About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 25 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

Emergency baptisms by the midwife

Emergency baptism by a midwife, 1720

In the Roman Catholic church, if a child was in peril of dying during the delivery, the midwife was allowed to perform an emergency baptism. Here is a summary of the instructions for such baptisms, as printed in Brussels in 1698. Instructions for midwives regarding baptisms of young children who were born, or were in peril of not being born … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Wiring money to the Netherlands

Buying groceries, 1955.

If you're ordering records from municipalities or archives in the Netherlands, chances are that you will not be able to pay by credit card or PayPal. Most government agencies in the Netherlands are only set up to accept bank payments. To wire money, you will need the IBAN-number of the bank account that you're sending the money to, and the … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Schepel

wooden bucket

A schepel is a measure of surface as well as of capacity. One schepel of land used to be the amount of land you could sow with one schepel of grain. You may encounter the term in land records or tax records. The size of a schepel differed from one region to the next. For example, in Gelderland, a schepel of land was about 1450 m2, or 0.36 acres. … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette – A research plan for an 18th-century brick wall ancestor

The river lands near Heerwaarden, 1697

Reader Rob Ton wondered what other sources he might consult to identify the parents of his brick wall ancestor Aert Ton. Aert Ton was married in Heerewaarden, a village in Gelderland, on 19 May 1737 to Hendersken van Neerlangen. Neither his marriage nor his burial record identifies his parents. Since this is a common problem that many of you are … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Turn the page!

Bredevoort court records, with only the right page numbered.

In Dutch records, often only the right page is numbered. So if you see a reference for your ancestor at page 15 and can't find her, turn the page and check the left side of page 16. Often, this reverse page is designated like fol. 15v, with a v for "verso" [Latin for reverse] and "fol." [folio] instead of p. [page]. But sometimes the numbers … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Dood

Merry party disturbed by death. Gesina ter Borch, 1660.

The word Dood means dead or deceased. Information about deaths can be found in death records (after 1811) or burial records (before 1811). In most cases, it will not be possible to find a cause of death. … [Read more...]

Where to find Dutch genealogy records online

Row of books with names of poorters

So you found out that your immigrant ancestor is Dutch. Perhaps you notice that the websites that you normally use don't have many Dutch records. Where do you go go next? Here are my favorite free websites to find records of our Dutch ancestors. All these websites provide free access to indexes, although some will charge to access or download … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Not all religions baptized infants

Baptism in the Mennonite Church, 1743

In the period before the civil registration, which was introduced in most of the Netherlands in 1811, baptismal records are the usual documents to consult for information about the birth date of an ancestor. In most cases, children were baptized within days of being born. But some religions did not baptize infants but waited until people were old … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Archiefstuk

Charter of 950

An Archiefstuk is an archival record, a document created or received in the course of a person or organization's activities or tasks. The oldest surviving archiefstuk in the Netherlands is a 950 charter whereby King Otto I granted the right of a market and toll to Cassalum (unidentified location). The charter is kept by the Regionaal Historisch … [Read more...]

Top 5 sources for images to illustrate your Dutch family tree

Children peeling potatoes while wearing traditional costumes, 1946

Here are my favorite websites for finding images to illustrate your family tree. National Archives Photo collection The National Archives in The Hague has over 14 million photos in its collection, many from press offices, taken by professional photographers. Over a million photos have been scanned and made available in the photo collection part … [Read more...]