The meaning/origin of the name "van den Houten".
1. It is an Address Name.
This means that the last name indicates where one came from.
Examples include van der Molen, van de Heide, van der Velden, van der Zee, etc.
2. So it is difficult to say where our namesake came from or what he did.
Did he live in the woods? Was he a woodcutter? Was he a ranger? Was he a hunter?
Or did he own a piece of forest? I don't know. Who knows, may say.
3. Many variants of the name "van den Houten" are also known.
Both with the prefixes "van den": van, van de, den, ten.
As of the surname "Houten": Hout, Houte, Houter, Houtte, Haut, Hautte, etc.
The name "du Bois" also pops up here and there, which also means "van den Houten".
So who knows, our ancestors may come from Belgium or France.
Emigrants to English-speaking countries such as America also wanted to change their name to "Wood".
More about naming, see: Database of Surnames in The Netherlands
Ger Klein wrote to me: You have a toponym name.
In many places in the Netherlands there is/was a small grove what was then called 't Hout.
Someone who lived there was said to come from van't Hout and his descendants are then called 'van Houten'.
And so there are countless variations.