5 lessons we can learn from Who Do You Think You Are?

Family gathering around the table for Christmas

In the US, the new series of the TV show Who Do You Think You Are? was just announced. I am a big fan of the show. I watch three different series: the original UK version, the US version and the Dutch version ("Verborgen Verleden"). Although they all share the same basic format, it is interesting to see the differences. The US version is more … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Recent information is not online

Baby on a scale

If you're trying to find information about people born in the last century, you won't find much online. Dutch privacy laws restrict access to records of people born less than hundred years ago. To access these records, you will need their consent or proof of death. Information doesn't come online the minute it's 100 years old either. Not all … [Read more...]

Dutch terms – begraafplaats and kerkhof

Cheryl near the Baard cemetery

A begraafplaats or kerkhof is a cemetery. Kerkhof (literally meaning "church yard") is a cemetery around the church, while a begraafplaats (literally: "burial place") is a more generic term. In the Netherlands, graves are routinely cleared after a few decades to make room for new graves. To see what graves still exist, check online cemetery … [Read more...]

Source – Guardianship records

Girls sitting around a table doing needlework

In my article about the Weeskamer (orphan chamber), an institute that oversaw the estates of orphans before 1811, several people asked me what records might exist for later orphans. The richest source of information are guardianship records, which can be found in the records of the court. Court-appointed guardians After 1811, the courts … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Register now for Dutch Ancestors webinar

Yvette Hoitink

Legacy Family Tree just announced their line-up for the webinars in 2015. One of the webinars will be by Dutch Genealogy's own Yvette Hoitink. On 16 September 2015, she will present a webinar about researching your Dutch ancestors. Researching your Dutch ancestors Do you have ancestors from the Netherlands? This webinar introduces you to the most … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Wintermaand

Wintermaand (literally: Winter month) is the old word for December. … [Read more...]

Case study: Lammert Huybertsen Brink

Dolderbrink near Wageningen (detail), 1676 (1653)

Two years ago, I helped a client, Mr. Dennis Brink, find out exactly where his family was from. He kindly agreed to let me share our story of discovery of the origins of his immigrant ancestor, Lammert Huybertsen Brink, with you. Known information When Dennis Brink first contacted me, he provided the following information about his New Netherland … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Open Archives website

Map of the Netherlands showing the locations included in the Open Archives website

A growing number of archives in the Netherland provide access to their indexes and databases as open data. The Open Archives website provides a search engine that searches all these records sets. The Open Archives website is available in English, unlike the websites of some of these archives. Just type in a name and use the filters to find the … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Sinterklaas

Baby in the lap of Saint Nicholas

Sinterklaas is the Dutch name for Saint Nicholas. The American tradition of Santa Claus stems from the Dutch celebrating Sinterklaas. What Sinterklaas and Santa Claus have in common is their love for children and sharing gifts. But it is interesting to compare the differences in the traditions: Sinterklaas Santa Claus Feast … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Pilgrim Archives website

Pilgrim Archives screenshot

With Thanksgiving coming up in the US, I thought it would be fun to turn your attention to the website Pilgrim Archives. During their stay in Leiden, the Pilgrims left traces in Leiden records. The archives in Leiden got so many questions about these records that they digitized them and made them available online. The “Pilgrims in Documents” … [Read more...]