History & Genealogy

The Family Name

The Dutch family name 'le Nobel', as we know it over many generations, is not the original name of the family. This name has changed three times in the oldest generations.

In the time before 1700, when the family still lived in France, it was the French name lenoble (name stuck together, capital "L" is used and not used). We think we know this on the basis of recent research in Ronq. When we settled in the Netherlands, our oldest known ancestor, Jan Lenart Lenobel, was registered in the ecclesiastical registers under the phonetic, almost identical, and well-worn name Lenobel (capital "L" and written together). Then we see the name change to Le Nobel in the 3rd generation ("Le" as prefix with capital "L" and "Nobel" with capital "N"). It is only in the 5th generation and not even everywhere at once that it becomes the spelling we now know, le Nobel ("le as prefix with lowercase letters and" Nobel "with capital" N ").

We also see something similar with a name that used to be common in the family. This was registered in the Netherlands, as seen in various archives, as well as first name and surname. Originally written in French as Léonard. This was first written in the Netherlands as Lenart (see Stamvader), later changed to Leinaart, Lijnaart, Leijnaart, Leijnaard, Leinaar, Leijnaar and Lijnaar respectively. All phonetically approximately the same, but written differently.

These name changes must be attributed to the fact that before the French Revolution in the Netherlands no Civil Registry existed and family data were recorded exclusively in ecclesiastical registers. Change of name was then simple and took place (sometimes coincidentally) because names were written down phonetically. This was done by clerics and other church servants, many of whom could not or could barely write. As a result, verbal names were often incorrectly written down on paper. This ecclesiastical administration left much to be desired. After the gradual introduction of the Civil Registry (code civil) in the Netherlands since 1804, we see the family name no longer change.