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young girls with their heads shaven walking in procession

Finding collaborators in World War II

With the 70th anniversary of our liberation coming up next week, I thought I would discuss one of the most important record groups for research into World War II. During World War II, several Dutch citizens collaborated with the German occupation: some joined the National Socialist Movement (NSB), others betrayed Jews or were romantically involved with German soldiers. After the War Continue reading →

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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 →

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.

Featured article

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 →

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 →

Tip of the week

Photograph of two young girls

Quick tip – No middle names

People in the Netherlands did not have ‘middle’ names. They could have one or more first names, followed by their last name. But even if they had two first names, they would be considered two first names and not a first and a middle name. Before say 1700, most people had just one first name. Continue reading →

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.