Three Things I Learned About DNA at WDYTYA Live

View of the floor

Last week, during Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in London, I attended a DNA workshop about Autosomal DNA. Autosomal DNA is the DNA on your non-sex chromomes (22 pairs). I have done autosomal testing with FamilyTreeDNA and 23andme and am always looking for information that helps me to interpret the results. Here are three things that I … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Try to find evidence to disprove your case

Two old cars after a collision

When proving a theory, we look for evidence that supports it. But as diligent researchers, we should look just as hard for evidence that disproves our theory. In fact, searching for evidence that does not fit with our preconceptions can be far more informative than searching for supporting evidence, as demonstrated in this short video. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – archievenoverzicht

Extract of the burial record of Gart Vossers

Many archives or other repositories will have an online archievenoverzicht, a listing of their collection. The word archievenoverzicht literally means "overview of archives." It will give you a list of the collections, usually organized by categories like population records, court records or tax records. Some archives will only have the … [Read more...]

Ask the expert

Overview of the exhibition

I am currently in London, to attend Who Do You Think You Are Live, the biggest genealogy event in the world. People were already queueing to get in about an hour before the show opened. Once inside, they could listen to lectures, visit one of the dozens of stands or have their DNA sampled to be analyzed. Last year, one of the parts of the … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Are your records independent?

Marriage booklet of Cornelis Flooren and Catharina van der Zanden (p. 1)

The next time you find a birth, marriage and death record that all agree about the name of the person and his date of birth or age, ask yourself: are these documents independent? An extract of the birth record would have been submitted in order to get married. The details from the marriage record may have been copied into the marriage booklet, … [Read more...]

Dutch term – gemeente

Municipal map of Stompwijk.

A gemeente is a municipality, the lowest administrative unit. The Netherlands currently has 408 municipalities in 12 provinces. Over the last couple of decades, many municipalities merged. In 1812 there were 1,100. Archives of municipalities can be found at a local archive; either a municipal archive specific for that municipality or a regional … [Read more...]

Love speed skating? Your ancestors did too!

Two men on skates near a start line

If there is one sport that the Dutch dominate, it is speed skating. It is the only Olympic sport where the orange team can win all three medals. Our love for speed skating is not surprising if you understand the history of the Dutch landscape. Because large parts of the country are below sea level, the landscape is crisscrossed by little canals … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Database laws may protect Dutch family trees

Woman carrying food distributed by allied forces, World War II

Most countries have copyright laws to protect the creative work of authors and artists. Under copyright law, a fact cannot be copyrighted since it doesn't meet the requirement of creativity. In many countries that means that the names, dates and places in a genealogical database are not protected by copyright and may be copied without asking … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Bibliotheek

Library reading room

Bibliotheek is the Dutch word for library. Unlike in the US, most libraries don't have a large genealogical collection. Most will just have one or two general genealogical reference books in their collection plus some local history books. Only major libraries will have a subscription to genealogical journals such as Gens Nostra or De Nederlandsche … [Read more...]

Quick tip: New Worldwide Genealogy Blog

Postcard

Worldwide Genealogy is a blog where genealogists from around the world tell about their adventures. I am honored to be a part of this group. My first blog post appeared today, as I will be blogging on the 5th of every month. Enjoy! … [Read more...]