Tag Archives: What does de mean?

Genealogy… Surnames and Nobility, Understanding “De”


For quite some time, in Europe, “De” was used to distinguish those of noble birth. The right to use it was granted by the king. “De” is French and it means “of.” It is used in many surnames. If the surname started with a vowel it was written as d’. It is also seen as “des” and “des la.” It’s important to bear in mind that for example, the name Des Marets means “of Marets” and there may be instances where the surname will be listed under Marets, because occasionally the prefix is disregarded. The name Des Marets is also seen as Demaree. A change like that happens when the descendants merge the prefix with the suffix. Personally, I prefer the beauty of the ancient French name, Des Marets.

If you run across the prefix “te” as in “te Bonte” it probably means the same as “de.” “Te” is from the Old Dutch and is used to signify that something is located at, in or on.

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Secret Genealogy II:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484053222

Secret Genealogy III:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/148407579X

Secret Genealogy IV:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU

Secret Genealogy VI: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY35VCP