This image comes from the 1910 Census for Northeast Township’s Second Precinct in Adams County, Illinois. In three households in a row the lady of the house is named Trientje. I always knew Trientje was a good Ostfriesen name (my great-grandmother was a Trientje and I have numerous earlier ancestors named Trientje), but this really drove the point home.
As a note to those who have an ancestor named Trientje, it is a low-German diminutive for Katherine/Catherine. Consequently that’s why you might see it Anglicized to Katherine and variations on that name. Of course, some people used Tena, which is what my great-grandmother used.
The couple on entry 35, Henry and Trientje (Behrens) Sartorius, are my 3rd great-grandparents. Sometimes this Trientje is referred as Trientje Katherine Behrens. Katherine is not her middle name–it’s the anglicization of Trientje. Her middle name was actually Ulferts, which was a patronymic based upon the first name of her father, Ulfert Behrens.
But Trientje? Just about everyone of Ostfriesen descent has a Trientje in their family tree.



2 Responses

  1. How interesting that Trientje was a diminutive for Catherine. That may clear up a mystery in my own line. There was an unaccounted for Catherine we could not connect to family. I’ll have to go back and look to see if this could be a Trientje!

    • Some diminutives and “translations” I can easily see or guess at. This was not one of those!


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