What does our surname mean?


FFor the meaning of our surname, at least three explanations are possible :

  • A horseman - the most used meaning of 'ruiter'. The words 'ruiter' and 'rider' share the same Germanic roots. Our surname is known from the early 1600s, with the Netherlands in the middle of a 80-year long struggle for independance from Spain. This might indicate a military ancestor (cavalier). The tile at the left gives a nice illustration of this.
  • The horse-drawn peat barge. These canal barges were drawn by horses tied to a long rope. The people leading the horses were also called 'ruiter'. Considering our peat history this meaning is plausible too.
  • A drying-rack for hay was also called a 'ruiter' (in English we know of the clothes-horse...). In this case we thank our surname to a utensil. I think this explanation is less probable, because these racks did not appear until later in history.

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Origin of surname

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