The Ancestor Conspiracy

Do you ever have a feeling that our ancestors are conspiring to be found? I certainly do! Back in 1993, just two years after I had begun doing genealogy, I used some money I had made baby sitting to buy the transcribed church records of Aalten in Gelderland. (And yes, I was a weird teen.) Soon afterwards, there was a query in Gens Nostra, the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – It’s Never Been Easier to Verify Information

Did you find your ancestor in an online index or tree? It has never been easier to verify the information using original records. Here are five places where you can find images of online records. WieWasWie, database with civil registration records and much more. Not all have images attached. Requires a subscription to view the images. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Boelgoed

Boelgoed is an estate sale. The term is typical for the northern provinces of Friesland and Groningen. Estate sales were often organized by a notary who oversaw the public auction of movable goods. The sale was usually held at the house of the owner. You will typically find a boelgoed after somebody died, or before emigration. If the boelgoed … [Read more...]

Column – The future of Genealogy

This year, I am celebrating my twenty-fifth anniversary as a genealogist. During this time, we saw the change from paper to digital. Will we see as many changes in the next twenty-five years? Here are my predictions for genealogy in 2041. In the future, it will not be possible to visit an archive in person anymore. The most popular sources are … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Parish versus Municipal Boundaries

The boundaries of a parish may be quite different from the boundaries of a municipality. A parish may be spread over multiple municipalities, or there may be multiple parishes in one municipality. Sometimes, churches in different villages formed one parish together, even though these villages may have been in different municipal … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Overboord

Overboord means "overboard," in the literal sense of going over the side of the ship. It is one of many Dutch nautical terms that made its way into English. In death records or newspaper articles, you may sometimes find that your ancestor was overboord geslagen [went overboard] and drowned. Example: Gerrit Engels Mooi Abstract: Harlingen, … [Read more...]

Another Long-term Tenant

A few weeks ago, I wrote about two tenancy contracts that showed that the Ten Haken farm in Winterswijk was in the family for three generations of tenants. As a result, reader Gerrit Stemerdink shared the story of his Wieberdink ancestors with me. They were tenants of the Wieberdink farm for more than two centuries. The following is an adaptation … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Protestant was not the Dominant Religion Everywhere

Many people think that the Netherlands was predominantly Protestant or Dutch Reformed, and that Catholics were a minority. While that may have been true for the country as a whole, there are several areas where almost everyone was Catholic. Areas that are predominantly Catholic include: Noord-Brabant Limburg Some parts of Overijssel … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Uithangbord

An uithangbord is a sign hanging from the façade of a building. Many businesses had one. It served as advertising and as a form of address: people often referred to a house by the sign that hung from it. In old court records, you can sometimes find references to these signs, for example in phases like ". . . sells his inn at the Achterstraat, … [Read more...]

My Tips for People Pursuing Certification

I was recently certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. It was a long process to create a portfolio of work samples. I know there are several readers of this blog who want to become certified in the future, or who are already working on their portfolios. I learned a lot from creating my portfolio and going through the process, and … [Read more...]