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Map of a river with different cities next to it

News from the Netherlands – August 2014

‘News from the Netherlands’ is a monthly series to inform you about the best new websites, projects and books that help you find and understand your Dutch ancestors. New records The Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken [Heritage Leiden and Surrounding areas, which includes the Leiden archives] has published a series of indexes of Leiden records on their website. [Source: Geneaknowhow] Continue reading →

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Archives Portal Europe homepage

Europeana and genealogy

Earlier this week, I had my farewell party at the National Archives, where I had worked for 8.5 years as a consultant and project manager in the IT department. I quit my job to focus full-time on my genealogy business. Besides doing client research, I will also be doing consultancy for IT-projects in the heritage Continue reading →

Marriage announcement of H.J. Kastein and E.J.E. de Monye

Source: Family announcements

In the Netherlands, there has never been a tradition of writing biographical obituaries like you see in countries like the United States. Instead, “familieberichten” [family announcements] simply announce the death of a person. In the 19th century, only more affluent people had a familiebericht placed in the paper. It was usually very short and only Continue reading →

Featured article

Aalten church. Photo: Yvette Hoitink

Fighting in church

It is rare to find sources that show us the how our ancestors behaved in their every-day lives. Church council minutes can sometimes give us a glimpse. The church council minutes of Aalten are a good example. Church seats In Dutch Reformed Churches, most members had their own seats in the church. They would have Continue reading →

Diving

Becoming a full-time genealogist

For the past several years, I have combined a job as project manager at the National Archives in The Hague with being a freelance genealogist. There are only a few genealogists in the Netherlands who report in English and there are many people of Dutch descent who don’t speak Dutch. As you can imagine, the Continue reading →

Tip of the week

Map of Amsterdam

Quick tip – Was he really born there?

People who move a long way from their small village will often claim a larger city in the area as their place of birth since nobody would have heard of their real place of birth. If you can’t find your ancestor in the city where he was supposed to be born, try looking in the villages around Continue reading →

Term of the week

A marriage record where the bride, mothers of the bride and groom and one witness declare to be unable to write.

Dutch term – Schrijven

Schrijven means ‘to write.’ It wasn’t until well into the 20th century that most of the people in the Netherlands were able to write. In birth, marriage or death records in the 19th century, you will often read sentences like “verklarende de moeder der bruid uit hoofde van ongeleerdheid niet te kunnen schrijven” [declared the Continue reading →