The Huns

The Origin of the Name Hungerink.

The name Hungerink is most likely derived from the name of the farm "de Hunger" in Noordijk, Neede. In "de Achterhoek" the suffix "-ink", in old times spelled as "-inck", "ynck", "inc", "ing", or "ingh", stood for the yard of -, or the homestead of -. For example if "Willem" built a farm he would call it "Willemink". Similarly the forge of a smith, "smeede" in Dutch, would be called "Smeedink". Once the homestead had its name it became all important to the future inhabitants, who would in turn take the name of the homestead they married into, inherited or bought. It is often not clear whether through "-ink" the farm got the name from the inhabitants or the other way round.

So what is the origin of the name "Hunger"? There seem to be three theories. The first was recommended by B. J. Hekket. Taking Hungerink to mean the homestead of Hunger, Hunger must have been the first name of the first inhabitant. This seems strange, since that name no longer exists as such, but in the ninth century it did. The bishop of Utrecht carried that name, which in Latin became Hungerus. Declared a Saint, December 22 was dedicated to his remembrance. The name occurred as Honger, Hunger and Hungar. In this "ger" is derived from the old Germanic "gairu": spear, the same as in Gerrit, Gerald and Gerhard. Trickier is "Hun". It could stand for "the Huns", a people that once terrified Europe. In old Norwegian it means bear, leading to "bear-spear", an impressive name for a hunter or warrior. "Hun" itself was used as a first name too, leading to names like Hunink and Hunnink. A disadvantage to this theory is in my opinion that it does not explain why the farm of old had the name "de Hunger" on its own, besides "Hungerink". The first name "Hunger" is (also) responsible for places like Hüngeringhausen in Germany and Hungerton near Leicester in England, in 1242: "Hunegarus tun" or town. Others could be Hungersacker, Hungersdorf (Germany), seven Hungerford's in England and Hungerbjerg (Denmark).

The second theory claims that "Hunger" means Hungarian. Not as far fetched as it seems at first sight. Gipsies, tramps and vagabonds were called Hungarian's, in the Dutch language of that time: "Hongeraars" or "Hongers". This would lead to the homestead of a "Honger". The change from "o"to "u" is far from uncommon, in fact the Dutch word "honger" is translated into English and German as "hunger". This theory would explain why "de Hunger" occurs on its own: the Hungarian.

Theory number three assumes the farm was built on poor ground, the relation to hunger being obvious. There is the word "hongerveld" (hunger-field) with that meaning. And in 1417 a piece of land in Zeddam, in the neighborhood, was called "De Honger". In this case the name of the farm would have been carried over from the name of the field. Again this also explains why "Hunger" could stand on its own.

The region where this name giving with -ink occurs comprises not only the Achterhoek, but Twente to the North as well. Although the region only has a natural border to the west, it is a fairly restricted area where all family names with the suffix -ink come from, comparable to the Scottish Mac- and the Irish O'-


As to the pronounciation of the name "de Hunger": "de" means "the" and is pronounced with that same "e". The "u" sounds the same as this "e", a bit as in "rhum", but certainly not as in "room". The Dutch pronounciation of "Hunger" and "Hungerink" is with a "g" as in singing, while my guess is the Amnericans would pronounce it with "gu" as in guess. Some Dutch prefer to pronounce the "g" with the (seemingly) harsh sound from the back of the throat, as "kh" in Russian, Arabic, or Hebrew. Whereas that sound is properly used in first names like "Gerrit" I doubt its validity in "Hungerink".

Neede and Noordijk

Neede is a small village of around 2000 inhabitants in 1800, growing to 11,000 in 1980 including the hamlets Rietmolen, Lochuizen and Noordijk. It is pronounced Nayduh (rhyming with May-the-). The origin of the name is probably from the word "neder" (as nether in Netherlands) meaning "low", a low area. In old times it was also spelled as "De Nethe" (end 11th century), Nedhe (1188), Nithe (1200), Neithen (1209), Nyede (1410), or Nede (1657).

The hamlet Noordijk consists of some 60 farms, the center being where some are a bit closer to each other, and one has a shop (at least that was the case in 1985). The name is pronounced Noar-dike. The old name is Noertwich (1437) meaning North hamlet, the name evolving through Noortwijck (1646), Noordinck(1671) to Noordijk. The "w" having dropped out, it now looks like Noord-dijk (North-dike).

On some maps and in some dictionaries of the 19th century even Hungerink (de Hunger) itself is mentioned as a hamlet. For example on this map of 1866. In 1913 it is mentioned in Pott's "Aardrijkskundig Woordenboek" as "hamlet, 1/2 mile West of Neede". In 1844 "Van der Aa" and in 1915 "IJzerman" in their geographical dictionaries have Hungerink too as a hamlet near Neede.

de Harper, de Garver

The origins of the names Harper and Garver, two farms where Hungerink's lived for a long time, are not known to me from an authoratative source, but a look in a Dutch dictionary seems sufficient to make an educated guess.

Since Catharina's son Jan Hungerink (born 1767) married Hendrika Harperink, "de Harper" was run by Hungerink's until around 1900 it was sold. Gerrit Hendrik, the American founder was born there in 1827. The word "harper" is an old Dutch word for "zifter" in English "sifter". I imagine this to have been some sort of an occupation in agriculture. The home of a "harper" could have been called "de Harper" or "Harperink" as explained above. The dictionary explains the word "harpen" (to sift) came from the musical instrument "harp" because of its likeness to a sieve.

The original inhabitants of "de Garver" situated in Haarlo (3 km SW of Neede) came from "Garverlink" in Ruurlo. Catharina Hungerink's first son Hendrik married in on "de Garver" around 1773. It remained with Hungerink until Arend Derk and sister Gerritje sold it around 1960. The Dutch "garf" is an old word for "schoof" (sheaf) and like the above "harp" for sieve currently not generally known anymore. "Garven" is an old Dutch word for "in schoven binden" in English "to bind into sheaves" and the "garver" is the one who does the binding. Again the home of a "garver" could have been called "de Garver" or "Garverlink" or "Gaverdink", names that occur.

B. J. Hekket in a newspaper around 1970.
Jo Bos 1970.
Onno IJspeerd: Neede