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...]

Quick tip – Amsterdam maps

The Amsterdam City Archives published a wonderful collection of maps on their website. You can view the scans at high resolution and then select "Bekijk op de kaart" to see them projected on a modern map. By moving the transparency slider back and forth, you can easily compare the current and the old situation. Go to the maps collection of the … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Postbode

A postbode is a mail man. For large parts of the 1800s and 1900s, the government controlled the delivery of the mail and mail men were civil servants. You can find their personnel and pension records at the Nationaal Archief in The Hague. … [Read more...]

Differences between Genealogy in the Netherlands and the US

On Facebook, Linda Roos asked me about the differences between genealogy in the Netherlands and the United States. That topic warrants a longer reply than I gave her on Facebook, so here we go! 1: Quality of sources In the Netherlands, we have an abundance of high-quality sources. Since 1850, we have had the population register, recording who … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Who Else had that Rare Name?

As you probably know, Dutch children were usually named after family members. If one of your brick wall ancestors had an unusual name, or gave one of their children an unusual name, it might be worthwhile to look who else in the community shared that name. You can then investigate that person's family to see if your brick wall ancestors fits in … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Regest

A regest is an abstract of a record, usually of a medieval charter. Many archives provide regesten of their oldest records, which are often in Latin and in a handwriting that is hard to read to modern eyes. You can find regesten at the websites of archives, or in published oorkondenboeken (charter books). See the article about Oorkonde (charter) … [Read more...]

The Bosch’ Protocol Crowdsourcing Project

442 years of records, spanning the period of 1367 to 1809. One of the most complete series of court records anywhere in the country. More than half of them in Latin. The Bosch' Protocols, the voluntary court records of the jurisdiction of 's-Hertogenbosch in Brabant, are a treasure trove of information. It has wills. It has deeds. It has … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t confuse the date of the record and the event

Births and deaths are created within several days of the event. The first date that you will find in the birth record or death record is the record date. Further down in the record, you will find the actual birth or death date, which could have been up to five days earlier. Indexes sometimes only have the record date, so make sure to always … [Read more...]