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Alle Drenten screenshot

New website: Alle Drenten

A new website launched this week: Alle Drenten (all people from Drenthe). Drenthe is a province in the north-east of the country. Many people from other regions lived there too, as it was home to the pauper colonies where beggars, vagrants and prisoners were sent to. The new website is the successor of DrenLias. It contains Continue reading →

Featured article

Men eating herring by holding a tail

11 things to know if you plan a trip to the Netherlands

Are you planning a trip to the Netherlands in the new year? Here are some things you need to know if you’ve never been to the Netherlands before. 1. Most churches are still there Most churches are still standing, whether they are from the medieval period or later. Not all of them will be open to Continue reading →

DNA spiral

Column – DNA tools

Two years ago, I took my first genealogical DNA-test. Thankfully, the results weren’t too surprising, but definitely interesting. Grandpa, who was born three months after his parents’ marriage, was indeed the son of his father because I share DNA with multiple relatives on that side. My friend Mary, whom I knew to be related on my father’s Continue reading →

Featured article

Jannink Kuitenbrouwer waffle iron

New Year’s irons in the East of the Netherlands

Happy New Year everybody! How are you celebrating? In the eastern part of the Netherlands, in the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel and Gelderland, there is a tradition of baking New Year’s waffles on New Year’s Day. Traditionally, these waffles were made using large irons which were put in the hearth. In 1999, my mother co-authored a Continue reading →

Roberta (left) and Cheryl locating the graves of their distant cousins at the Baard Cemetery

Looking back on 2014

2014 has been a wonderful year for me. It’s the year my company Dutch Genealogy Services really took off, which allowed me to quit my job and dedicate myself full-time to being a genealogy professional. Here are some of the highlights of my year. Client projects Worked for 35 clients from 12 different countries. Did research in 11 of Continue reading →

Tip of the week

Meerdink farm

Quick tip – Most people did not own real estate

Historically, most people in the Netherlands did not own real estate. Most farmers were tenant farmers, often living on the same farm for generations. Others were seasonal laborers who moved from farm to farm every year. It is rare to find tenancy contracts or rental agreements as these things were usually arranged between the owner Continue reading →

Term of the week

Etching of a merchant

Dutch term – Koopman

A koopman was a merchant, with the plural being kooplieden. Kooplieden could trade in all sorts of goods, ranging from spices from the Far East, timber from the Baltic or fur from the Americas. Others traded in domestic products like grain, cloth or glassware. One of the nice things about having a koopman in your Continue reading →