New Archive and Website in West-Brabant

Important news for those of us with ancestors from the western part of Noord-Brabant: a new regional archive, the West-Brabants Archief, will now house the records of the following municipalities: Bergen op Zoom Etten-Leur Halderberge Moerdijk Roosendaal Rucphen Steenbergen Woensdrecht Zundert Merger The … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Emigrants sometimes went to a Notary

Before getting on board, an emigrant may have gone to a notary to: have a will drawn up (you never know if the ship will go down) give a power of attorney to a trusted friend or family member to handle their affairs enter into a work contract, including an agreement about the payment of the passage. This is especially true for richer … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Plakkaat van Verlatinghe

The Plakkaat van Verlatinghe was the act whereby the Estates General of the Netherlands abjured their overlord, King Philip II of Spain, on 26 July 1581. This record is considered to be the birth record of the country of the Netherlands, similar to the Declaration of Independence in the United States. The original is in Spanish hands, as it was … [Read more...]

The Ancestor Conspiracy

Do you ever have a feeling that our ancestors are conspiring to be found? I certainly do! Back in 1993, just two years after I had begun doing genealogy, I used some money I had made baby sitting to buy the transcribed church records of Aalten in Gelderland. (And yes, I was a weird teen.) Soon afterwards, there was a query in Gens Nostra, the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – It’s Never Been Easier to Verify Information

Did you find your ancestor in an online index or tree? It has never been easier to verify the information using original records. Here are five places where you can find images of online records. WieWasWie, database with civil registration records and much more. Not all have images attached. Requires a subscription to view the images. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Boelgoed

Boelgoed is an estate sale. The term is typical for the northern provinces of Friesland and Groningen. Estate sales were often organized by a notary who oversaw the public auction of movable goods. The sale was usually held at the house of the owner. You will typically find a boelgoed after somebody died, or before emigration. If the boelgoed … [Read more...]

Column – The future of Genealogy

This year, I am celebrating my twenty-fifth anniversary as a genealogist. During this time, we saw the change from paper to digital. Will we see as many changes in the next twenty-five years? Here are my predictions for genealogy in 2041. In the future, it will not be possible to visit an archive in person anymore. The most popular sources are … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Parish versus Municipal Boundaries

The boundaries of a parish may be quite different from the boundaries of a municipality. A parish may be spread over multiple municipalities, or there may be multiple parishes in one municipality. Sometimes, churches in different villages formed one parish together, even though these villages may have been in different municipal … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Overboord

Overboord means "overboard," in the literal sense of going over the side of the ship. It is one of many Dutch nautical terms that made its way into English. In death records or newspaper articles, you may sometimes find that your ancestor was overboord geslagen [went overboard] and drowned. Example: Gerrit Engels Mooi Abstract: Harlingen, … [Read more...]

Another Long-term Tenant

A few weeks ago, I wrote about two tenancy contracts that showed that the Ten Haken farm in Winterswijk was in the family for three generations of tenants. As a result, reader Gerrit Stemerdink shared the story of his Wieberdink ancestors with me. They were tenants of the Wieberdink farm for more than two centuries. The following is an adaptation … [Read more...]