), Van Pelt,Vandiver (= Van de Veer), Vanderpool (= Van der Poel), Van Sickle, Van Buren, Van Buskirk (referring to Buiskerke in Zeeland; this family name no longer exists in the Netherlands), Van Houten, Van Ness, Vannoy (= Van Ooijen), Van Cleave (= Van Kleef), Van Hoose (= Van Huis), Van Dusen (= Van der Dussen), Van Zandt and Van Zant, Van Landingham (= Van Landeghem, referring to Landeghem near Ghent), Van Deventer, and so on. Three of the most frequent Van names in America refer to a dwelling place in an angle of land or bend of a river: Van Horn, Van Winkle, and Van Hook. In many instances van der has been contracted to ver-, for instance in Vermolen and the phonetic variant Vermeulen, which is the most common Dutch Ver- name in America. They are variants of Van der Molen and Van der Meulen and denoted someone who lived at a mill, presumably the miller himself. Almost as common in the US and the Netherlands are Vermeer, Verhagen, Verburg, and Versteeg. Van is by no means the only preposition to be found in Dutch habitational and topographic names. The family name Updike can be traced to the Dutch name Opdijk ('on (the) dike'; compare Opdycke). A particularly significant one is te 'at'. It is widely found in names from the provinces of Overijssel and Gelderland, where it is often fused with den or der into ten and ter. Ten Eyck ('at the oak') is a noteworthy family name in America from the 17th century, although it is now unknown in the Netherlands and Belgium, where its equivalent is Van Eijck or Van Eijk. However, Ten Brink, is a common Dutch name, denoting one who lives at the village square. Ten Pas derives from the Dutch noun pas, from Latin pascuum 'pasture'. Ter Haar refers to a farm on a ridge with a sandy soil, and Ter Horst to a farm on a hill with shrubbery. Terhune is probably an Americanized form of Ter Huurne, containing a variant of hoorn 'horn, angle, corner'. These are some of the most frequent Te, Ten and Ter names in America.
Some habitational names reflect not where its original bearer currently lived but from where he migrated. These are mostly found in the cities, which drew their populations of laborers, craftsmen, and merchants from nearby villages and towns and from more distant cities and countries in Europe and across the sea. In Kortrijk in Flanders, for example, are recorded Jhan van Ghend in 1366 and Pietre van Anstredamme, a town workman there in 1392, early examples of the surnames Ghent and Amsterdam. Merchants from Lübeck in north Germany can be found in the Dutch and Flemish cities of Bruges, Tienen (Brabant), and Borgloon (Limburg) in the late 13th and 14th centuries, and some of their same-named descendants may bear the name Lubeck in the US. Lübeck was then the major center of the Hanseatic League, a commercial cartel of over 200 cities and market towns stretching from the Baltic Sea across northern Germany to Flanders and beyond. As with Lübeck, we find Hamburg, Bruges, Bremen, Cologne, and many other Hanseatic city names well represented in Dutch surnames such as Van Hamburg, Van Brugge, and Bremer, and in Flemish Keulenaer. However, the families bearing these names in the US (Hamburg, Bruge, Bremer, Koellner) may have migrated to America from anywhere in the Hanseatic sphere of influence, not only (or even) from the Netherlands and Flanders. This is true also of surnames that denote a country or region of origin, such as Duitsman (either 'Dutch(man)' or more generally 'German'), Englisch (see English), and De Vries (also Fries 'the Frisian'). The last name is one of the commonest in the Low Countries but it can also be found in medieval Germany and England [Leendert Brouwer & Peter McClure, 'Dutch family names', in: DAFN (preface of the revised second edition of the Dictionary of American Family Names, edited by Patrick Hanks, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2022 --- https://www.cbgfamilienamen.nl/nfb/documenten/DAFN%202,%20ESSAY,%20Dutch%20names.pdf)].
• [R.A. Ebeling, 'Oorspronkelijk duitse familienamen in Noord- en Oostnederland', in: DMB 34 (1983), p 119-132].
• "Het onderzoek naar de oorspronkelijke betekenis van een plaatsnaam dient altijd uit te gaan van de vroegste vermeldingen van die naam in de schriftelijke bronnen. Er kan soms een aanzienlijk verschil bestaan tussen de vorm van het toponiem op het moment van zijn ontstaan en die waaronder hij nu in dialect of standaardtaal bekend is. Hoe ouder de attestatie, hoe dichter hij bij het moment ligt waarop de naam is gevormd en hoe groter de kans om daardoor het woord of de woorden te kunnen identificeren die aan die vorming ten grondslag hebben gelegen. Oude vermeldingen kunnen ons bovendien dikwijls helpen meer inzicht te krijgen in de ontwikkeling die een naam heeft ondergaan sinds het het moment van de naamvorming" [R. Rentenaar, 'Over de plaatsnaam Baarn', in: Van Baerne tot Baarn, Baarn 1999, p 16].
afkortingen en bibliografische notaties: