Surname: Paling‎ > ‎

Benelux

These are just a few notes regarding phonetically similar placenames or surnames found in Belgium, Luxembourg or the Netherlands.

It should be stressed that Dutch patrilineal surnames are, in the majority, an invention from Napoleonic times. Prior to that, family names were patronymic or derived from placenames. This makes Dutch genealogy potentially troublesome and Y-DNA surname studies may not be very fruitful unless sampling large numbers of people. On the other hand, some names from notable families have been consistent for hundreds of years. Paling is Dutch for eel. We know that there are people called Palen of Dutch origin in North America and people called van der Palen are still to be found in the Netherlands.

As mentioned earlier, there is a villiage called Pellaines in Lincent in the Walloon region of Belgium. The area previously had a Latin name Pellone (seen in documents from 1060) suggesting Roman occupation as farmstead or villa. This is also an Italian surname.

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