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Old 11-05-2015, 12:33 PM
 
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I put this in Genealogy because I know this is the best place to find people who know about the origins and issues with last names.

Some people have surnames that are two separate words, or one word, with two capitals. Examples would be Dutch names like:
Van Patten
Van Houten
Van Buren

Or Italian names like:
De Luca
Del Vecchio
Della Rossa
DeMarco


So in both cases, the "Van" or the "De" or "Del" mean "from" a particular geographic place. Okay, we all know that, no big deal.

But then what would you say the person's initials are? Like if you wanted to buy a monogrammed gift for Anthony Michael Della Rossa, would you specify AMD or AMDR?

If you were buying a monogrammed gift for Susan Grace Van Patten, would it be SGV or SGVP?

The people I know (including my own sister with her married name) tend to use just the V or the D, so if my sister were Susan above, she'd have something monogrammed SGV.

But people like us, who understand genealogy and name origins know that the "Van" and the "De" are not the important part of the name. The important part is the piece that comes AFTER the "Del" or the "Van."

So going back to the fictional Susan Grace Van Patten above, if I were her, I'd say my initials were SGP or SGVP.
I would probably say that if the last name were VanPatten with no space, then the V is the last initial. but if the Van Patten is two separate words, isn't the Patten much more important that the Van?

Then you have the names in which the van or del are in lower-case, and the second part has a capital letter, like "van Nostrand" or "d'Nofrio." In those cases, I think the second piece, with the capital should be the person's initial, not the v or the d.

Then think of all the ramifications of when people have to be put in alphabetical order. Shouldn't the Del Vecchios be put under V instead of D?

I work in behavioral healthcare, and I read logs that our staff write that mention our clients, and we use initials to de-identify. Shouldn't they be referring to John Van Houten as JH or maybe JVH instead of JV.

Then you have those three-part last names, like Van Der Beek and Van Der Berg. I still say the "Beek" and the "Berg" are the person's last name (the most important piece) and the "vans" and "ders" are just modifiers.

Do you have a name like this? What do you say? Is that opinion based on some real information, or just "that's what I like" or "that's how we've always done it"?
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:25 AM
 
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Just overpretentious bourgeois and wanabees. Probably their ancestors picked horse dung.
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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It's typically the first letter of the surname only.

Monograms 201 | Cottage Colony

PREFIXED LAST NAMES

Some last names include a prefix. These little snippets of language — which might include: van, von, di, du, de, della, O’, Mc, Mac, Saint, los, la, and others — seem to confuse a lot of people when it comes to monograms.

Generally speaking, you want to treat the first letter of the prefix as the first letter of the last name and choose your monogram accordingly.

Single Adult - Prefixed O

As with hyphenated last names, you do not include punctuation; leave off the apostrophe.

The prefix should be treated as the beginning of the last name, whether it is separated by a space or adjoined to the rest of the last name.
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picolo mondo View Post
Just overpretentious bourgeois and wanabees. Probably their ancestors picked horse dung.
Why would you think it's pretentious? In history, even commoners were often identified by where they were from, or who there father was (prefixes like this could also mean 'son of'). It doesn't mean they were trying to be something they weren't.
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Old 11-07-2015, 10:58 AM
 
Location: The analog world
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"Van" or "van der" means you're probably looking at a Dutch or perhaps Belgian/Flemish surname. Very common in New York. Nothing pretentious about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
But then what would you say the person's initials are? Like if you wanted to buy a monogrammed gift for Anthony Michael Della Rossa, would you specify AMD or AMDR?
Great question! In The Netherlands, a name like van der Beek would be alphabetized under "B." In Belgium, it would be under "V." As for monograms, I would ask the recipient's preference. In a health care setting where initials are used to identify patients, I would follow institutional norms, as consistency is what's most important in this setting.

Last edited by randomparent; 11-07-2015 at 11:17 AM..
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:35 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
26,713 posts, read 35,759,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
........But then what would you say the person's initials are? Like if you wanted to buy a monogrammed gift for Anthony Michael Della Rossa, would you specify AMD or AMDR?...........

If you were buying a monogrammed gift for Susan Grace Van Patten, would it be SGV or SGVP?......
It's AMdR and SGvP. The van der is written vd. So John Michael Van der Hutten would be JMvdH. You see that ( the vd) in registered dog names from the Netherlands all the time.
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
It's AMdR and SGvP. The van der is written vd. So John Michael Van der Hutten would be JMvdH. You see that ( the vd) in registered dog names from the Netherlands all the time.
That may be the case with dogs in the Netherlands but in the US with humans, you just use V. See the website I linked to where it says:

"The prefix should be treated as the beginning of the last name, whether it is separated by a space or adjoined to the rest of the last name. The monogram for “Georgia Tipton Van De Groot” would appear as follows:"

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Old 11-07-2015, 02:46 PM
 
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Yeah, I "get" how it might be customary in the modern US to use the first letter of the prefix for the last initial, but as a person who studies and genealogy, it just feels "wrong" to me. It's totally up to my sister and brother-in-law what they choose as their last initial, but I still tell them they are dumb for that choice and it makes them look dumb to people who know the history of names (they have a "Van" name which has two separate words and insist that the V is their last initial). They can do whatever they want, but they're still wrong in my book. Even if I'm the only one reading that book
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:57 AM
 
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Most are commoners that made some money as traders and wanted to appear as gentry.
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picolo mondo View Post
Most are commoners that made some money as traders and wanted to appear as gentry.
Complete nonsense. d'Amore means "of love" and is either a patronymic name, or a name given to an illegitimate "love child". Nothing gentry about it. d'Angelo is patronymic from the name Angelo. Nothing gentry about the name Angelo or being the son of someone called Angelo. Same goes for del Russo. Need I go on?
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