Mulder is my own surname, but also that of my father, my grandfather Klaas Mulder (11 Oktober 1927 – 23 April 2003) and his father ? Mulder. Those are the only ones bearing the Mulder surname in my family tree at the moment.
I know precious little about ? Mulder, in fact, I don’t even know what his first name is. All I know about him at the moment is to whom he was married, and that he was in the Koninklijke Marine (the Dutch Royal Navy). I know more about my grandfather Klaas Mulder, but his childhood is still a big gap.
The Mulder surname, however, is a bit easier to discern things about then the people that carry it. Mulder (varients include among others Mulders, Muller and Molenaar) is an occupational name, derived from the word mulder, which is the old-Dutch word for miller (molenaar in Dutch). It causes me to speculate that somewhere in the family tree there might be a miller, who choose/got the surname and it stuck with his descendants. But that’s just speculation for now.
According to the Meertens Institute there were 37.212 people in the Netherlands with the surname Mulder in 2007. That’s a lot of people.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that my particular branch of the family tree will carry on the Mulder surname. I’m an only child, and when I marry, my eventual children will not bear the Mulder surname. I have three male cousins, one has two daughters, so no continuation there. The other two are childless at the moment, so there’s still hope for a male Mulder in the next generation.