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Surname Voorhees - Meaning and Origin

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Voorhees: What does the surname Voorhees mean?

The surname Voorhees is of Dutch origin, deriving from the Dutch words "voor", meaning "in front of" or "before", and "hees", which is an archaic term for a wooded or uncultivated piece of land. Therefore, Voorhees can roughly be translated to signify someone living "before the forest" or "in front of the woods". The name originates from a town in the Netherlands called Hees, which is now a neighborhood in the city of Nijmegen. Voorhees is a common surname among those of Dutch descent, especially in regions with significant Dutch populations like New York and New Jersey. Despite its Dutch origins, the name Voorhees is recognized globally due to the prominence of the character Jason Voorhees from the "Friday the 13th" horror film series.

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Voorhees: Where does the name Voorhees come from?

The last name Voorhees is most commonly found in the United States. According to the US Census Bureau, 966 of the most recent households in the US had the last name Voorhees. It is most prevalent in New Jersey, where there were 228 households with the last name in 2017 alone. This is likely due to the large Dutch immigrant population that settled in New Jersey during the eighteenth century.

The surname is also quite common in the Netherlands, where it is found in about 0.2% of the population. The name is predominantly found in the southeast region of the country, particularly in the provinces of Overijssel, Gelderland, and Zeeland.

Voorhees is a Dutch surname, derived from the word "voorheen", which is a term used to indicate something that is before. The name likely originated in an ancestor with the same name, which became the family name. The historic etymology of the name suggests that the ancestor was someone of importance prior to holding the surname.

Today, the last name Voorhees is a reminder of both the past and present of Dutch-American heritage. Although many may be unaware, the name still holds great meaning in both the Netherlands and the United States, and the legacy of those who carried the name lives on.

Variations of the surname Voorhees

The surname Voorhees is an anglicized Dutch surname, derived from the Dutch "voormalig," meaning "former." It is also spelled as "Vorhees," which is a common variation of the Voorhees spelling. The surname is found in the Netherlands, as well as in various countries around Europe and the United States. Other variants of the surname Voorhees include Voorhies, Voorhis, Voorhos, Vorhis, Vorhies, Voorhaas, Voorhiese, Vorhaese, Vorhys, and Vorhas.

The surname Voorhees often had its spelling changed when English-speaking families arrived in the United States. In many cases, the surname became more simplified and Americanized, as in the case of the variant spelling Voorhis, which is now a common variant of the Voorhees surname. Additionally, the surnames Voorhees and Vorhees are interchangeable due to a common mispronunciation of the Dutch vernacular.

In the United States, many Dutch-American descendants of the Voorhees surname have adopted additional surnames, including Bowers, May, Myer, Anderson, Gartland, Gilbert, Heffernan, and Beasley. As the Voorhees surname spread, it was sometimes changed in spelling, pronunciation, or to seem more suited to the locality. As such, the Voorhees surname can still be found in many forms around the world today.

Famous people with the name Voorhees

  • Derek Voorhees: American professional wrestler and stunt performer
  • Pamela Voorhees: fictional character from the “Friday the 13th” franchise
  • Jim Van Voorhees: early American football player who played in the 1900s
  • Tom Voorhees: musician and vocalist for the indie rock band “Ivy League”
  • Victor Voorhees: American politician who served as a Republican member of the New Jersey General Assembly
  • Ralph Voorhees: American philanthropist and investor
  • Adam Voorhees: actor and film producer who appeared in “Friday the 13th Part 3”
  • Charles Voorhees: football coach who served the University of Cincinnati Bearcats
  • Guy Voorhees: Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Henriette Voorhees: Dutch doctor and research chemist who held a chair in chemical crystallography at the University of Groningen

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