Recorded as Van der Plas, Van der Plassche, Vanderplas, Plas, Plassche, and possibly others this is a Dutch surname. It is locational from a place called Plas in Zuid Holland, or from residence at a 'plas', which according to the context usually describes 'an area of fenced ground, suitable for agriculture'. The derivation is from the Latin word 'plex' through the later pre 7th century French 'plais.' Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. However when prefixed by the prepositions 'von' in Germany, 'de' in France, the surnames have the specific meaning of somebody who owns that place. It is said that prefix in the Netherlands do not carry the status implication of other places, because they infer inhabitant of, rather than specifically owner of. The surname is well recorded in the surviving church registers of the Netherlands from at least the 17th century. These recordings include Maertjk Van der Plas who married Jansz van Vliet at Schieden on October 13th 1685, and two centuries later that of Katwijk Aan Zee who married Teunis Van der Plas at Amsterdam, on March 9th 1868.
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