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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 →

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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 →

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Office of the notary

Column: (Re)searcher

When you’ve been going genealogy for many years, there are some brick walls that you’ve just about given up on because you’ve spent so many fruitless hours tearing them down. But it can be useful to re-evaluate them periodically. Not only will there be new sources available online, but your own skills will have grown Continue reading →

Police officer

Column: Genealogy police

To me, one of the best aspects of the internet is that it gives everybody a channel to publish whatever they want. No editors that tell you what you can or cannot do, everybody is their own publisher. This has resulted in a wide range of publications, ranging from copy-paste jobs without citations to well-researched works that Continue reading →

Tip of the week

Etten-Leur, population register 1860-1869, household of Martinus Trouw.

Quick tip: The first of same-named siblings probably died young

If you see multiple siblings with the same name, the first one probably died before the next one was born. Dutch parents typically named their children after relatives. By giving the new child the name of the deceased sibling, both the deceased sibling and the relative that that sibling had been named after were commemorated. Continue reading →

Term of the week

woman holding a looking glass

Dutch term – Toegang

The Dutch word toegang literally means “access” or “entrance.” In archival jargon, it means a finding aid that describes the content of a record group. For example, you can have a toegang on the records of the Dutch East India Company. Another word for toegang is inventaris. In source citations or search forms, you can encounter Continue reading →