Featured article

The orphanage at Batavia

News from the Netherlands – July 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. Archives news The Zeeuws Archief, the Zeeland archives, have started a scanning-on-demand service. Visitors can queue records for digitization, which will be added to the Zeeuws Archief website where they Continue reading →

Featured article

People climbing trees for a better view

Column: One tree

Familysearch allows you to collaborate on an integrated family tree that joins everyone, like a Wikipedia for deceased persons. The idea is that genealogists can reach consensus about people: about the dates and places of events, but more importantly about relationships between people. Users can cite or upload sources to support their conclusions. At first, I was enthusiastic. It Continue reading →

Fortress of Elmina, coast of Guinea

Negroes for New Netherland

While searching the notarial archives at the Amsterdam City Archives, I came across a record that tells how Dutch merchants took African slaves from Guinea and shipped them to the New World, trading some in the West Indies and taking the rest to New Netherland. As it is rare to find accounts of voyages of slave vessels, I thought I Continue reading →

Featured article

View of Calicut, India, 1665

News from the Netherlands – June 2014

‘News from the Netherlands’ is a new monthly series on this blog to inform you about the best new websites, projects and books that help you find and understand your Dutch ancestors. New websites The Brabants Historical Information Center has a new website (Dutch only). The ‘Stamboom’ [Family Tree] page has several indexes, some with scans Continue reading →

Chromosome painting showing my admixture

My Native American DNA. Say what?

Always eager to try technological advances, I took an autosomal DNA test to see what that would tell me. One of the tools that you can use on Gedmatch tells you your admixture: the regions where your ancestors originally came from who contributed to your DNA. The methods to calculate this are still very much Continue reading →

Tip of the week

K 3, now Badweg 8, in Winterswijk, 1992

Quick tip: addresses are a modern invention

Addresses that consist of a street name and a number are a relatively modern invention. Until the 19th century, many houses in the Netherlands did not have addresses but only street names, and often unofficial ones at that. You may encounter descriptions like “the house at the end of the Lily Canal, where the Boars Continue reading →

Term of the week

Two people in harness drawing a barge

Dutch term – Trekschuit

Trekschuit literally means “pull barge” and is a low-bottomed ship that was dragged along canals and rivers. In the waterlogged country that is The Netherlands, trekschuiten were one of the main forms of transportation for people and goods over longer distances, as roads were often so muddy that they were useless for most of the Continue reading →