Dutch term – Verzuiling

Verzuiling, literally: "pillarization," is the segregation of a society by religion or socio-economic background. By the late 1800s, the Dutch society become increasingly segragated. As a child of Roman Catholic parents, you would not just worship in the Catholic church, but you would also attend a Catholic school, sing in a Roman choir, and … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Deeds may have been recorded much later

In 1704, one of my ancestors had a dispute with his landlord. In the subsequent court case, both sides submitted copies of deeds into evidence. The oldest deed was from 1302, more than four centuries old at the time, allowing me to trace the history of that farm back more than seven hundred years. The original is now lost, the copy is all that … [Read more...]

Remembering Mien Woordes (1916-2009)

A hundred years ago today, my paternal grandmother Gesiena Wilhelmina Woordes was born in Winterswijk. She was born on a farm in the hamlet of Woold, just outside the village. Her father, Hendrik Woordes, had been born on the Woordes farm that gave the family its name. At least twelve generations of Woordes men had farmed there, but Hendrik … [Read more...]

Yvette Hoitink wins APGQ Excellence Award

Dutch Genealogist Yvette Hoitink just received the 2016 APGQ Excellence Award. The award is given by the Association of Professional Genealogists to recognize excellence in material submitted to the Quarterly magazine. Hoitink received the award for her article "Use Content Marketing to Grow Your Business," published in the September 2015 issue of … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Guide to coins, weights and measures

Ever wondered how large an Amsterdamse roede is, or how many duiten there are in a stuiver? The New Netherland Institute has a Guide to Seventeenth Century Dutch Coins, Weights and Measures on their website. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Doodgeboren

Doodgeboren, literally "born dead," is the Dutch word for stillborn. Since the introduction of the civil registration, stillborn children who were born after 24 weeks of pregnancy only received a death record. As of 19 September 2016, parents can now also request that a birth record is drawn up. … [Read more...]

Column – The Gap

Archives have the legal task to keep records in good, orderly and accessible condition. But what the Archiefwet [Archive Law] considers accessible does not always match users' expectations. In the most basic form of access, users can consult the records in the reading room. An increasing number of records can also be found online by clicking … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Grave Stones in Churches May Not Cover the Actual Grave

If your ancestors were rich, they may have been buried in the church. Many Dutch churches have floors consisting of grave stones. What many people don't realize, is that many of these slabs don't cover the actual graves anymore. The graves may have been cleared to make room for new (unmarked) ones, or the stones may have been rearranged when the … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Signalement

Signalement is the physical description. You can often find signalementen in military records, prison records, or in police bulletins. It is rare to find a physical description for ancestors before say 1800. See a list of Dutch terms in physical descriptions for more information. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Indexes may have added information

The goal of an index is to provide an easy way to find the records. Creators of indexes will sometimes add information to make the records easier to find, even when that information is not in the original record. This can create problems if the information they added turns out to be incorrect or misleading. A recent query in the Dutch Genealogy … [Read more...]