Dutch term – Hooimaand

July. Image credits: Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Hooimaand (literally: hay month) is the old word for July. … [Read more...]

News from the Netherlands – June 2014

View of Calicut, India, 1665

'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 … [Read more...]

Quick tip: check Dutch Reformed records for Catholics

church

After the Eighty Year War (1568-1648), only marriages performed in the Dutch Reformed Church or before the Eldermen's court were considered legal. This means that even marriages between two Catholic people can often be found in Dutch Reformed church records. This does not mean they converted or pretended to be Dutch Reformed, they just went there … [Read more...]

Dutch term: Neef en Nicht

Group of cousins, all grandchildren of Cornelis Trouw and Maria Gommeren

A neef is a male relative: either a first cousin or a nephew. A nicht is a female relative: either a first cousin or a niece. Like the word 'cousin' in English, the words 'neef' and 'nicht' are sometimes used to describe a more distant relationship. Someone who is referred to as a 'neef,' may turn out to be the husband of a first cousin once … [Read more...]

My Native American DNA. Say what?

Chromosome painting showing my admixture

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 under development, but I find it … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Free images of Dutch colonial past

View of New Netherland

The National Archives and Royal Library of the Netherlands have just donated thousands of images of the colonial past of the Netherlands and its trade partners to the public domain. These images have been uploaded to Wikimedia and are free for everybody to use, without restrictions. Here are a few gems: View images from the Atlas of … [Read more...]

Dutch term – familiewapen

Coat of arms of King Willem-Alexander

A familiewapen is a family crest or coat of arms. Most people in the Netherlands did not have a coat of arms. People who used them were usually members of the nobility or other members of the upper class. Working class families did not have a use for a crest. There are several heraldic databases and collections that will tell you whether a coat … [Read more...]

Column: (Re)searcher

Office of the notary

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 too. … [Read more...]

Quick tip: “levenloos” is not a first name

Dutch girls laying flowers on the graves of a temporary graveyard for killed Canadian soldiers. Edderwolde, The Netherlands, 1945.

In some trees, you will see the name 'Levenloos' as the first name. However, 'levenloos' means 'lifeless' and is used to indicate stillborn children. Read more about the term levenloos. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Vader

Soldier and child on a bike

The Dutch word vader means 'father.' Finding fathers can be difficult if the parents weren't married. Some tips: Check the birth record to see if the margin has any notes about the child being recognized by a father later in life. This need not be the biological father but it can be a good clue. Check population registers (since 1850) to … [Read more...]