(van) (de/der) Leur
© 2016 Annelies J. Schlitt
The use of any material derived from this website for commercial purposes without permission is strictly forbidden.
Dorenbos Hoogeveen (van)(de/der)Leur
The Leur Family Databases
f one of your ancestors is a Leur (or Leurs), you came to the right place. This is where you can find your ancestor’s roots as far back as identifiable names and public records permit. You will readily see who all your Leur relatives are, and how they fit together as part of your now instantly extended personal family tree.
The Leur Family Databases integrate the Leur birth, marriage, and death statistics buried in countless local church and civil archives throughout the Netherlands and beyond. It is a work in progress as new information and new information sources turn up, either through further research by the author or from contributions from interested volunteers. Initially the emphasis has been on the Netherlands, in some cases the origin country of these names. The plan is to extend the database to trace Leur emigrants and their descendants to Germany, the United States, and the rest of the world.
There is only one requirement for inclusion in one of these databases: the surname (van/de/der) Leur, or Leurs, regardless of which Leur variant (see sidebar) or how it was acquired. You get an honorable mention if you are married to any Leur, but to preserve our focus on the Leur names, any further research into spouses and other significant others is left to you. Links to other databases are supported and encouraged (see Feedback, below).
History of the Leur Name
There is not one history, but three histories of the Leur name:
Leur and Leurs are derived from German immigrants with names like Löhr and Löhrs, respectively, and other forms such as Loer(s), Loehr(s), Luurs, etc. The spelling changes to Leur resulted from efforts to preserve the original German pronunciation in written Dutch. This transition sometimes took years and progressed unevenly, complicated by the largely illiterate population and the biases of the recordkeepers—many of whom were church officials of German origin who likely cringed at the Dutch spelling (pronounced “lawyers” in German, as in Freud). Leur and Leurs are common in Amsterdam (always a favored destination for immigrants) and in areas along the German border, especially Limburg Province. Some of the original German names have nevertheless persisted in the Netherlands and are not included in these databases.
Van Leur is rooted in the tiny village of Leur, Gelderland, (pop. 130 today) just west of Nijmegen near the provincial border with Noord-Brabant, and once important as the seat of a Roman Catholic Church district (“Hoge Heerlijkheid Leur” under the Banner of Batenburg). Four extended families of Van Leurs exist, three of whom settled in areas to the west and northwest of Leur, on both sides of the border. The fourth family travelled farther to their new home, to the wife’s hometown in southeastern Utrecht Province. It is hard to determine whether these four families were related to each other in any way other than their common point of departure and chosen surname.
De Leur and Van De(r) Leur have their roots in the village of De Leur, today part of the city of Etten-Leur, Noord-Brabant. Not all Van De Leur families can be shown to be related to each other because some pre-date the existence of documentation for this region. But the largest concentrations of Van De Leurs in the Netherlands have been and still are in Noord-Brabant. The De Leurs are less numerous and dispersed almost entirely out of Noord-Brabant to the north and south. The names De Leur and Van De Leur, and especially Leurs, are still common in the border regions of Belgium today.
The major sources of data for this project were the numerous local municipal archives throughout the Netherlands. Most have comprehensive birth, marriage, and death records for the entire population of the Netherlands since 1812, when mandatory civil registration laws, including the requirement for family surnames, went into effect—all initiated by Napoleon and retained after his ouster. Most of these records have already been indexed for computer access and are now available online at no cost.
Prior to 1812, only a few municipalities recorded birth, marriage, death, and/or residency information of their subjects, and even those were spotty and incomplete. To fill this gap in their pre-1812 archives, Dutch municipalities have turned to the best source of such information: church registers of past baptisms, marriages, and burials, sometimes going back as far as the 16th century. As of today, many of these registers have already been indexed and are available online along with the post-1812 data.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, many gaps remain. Lost files and records, recording mistakes, deficient standards, spelling issues, indexing errors, and data-compiling screw-ups (mine) all contribute to the difficulty of making sense of this overabundance of data. One of the goals of this project is to navigate this thicket just once, for the benefit of all those interested in identifying their Leur ancestors.
Another cause of incompete data are the Dutch privacy laws. Birth and marriage data are made available to these databases only after 100 years have passed, and deaths records, after 50 years. If you are looking for a recent relative, this website is not the best place to look.
Before you start searching, take a little time to browse the database and become familiar with the notation. Then read Search Tips to help you choose the best strategy for finding your relative in this database. If you don’t find him/her right away, try different strategies, as suggested in that link.
Feedback Send to…
As indicated earlier, collaboration with other interested family researchers is essential for the integrity and completeness of this database. All are urged to contribute to this database in any of the following ways:
1) Report any Leur/Leurs relative you cannot locate in this database!
2) Fill in missing information, such as a date or a spouse.
3) Insert missing family members, such as children or siblings, or an additional marriage.
4) Correct any mistaken data item or family relationship (location in the tree).
5) Confirm or correct a red (“best-guess” location) entry in the database.
6) Spelling is always an issue. Should it be the “correct” spelling, the recorded spelling (to facilitate further research), or the most easily searched spelling? Make a suggestion.
7) Request a link to your genealogy website, either for the Links page or as a direct link from a non-Leur spouse in this database to a corresponding principal in yours (include your bookmark and request one in mine).
8) Correct or suggest improvements to any other information published on this website.
9) Correct or suggest improvements regarding links, design, or other technical features of this website.
Be sure to include in your email adequate data identifying the database entry you are referring to.
Please report any privacy concerns. If any living individual requests to be taken out, I will be glad to comply immediately (with the database entry, that is—not you!). As an example of a workable policy, my siblings and I, all retired, have agreed to include ourselves, but not our children and grandchildren, in the database. They can decide for themselves later when they, uh, inherit this project.
© 2016 Annelies J. Schlitt The use of any material derived from this website for commercial purposes without permission is strictly forbidden.