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 – 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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]