Dutch term – Onbewoonbaar Verklaard

In the early 1900s, a new residence law came in effect to improve the living conditions of poor people. Under this law, houses could be onbewoonbaar verklaard [declared unlivable] and the residents had to move out. … [Read more...]

Cadastre: Overview Maps and Minute Maps

Several of you voted for cadastral records as the topic you would like me to write about in 2021, so here we go. This is the first article in a series. The cadastre was introduced in the Netherlands in 1832. The whole country was divided into cadastral municipalities, which did not always completely overlap with the civil municipalities. Each … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Check websites of local archives

When you're researching, don't limit your research to national or international websites like Open Archives or Ancestry. Also check the websites of local archives. Every municipality in the Netherlands has a contract with an archive to keep their records. This can either be an archive specific for that one municipality, or a regional archive that … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for December 2020

Here are new sources and projects that were announced last month. Sources The records of the Bishop of 's-Hertogenbosch between 1559 and 1650 have been digitized and are now available via the website of the Brabants Historisch Informatie Centrum. The records of  the bishop are in finding aid 2147, the old parish files are in finding aid 2074, … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Beerwagen

A beerwagen was a cess car, a car used to collect faeces in larger cities. In Amsterdam, this was also known as a boldootwagen, which jokingly referred to Boldoot, an Amsterdam factory making perfume. Before indoor plumbing, people would use buckets instead of toilets. A beerwagen would come by to collect the waste. It did not need to ring a … [Read more...]

Records that became public in 2021

Happy New Year everybody! Many records become public after 25, 50, 75, or 100 years. Here is an overview of some of the records that became public as of 1 January 2021. Exceptions may exist for records that involve people that could still be alive. Civil registration records: Birth records from 1920 Marriage records from 1945 Death … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Vuurwerk

Vuurwerk is the Dutch term for fireworks. Traditionally, fireworks are lit at midnight on New Year's Eve. This year, fireworks are not allowed because hospitals are already overwhelmed. Fireworks is a modern version of the old tradition to make noise to scare the spirits of the old year away. Before fireworks were available, people would shoot … [Read more...]

Was Eleanor of Aquitaine my Ancestor? Generation 24 – Margaret of Flanders

This is the twenty-fifth post in a series about my possible line of descent from Eleanor of Aquitaine. In the first post, I explained how I discovered the possible line, and how I am going to verify it one generation at a time. In the last post, I proved that my twentieth great-grandfather Duke John II of Brabant was the son of Margaret of Flanders … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Check notaries in neighboring towns

If you are looking for notarial records, be sure to check in neighboring towns too. Unlike civil registrations or court records, there was no requirement to go to the notary in your own town. Sometimes, people lived in the countryside and the notary of a neighboring town was more convenient. Your ancestor could also appear in notarial records in … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Winter

The Dutch word winter means the same in English: winter. Wintertime was traditionally the time to do indoor activities, such as finishing wooden shoes, weaving, making mats, etc. In many parts of the Netherlands, it was hard to get around in the winter since the roads were too boggy. As soon as it was cold enough for the ice to become reliable, … [Read more...]