Quick tip – Trace enslaved people by their owners

If you are researching enslaved people in the former Dutch colonies like Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles, you need to trace their owners. Enslaved people created few records themselves, but their owners may have created records that mention them. Here are some examples of records created by owners that may include enslaved people: … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Studiezaal

The studiezaal is the reading room. Most archives in the Netherlands have a reading room. Opening hours may vary, some smaller reading rooms are open by appointment only. Thanks to large digitization projects and scanning on demand services, visiting reading rooms in person is often not necessary anymore since most of the research can be done … [Read more...]

Poor relief in the Netherlands in the 1600s

In the 1600s, poor relief was a local affair. There was no national social security system. Larger cities had poor masters who administered a fund to support the poor residents of the city. In the countryside and smaller cities, the deacons of the protestant church had the responsibility to aid people in need. Even people who did not belong to … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Sint Maarten

11 November is the feast day of Sint Maarten (Saint Martin). In some parts of the Netherlands, children go door-to-door holding night lights and singing songs. The neighbors would then give them treats. … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for October 2019

Here is an overview of the new sources, projects, and news about archives that were announced last month. Online sources The Historisch Centrum Overijssel published indexes of birth records of several Overijssel towns: Oldemarkt, Kuinre, Hellendoorn, Oldenzaal, and Hengelo. The indexes can be found on Open Archieven. The slave registers of … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t rely on automatic translators

Automatic translators like Google Translate can be a big help if you don't speak Dutch. However, many older records use terms that no longer exist in modern Dutch, or that have shifted meaning. Automatic translators are also notoriously bad at translating words that may have multiple meanings. An example is the sentence: "Zijn neef was zijn … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Use Past and Next Places in Population Registers

Population registers are a wonderful way to trace where our ancestors were living between 1850 and 1920. The registers give an overview of the people in the household. If someone moved into the household, the register should indicate the previous place of residence. If they moved within the municipality, the previous place will be indicated as … [Read more...]

Dutch term: Eigenaar

An eigenaar is an owner. Up until recently, many people in the Netherlands did not own any real estate. They were tenants of farms, or rented a house. To find out whether your ancestors owned land, you can check death duties files, notarial records, court records, or cadastral records. For an example of research into property ownership, see … [Read more...]

Source: Emigrants to New Netherland (1650-1664)

The New York State Archives in Albany houses many colonial Dutch records. Among those records is an account book of the West India Company, which includes payments for passage to New Netherland from 1650 to 1664. This is a great source of information about New Netherland ancestors. Example: Teunis Kraij This entry for Teunis Kraij translates … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Kleinkind

A kleinkind is a grandchild. The term literally translates to "small child." A kleinkind can be a kleindochter (granddaughter) or kleinzoon (grandson). … [Read more...]