About this website

Creating a website like this is a fun activity. There are so many options, so many choices. What do visitors want? What do I want? In this blog I will describe some of the things I encounter in developing and maintaining this website.

Quick tip – Recent information is not online

Baby on a scale

If you're trying to find information about people born in the last century, you won't find much online. Dutch privacy laws restrict access to records of people born less than hundred years ago. To access these records, you will need their consent or proof of death. Information doesn't come online the minute it's 100 years old either. Not all … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Register now for Dutch Ancestors webinar

Yvette Hoitink

Legacy Family Tree just announced their line-up for the webinars in 2015. One of the webinars will be by Dutch Genealogy's own Yvette Hoitink. On 16 September 2015, she will present a webinar about researching your Dutch ancestors. Researching your Dutch ancestors Do you have ancestors from the Netherlands? This webinar introduces you to the most … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Open Archives website

Map of the Netherlands showing the locations included in the Open Archives website

A growing number of archives in the Netherland provide access to their indexes and databases as open data. The Open Archives website provides a search engine that searches all these records sets. The Open Archives website is available in English, unlike the websites of some of these archives. Just type in a name and use the filters to find the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Pilgrim Archives website

Pilgrim Archives screenshot

With Thanksgiving coming up in the US, I thought it would be fun to turn your attention to the website Pilgrim Archives. During their stay in Leiden, the Pilgrims left traces in Leiden records. The archives in Leiden got so many questions about these records that they digitized them and made them available online. The “Pilgrims in Documents” … [Read more...]

The next battleground for commercial genealogy: The Netherlands?

My Heritage screenshot

[Dutch translation below / Zie onderaan voor Nederlandse vertaling] My Heritage just announced a strategic partnership with two major players in the Dutch Genealogy community: Aldfaer and Coret Genealogie. Aldfaer is Windows software to manage your family tree that is available as freeware. Coret Genealogie provides several online services … [Read more...]

First Dutch Director of Association of Professional Genealogists

Manning the APG booth at Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Glasgow, August 2014.

I am so honored to announce that I have been elected as a Director of the Association of Professional Genealogists. I will join the Board of Directors in January and will serve a two-year term. It is quite astonishing to think how many people voted for me, since I only joined APG two years ago. I have since had the pleasure of meeting several … [Read more...]

Quick tip – List of Newspaper Archives

Ostrich reading newspaper

Eric Hennekam has compiled a list of online archives of Dutch newspapers. The list and most of the website he refers to are in Dutch, and so are the newspapers themselves, but this will give you some idea of the range of information out there. The European Library is also working on a portal to provide central access to Europe's historical … [Read more...]

Time machine – I think we can do it!

blue spiral galaxy

I've wanted to use a time machine ever since I read Thea Beckman's Crusade in Jeans when I was ten. In the book, a modern boy is sent back to the Middle Ages and ends up in the children's crusade where he uses his knowledge of modern medicine, science and geography to help them. Like Dolf in the book, I would love to travel through time and see … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Dutch immigrants kept great records

Hubregt Risseeuw Family. Source: Mary Risseeuw collection

The other day, my friend Mary and I were talking about Dutch immigrants to Wisconsin. She explained that in Wisconsin, registration of births, marriages and deaths wasn't mandated until 1907. Dutch immigrants had been used to civil registration since 1811. Unlike many of their new neighbors, they were used to having their vital events recorded and … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t trust the archivist! (at least: not blindly)

Border near Dinxperlo. Postcard (public domain)

Earlier this year, I emailed an archivist in Germany to ask about the sources that might be available for my 18th century ancestor. The archive is 2.5 hours from where I live, so I didn't want to drive there for nothing. Unfortunately, the archivist informed me that the town hall had been bombed in World War II, destroying all the old records. For … [Read more...]