In 2003 I started this website to publish information about the Dutch surname Klein Kranenburg (and soms linguistic varieties like Klein Kranenbarg and Klein Kranenberg).
Literally translated Klein Kranenburg means “Small CraneHill”. The word “small” doesn’t refer to the size of a hill, but it’s a common surnamefeature in the eastern part of The Netherlands: usually farmhouses were named after landscape features. CraneHill is a nice example of this phenomenon as a farmhouse that’s named after a nearby hill where cranes breed.
The prefix “Small” comes from a habit to build a smaller farm in cases of more than one male heir who needed a place to live. This second (smaller) farm usually was built in the direct surrounding of the original farm.
Nowadays the names of many hamlets in the eastern part of the Netherlands are based on the old farm-names. Kranenburg is a small villages in the neighbourhood of Vorden. The name of the village is not directly taken from the farmhouse. In the 18th century the Kranenburg-farmhouse accomodated a shed church in the time that Catholicism was forbidden (or tolerated with some regret). Later on, when freedom of religion was a fact, a bigger church was built about a mile northwards. Around this church a village with the name Kranenburg developed.
This website tells the story of the surname and the village, contains a family tree and shows relevant pictures, maps and a timeline. The used language on this website is merely in Dutch because over 95% of the visitors is from The Netherlands. If you however would like more information in English, please don't hesitate to contact me via the contactform on this website.
Jan Klein Kranenburg
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