About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for 20 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

Sources for Dutch Genealogy – Pre 1811 Cheat Sheet

boy looking at paper of boy sitting next to him

Looking for information about Dutch ancestors in the period from say 1650 until 1811 (before the introduction of the civil registration)? This cheat sheet will tell you which sources to consult. In some cases, not all types of records are available in each region. If a town did not have an orphan chamber, the administration of the estates of … [Read more...]

King’s Day Giveaway: Dutch Roots

Dutch Roots cover

On 26 April, we will celebrate the first ever "King's Day" in honor of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. Until last year, the national holiday to celebrate the monarch's birthday was "Queen's Day," a tradition started in 1891. King Willem-Alexander succeeded his mother, Queen Beatrix, on 30 April last year. This year, he will be visiting … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Brouwer

Brewer, print by Jan and Casparus Luyken, 1694.

A brouwer is a brewer. Since most of the water was not safe to drink, most people drank beer. 'Small beer' only had a low alcohol percentage so it was safe to drink for children. In larger towns, brewers were organized in guilds. In smaller towns, they operated independently. In most places, brewers had to pay tax on the beer they produced. Some … [Read more...]

Using risk management strategies to do genealogy efficiently

train wreck

As a project manager, I am used to assessing and managing risks. I will determine the biggest threats to my project, assess how likely they are to occur and how much of an impact they would have if they do occur. The combination of these factors will tell me which risks I need to focus my attention on: risk = likelihood x impact. The same … [Read more...]

Quick tip – most farmers were tenants, not owners

Etching of a farmer

If your ancestors were farmers, please keep in mind that most farmers in the Netherlands were tenants, not owners. Most land was owned by a few wealthy families and institutions like churches or convents. You may be able to find information about your ancestors in the archives that these families and institutions created but you will not be able … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Grasmaand

April. Image credits: Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Grasmaand literally means "grass month" and is the old word for April. … [Read more...]

Case study – Using population registers to tell a story

Three girls

When you find enough evidence to answer your initial research questions, it is tempting to move on to another family. But you can discover a whole lot more if you make the effort to find all available records. In this case study, I will show you how you can find out more about the lives of your ancestors using information from Population … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Of Dutch descent? You may be a latent citizen

Dutch woman in traditional costume

A Dutch law for latent citizens allow some children and even grandchildren of Dutch citizens to claim Dutch citizenship. Until 2003, 'latent citizenship' was only recognized for foreign-born children of Dutch male citizens. But current equality laws have broadened the eligibility so since 2003 foreign-born children of Dutch women have also been … [Read more...]

Dutch term – levenloos

Death record of stillborn child

Levenloos literally means "lifeless" and is used to refer to stillborn children. In death records, you will often read "levenloze dochter" [stillborn daughter], "levenloze zoon" [stillborn son] or "levenloos kind" [stillborn child]. Since 1811, death records were created for stillborn children (children born after a pregnancy of more than six … [Read more...]

Five reasons to hire a professional genealogist

5 reasons to hire a professional genealogist

Most of my clients hire me for a combination of these five reasons. Why would you consider hiring a professional genealogist? Or what is holding you back? If you have ever hired a professional genealogist, what was your main reason for doing so? (Feel free to reuse this image. A link back to this blog post is appreciated.) … [Read more...]