Quick tip – Who owned the farm?

If your ancestors were farmers, try to find out who owned the farm. After 1832, you can check the Cadastre, before that time you can check real estate tax records or transport deeds in court records. Not many farmers owned their own farm. If they rented the farm from a rich or noble family, the archives of that family may have survived and may … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Soldaat

A soldaat is a soldier, the lowest rank in the army. Before the French occupation, the Netherlands only had a professional army. Soldiers were recruited from all over Europe, bringing many Scots, Swiss and other soldiers to the country. Conscription for men between the ages of 20 and 45 was introduced in 1810. It was suspended in 1997, though … [Read more...]

Record Analysis Example – Dutch Death Record

Learning how to analyze a record is one of the most valuable skills we need to learn as a genealogist. To give you an example of how this works, let's take a look at the death record of my second great-grandfather Gerrit Jan van Nijkerken. Abstract: Warnsveld, 10 March 1924. Marinus August George Schoute, 37, overseer, living here, and … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Visit Delft with Rick Steves

Rick Steves made a wonderful short video showing you the highlights of Delft. View video on Youtube. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Gemeentehuis

The Gemeentehuis (house of the municipality) or raadhuis (house of the council) is the town hall. In civil registration records, you will often encounter the gemeentehuis as the place where births, marriages and deaths were recorded. Civil marriages often take place at town hall. It also houses the offices of the mayor, municipal council and … [Read more...]

New Archive and Website in West-Brabant

Important news for those of us with ancestors from the western part of Noord-Brabant: a new regional archive, the West-Brabants Archief, will now house the records of the following municipalities: Bergen op Zoom Etten-Leur Halderberge Moerdijk Roosendaal Rucphen Steenbergen Woensdrecht Zundert Merger The … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Emigrants sometimes went to a Notary

Before getting on board, an emigrant may have gone to a notary to: have a will drawn up (you never know if the ship will go down) give a power of attorney to a trusted friend or family member to handle their affairs enter into a work contract, including an agreement about the payment of the passage. This is especially true for richer … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Plakkaat van Verlatinghe

The Plakkaat van Verlatinghe was the act whereby the Estates General of the Netherlands abjured their overlord, King Philip II of Spain, on 26 July 1581. This record is considered to be the birth record of the country of the Netherlands, similar to the Declaration of Independence in the United States. The original is in Spanish hands, as it was … [Read more...]

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...]