This Dutch surname of YOUNCE was of various origins. It was derived from the Hebrew given name Yaakov, via the Latin Jacobus. In the Bible this is the name of the younger twin brother of Esau who took advantage of the lack of hunger and impetuousness to persuade him to part with his birthright 'for a mess of potage'. The name is traditionally interpreted as coming from Hebrew AKEV (heel) and Jacob is said to have been born holding on to Esau's heel. The name has travelled widely and the principal forms of the given name in major European languages are YANKOV, YANKOVICH, YANKU, YANKOVITS, JANKEL, JACOB, JACQUES, GIACOVO, GIACOPO and IACOPO. Throughout Eastern Europe Jewish forms of the name were extremely common, ranging from YAAKOV to JANKL. The name was also applied in Holland to a young nobleman or squire. It is the name of a city on New York, USA, on the Hudson River. It was originally a Dutch settlement from about the year 1650. On January 2nd 1887, a Mr Edwin M. Gilbert married Miss Carrie V. YONKERS, whose ancestors were the founders of YONKERS, New York. Dutchmen who have surnames from towns, cities or districts, are mostly distinguished by the prefix VAN. In the United States the use of capital and initial letters and spaces is optional with the particular family. The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. Compared to other countries, Dutch heraldry is notably simpler, some of the shields bearing only a single charge. Generally speaking one helmet, one shield and one crest has been used, quartering is uncommon and mottoes are rare. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
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