Where the name ten Bruggencate originates, is not clear. Huizinga (1) explains it as a small farm (a “kate” or “kotterstede”) near a bridge, but B.J. Hekket (2) in his book “Oost Nederlandse familienamen” suggests the possibility that the name is derived from the first name “Burg.”. The Meertens Institute explains it as an address name, and so agrees with Huizinga.
There are many different spellings of the name. At present ten Bruggenc/kate and ten Bruggen C/Kate are the variants, in the US and England it frequently becomes Bruggencate or Tenbruggenkate.
The name is not very widespread. In the 1947 census there 261 people with the name, spread out over the Netherlands, in 2007 there were 295. While the family originates in Almelo and surroundings, they have spread all over the Netherlands, and the world. There are or were ten Bruggencates (in various spellings, with or without the prefix) in Canada, the US, Australia, Germany, Italy, and the Far East.
A later post will deal with some early records.
- Huizinga, A. Encyclopedia van namen: een vraagbaak over de afkomst van onze Nederlandse en Vlaamse familie- en geslachtsnamen. Amsterdam: Strengholt, 1955.
- Hekket, B.J. Oost Nederlandse Familienamen: hun ontstaan en betekenis. Enschede: Van de Berg, 1996.