Dutch term – Herfstmaand

September. Image credits: Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Herfstmaand (literally: Autumn month) is the old word for September. … [Read more...]

Europeana and genealogy

Archives Portal Europe homepage

Earlier this week, I had my farewell party at the National Archives, where I had worked for 8.5 years as a consultant and project manager in the IT department. I quit my job to focus full-time on my genealogy business. Besides doing client research, I will also be doing consultancy for IT-projects in the heritage sector. Europeana and Archives … [Read more...]

Dutch term – krant

Newspaper clipping

A krant (plural: kranten) is a newspaper. The first newspaper in the Dutch language was the Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c. that first appeared in 1618. The oldest newspaper that still exists is the Leeuwarder Courant, that has appeared since 1752. The Royal Library of the Netherlands is digitizing old newspapers and making them … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Catholic? Check for prayer cards

Prayer card of Johanna Buis

Were your ancestors Roman-Catholic? After their death, a prayer card ('bidprentje') may have been created. This card commemorates the deceased and often gives biographical information like the names of the spouse, date and place of birth and death. Read more about using prayer cards for your research … [Read more...]

Source: Family announcements

Marriage announcement of H.J. Kastein and E.J.E. de Monye

In the Netherlands, there has never been a tradition of writing biographical obituaries like you see in countries like the United States. Instead, "familieberichten" [family announcements] simply announce the death of a person. In the 19th century, only more affluent people had a familiebericht placed in the paper. It was usually very short and … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Weeskamer

Ordinance of the Goes Orphan Chamber

A weeskamer is the orphan chamber, a government body responsible for overseeing the administration of the estates of (half) orphans. Weeskamers should not be confused with orphanages: they did not take care of the orphans, just the administration of the estates. Weeskamers existed in most parts of the Netherlands until 1810. After 1810, their … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Dutch Genealogy on Facebook

Facebook logo

There are several Facebook groups and pages for people with Dutch ancestors: Dutch Genealogy Dutch in New Netherlands (New York area) 1609-1674 Genealogy Group Dutch Genealogy in Australia Dutch Genealogy Services The Facebook page for the company behind this website and newsletter. To keep in touch with Dutch culture, I also … [Read more...]

Fighting in church

Aalten church. Photo: Yvette Hoitink

It is rare to find sources that show us the how our ancestors behaved in their every-day lives. Church council minutes can sometimes give us a glimpse. The church council minutes of Aalten are a good example. Church seats In Dutch Reformed Churches, most members had their own seats in the church. They would have benches built at their own … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Endogamy did not start after immigration

Bride and groom

People whose ancestors live in small Dutch immigrant settlements have probably noticed that many of them were distant cousins. The size of these communities limited the pool of potential spouses. Endogamy (marrying within the community, also known as 'kissing cousins') is not unusual. What most people don't realize, is that many of these … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Bruid

Etch of an older man holding a woman's had

A bruid is a bride. Most women married for the first time in their mid to late twenties. If you see a woman who got married before the age of twenty, you will often find one of these circumstances to be the case: The bride is pregnant The bride is an orphan The groom is a widower with young children and the bride is his former maid. Of … [Read more...]