Featured article

Dome prison in Breda

Source – Prison Records

Ironically, it’s often the black sheep that bring the most color to our family trees. I love researching all the stories in my family, and prison records are a wonderful resource. History Before the French occupation (1795-1813), people were rarely imprisoned. Instead, criminals were hanged, banished, put in the pillory or sent to the work Continue reading →

Featured article

Marriage of Henk Hoitink and Mien Woordes, 1942

What spouses promised each other

If you have ever read all of the text of an early civil registration marriage record, you may have read how the groom and the bride promised to fulfill the duties of a husband and wife towards each other as specified in Title 5, Chapter 6 of the Civil Code. So what does that actually mean? Continue reading →

Hendrik Hoitink and Johanna Piek

What is your earliest Dutch family photograph?

In the Netherlands, photography took off much later than in countries like the US or the UK. As a result, many of us only have family photographs going back to the early 1900s. So I was wondering, what is your earliest photograph? Please leave a link in the comments or post the image to the comments on this article Continue reading →

Featured article

Riddle

Twisted family relationships in Nijmegen

In the 17th century, a genealogical riddle was published in Nijmegen. The Nijmegen riddle A painting hangs in the Nijmegen Town Hall showing a young woman with an old man lying in her lap, with six sons standing next to her: two in red, two in green and two in white. The wife of the old Continue reading →

Map of Amsterdam

Case study – the origins of Jan Dirkse van Eps

One of my clients asked me to research the origins of her Dutch colonial ancestor, Jan Dirkse van Eps. She graciously allowed me to share the research I did for her on my website, to make it available to other Van Eps descendants. As this article is based on the research report I wrote for her, it will Continue reading →

Tip of the week

Population register of Carolus Demessemaecker

Quick tip – Population registers are like movies

Population registers can be difficult to understand, because one page can have information about people at different times.  This can be especially confusing for people who are used to dealing with census records. Here’s an analogy that might help you: Census records are like snapshots, population registers are like movies. Population registers record what is going on with Continue reading →

Term of the week

Old farm with a driveway

Dutch term – Geslacht

The word geslacht has two meanings: Gender/sex. “Man” or “mannelijk” is male “Vrouw” or “vrouwelijk” is female “Beide” is both “Onbekend” is unknown. Family/house (“Het geslacht Hoitink” = the house of Hoitink). This meaning of geslacht is slightly archaic, a more contemporary way to say this would be “De familie Hoitink” [the Hoitink family].