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Surname Harmelink - Meaning and Origin

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Harmelink: What does the surname Harmelink mean?

The last name Harmelink is a Dutch patronymic surname derived from the personal name Harmen, which is a variant of Herman. Harmen, in turn, is derived from two Germanic elements, “harja” meaning army or warrior, and “man” meaning man. Taken together, the name likely meant “army man” or “warrior man” and was originally given as a first name to sons born to families of warriors. Over time, “Harmen” and its variants began to take on a more generalised meaning of “man” or “man in charge” and it was gradually adopted as a surname. The suffix “-link” was added to create the surname “Harmelink” as a means of identifying a family from the same lineage.

The surname is very common in the Netherlands and is thought to have originated in the medieval times. It is difficult to determine how the surname was distributed geographically as it has been in existence for hundreds of years but there are records indicating that it is still most commonly found in the North of the Netherlands, particularly in Northern Groningen.

The name has also spread to the United States, with the first recorded presence in America occurring in the early 20th century. Subsequently, it has become a popular surname among Dutch Americans, often being spelled “Harmeling” or “Harmelingh” as well.

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Harmelink: Where does the name Harmelink come from?

The last name Harmelink is most common in the Netherlands, with concentrations in the provinces of Gelderland, Overijssel, Noord-Brabant, and Groningen. It is also found in countries that have significant Dutch immigration such as the United States, Canada, and Australia.

In the Netherlands today, the surname is especially prevalent in the northeastern provinces, where it has been established for more than 400 years. It is believed to have originated in Holland, where it is still most common. Records show that the Harmelink family first appeared in the cities of Enkhuizen and Hoorn in the 15th century. Over time, branches of the family moved to other provinces, including Gelderland, Noord-Brabant, and Groningen.

In the United States, the surname is most common in states such as Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, where Dutch immigration was significant in the 19th century. Dutch immigrants settled in these states, particularly in rural areas, and took on the Harmelink surname as their own. The Harmelink surname is also popular in the Kleefse Waard region, located in the southwestern part of the Netherlands between Rotterdam and Breda.

In Canada, the surname is most common in Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta, primarily in cities with large Dutch immigrant populations such as Hamilton, Kitchener, and Calgary. Similarly, in Australia, the surname can be found in cities such as Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney, which have had large Dutch immigration since the 19th century.

Variations of the surname Harmelink

The surname Harmelink is of Dutch origin, and dates back to the 12th century. It derives from the ancient Dutch word “harmen” which means “guardian” or “protector”. Some variants, spellings, and alternate surnames of the same origin are as follows:

Harmeling, Harmelingen, Harmelinken, Harmentink, Harmentinck, Harmendink, Harmendinck, Harmelinck, Harmeling, Harmelricke, Harmelink, Harmentink, Harmetink, Harmelinc, Hermenink, Harmank, Harmentynk, Harmentynck.

Harmeline is also a variant spelling, as is Harmelene, Harmelingh, Harmanke, Hermelink, Hermens, and Harmelingh.

The surname has also been borrowed into other languages, such as German. German variants and alternate surnames include Härmelink, Härmelinck, Hermlink, and Hermlinck.

Over the years, as families moved from country to country, the surname Harmelink has also been transcribed into different languages, resulting in a range of spellings throughout Europe. These alternate spellings include Armelink, Hermelinck, Armeling, Hermlinc, Harmelinck, and Armentinck.

The surname also has a variety of patronymic surnames, which are derived from the first name of the father, such as Harmelinken, Harmelinkman, and Harmelinszoon, among others.

Famous people with the name Harmelink

  • Marly Harmelink: Dutch professional tennis player, the first Dutchwoman to win an international tournament.
  • Feyo Harmelink: Dutch professional cyclist, winner of the Dutch National Road Race Championships in 1974 and 1975.
  • Jan Harmelink: Dutch business finance professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  • Dan Harmelink: American author; most known for his novel ‘The Big Picture’ published in 2016.
  • Harold Harmelink: American luthier, founder of the Harmelink Guitar Company.
  • Wil Harmelink: Dutch former footballer, known for playing for Heracles Almelo and Roda JC Kerkrade.
  • Joost Harmelink: Dutch field hockey player who played for the Dutch national team and won the Olympic gold medal in 1992.
  • Dirk Harmelink: Dutch pioneer of the protestant church in The Netherlands in the 19th century.
  • Wilma Harmelink: Dutch water polo player, part of the Dutch team that won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1964.
  • John Harmelink: American pastor and author, founder of the Full Life Christian Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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