Featured article

book with crest and hanging seal

Ask Yvette – Do I have a family crest?

Several people have contacted me wanting to know if they have a family crest. Five things to know about crests Most people did not have family crests. Most people who used family crests, were well-to-do. Often they were nobles, rich merchants (patricians) or administrators. If your ancestor was a poor farmer, chances are that he did Continue reading →

Featured article

Farm

Quick tip – Use Street View to ‘visit’ your ancestor’s home town

Google Street View has been all over the Netherlands, so you can use this service to make a virtual visit to your ancestor’s home town. To use Google Street View, look up the address or name of the town in Google Maps and then click “Street view” or drag the yellow man unto the map.

plate with cookies

Five reasons why it’s awesome to have Dutch ancestors

Do you have Dutch ancestors? Congratulations! Here are five things that are awesome about having Dutch ancestors. 1. Dutch records are excellent Since 1850, the government did not just keep census records, they kept them up to date so they always know who’s living where. These are called population registers. Civil registration of birth, marriages and deaths Continue reading →

Featured article

Groenlo

Review – Atlas De Wit: City Atlas of the Low Countries

Last year, I won a wonderful facsimile atlas in a contest by the Royal Library. I love maps and am a founding member of the study group for the history of cartography in my home town. When I saw that the Royal Library was giving away a copy of this atlas for the best tip Continue reading →

Bike

April Fool’s Day in the Netherlands

April Fool’s Day is celebrated in the Netherlands. The first recorded April Fool’s joke in Dutch dates to about 1560, when a poem mentioned how a servant recognized a prank that his master was trying to pull on him.1 The best April Fool’s joke that I’ve seen up close was when I was studying at Continue reading →

Tip of the week

children sitting in a classroom with a female teacher in front

Quick tip – Free Dutch language course

Have you always wanted to learn Dutch? The University of Groningen is teaching a free online course that will teach you the basics of the language in three weeks. The next course starts 1 June 2015. Read more information about the Dutch language course on the Future Learn website.

Term of the week

church

Dutch term – Kerk

A kerk is a church. Before 1811, the records that the churches kept of baptisms, marriages and burials are the main sources for vital events.