I fondly watch the grainy movie on my HD-television. On the screen, the room has 70s wallpaper with a psychedelic orange/brown motive. A group of children watches excitedly as Saint Nicholas comes through the door. A baby is put in his lap. The baby is me, and my grandfather is Saint Nicholas. It was the Continue reading →
Several people have asked me how they can find out how their ancestors died. Unfortunately, records that list cause of death are routinely destroyed, so most often it will not be possible to find the cause of death.
Searching for records using Google or Ancestry will only get you so far. You will just find records that have already been indexed and put online. If searching does not give you the records you need to answer your research question, try to think like an archivist to understand what other records may exist.
When I look at online trees, especially on Ancestry.com, I often see “Reusel, Reusel-de Mierden, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands” listed as the place of birth. At first I was puzzled how all these people with names that are typical for Friesland, Groningen or Gelderland would have children in a village on the other side of the country. Continue reading →
The French occupation from 1795-1813 introduced many new types of administration, including the civil registration. To properly record people, it was necessary that they all had a last name. In 1811 and 1813, Napoleon decreed that everybody had to register their last name. After the French occupation ended, the Dutch government decided to keep the Continue reading →