Featured article

two bronze monuments in the pavement

Stumbling Blocks – Remembering Debora Hedeman and Bertha Zilversmit

Last month, twenty bronze monuments were installed in my home town of Oldenzaal. They are Stolpersteine, “stumbling blocks,” about 10×10 cm (4×4″) large bronze stones inscribed with the name of a Jewish resident who was murdered during the Holocaust. They are placed in the pavement in front of the house where they last lived. These Stolpersteine Continue reading →

Featured article

open wooden chest with letters

Signed, Sealed, & Undelivered: Amazing Collection of 17th Century Letters Rediscovered

The Museum voor Communicatie discovered an amazing treasure in their vaults: a box that belonged to a postmaster in the 17th century, filled with 2600 undelivered letters, 600 of which have never been opened. The letters came to The Hague from France, the Southern Netherlands and Spain. Dr David van der Linden, from the University of Groningen, Continue reading →

Map of Friesland and Groningen

Dutch Genealogy Webinar – Questions about Locations

This is my fourth and final post answering the questions asked by viewers of “Researching Your Dutch Ancestors” webinar. In this post, I will answer questions about locations. Are Holland and the Netherlands the same country? Holland is an alternative name used  for the Netherlands, but the official name is The Netherlands. View this video for an Continue reading →

Featured article

Cemetery with a church in the background

A (Reverse) Witch Trial in Winterswijk

In the late medieval period, many unexplained phenomena were attributed to witchcraft. If a healthy child suddenly became ill or a cow would not give milk, the influence of witches was often suspected. Many people were persecuted and burned at the stake, particularly in the Southern Netherlands (current-day Belgium). By the 1600s, the hunt quieted Continue reading →

Massacre of Naarden

Five ways the Eighty Years’ War affected our ancestors

The Dutch war of Independence, commonly known as the Eighty Years’ War or the Revolt, took place from 1568 to 1648. By the mid 1500s, the provinces that would form the Netherlands were part of the Habsburg empire, ruled by king Philip II of Spain. He was a staunch Catholic, while in many places in the Netherlands Continue reading →

Tip of the week

White palace

Quick tip – Share Your Family Stories

Two weeks ago, I shared a story on this site’s Facebook page. Here’s what I wrote: My grandfather lived in one of the wings of this castle when he served on the staff of Prince Bernhard during the last months of World War II. Apeldoorn was liberated at the end of 1944 and became the Continue reading →

Term of the week

Fragment of the stamreeks of the house of Orange

Dutch Term – Stamreeks

A stamreeks is a pedigree that follows just one line of ancestors, usually the male line. In most cases, this will trace the last name. Other variations trace the female line only, or follow the last name even if it is descended from a woman (in the case of an illegitimate child or farm name). Continue reading →