Quick tip – Your ancestors may have moved a lot

Car with lots of pans and other stuff sticking out

Your ancestors may have moved around a lot more than you think. Especially towards the end of the 19th century, when more and more people started living in cities, people moved a lot more frequently than we do today. Check this case study, for example, that shows how one woman moved 28 times in 20 years. … [Read more...]

A tale of two calendars

Republic of the Seven United Netherlands

Almost everywhere in the world today, we use the Gregorian calendar. It has 365 days a year, with the occasional leap year that is determined as follows: Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. For … [Read more...]

Quick tip: naming patterns

Gerrit and Mien Woordes

Most Dutch parents followed a strict pattern when naming their children: the first son was named after the paternal grandfather, the second son after the maternal grandfather; the first daughter was named after the maternal grandmother and the second daughter after the paternal grandmother. When you find a source that lists children in their … [Read more...]

Worst case of pedigree collapse ever?

Roerdink farm

My father's side of the family comes from a small village in the east of Gelderland called Winterswijk. Because so many of his ancestors came from that place, I am reconstructing its entire population. Doing such a one-place-study has given me a deeper understanding of life in that village and allowed me to make some interesting discoveries and … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Using the website WhoWasWho (video)

Using Who Was Who (opening slide)

Familysearch has created a free video about using the largest genealogical database in the Netherlands: WieWasWie [WhoWasWho]. 7 minute video: Using the Dutch Website: Whowaswho … [Read more...]

Quick tip: try spelling variations

Girl writing in a notebook

Even after the introduction of the civil registration, but especially in earlier records, there may be spelling variations of a name. A woman may be called Elizabeth or Elisabeth, her last name might be written as Jansen or Janssen. Especially since most Dutch search engines only find exact matches, it is important to try different spelling … [Read more...]

Column: Best find

Monument

When you are at a birthday party and tell people you are into genealogy, the first question you often get is "How far back were you able to go?" If they haven't lost all interest after hearing your stories about tracing some lines to the Middle Ages and getting stuck on some illegitimate children in the 19th century on other lines, a second … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Languages that may come in handy

medieval manuscript

These languages will come in handy when researching your ancestors from the Netherlands. Dutch Not surprisingly, most records in the Netherlands have been written in Dutch. French During the French occupation (1795-1813), most government records were written in French, including early civil registration records. German During World War II … [Read more...]

Frisian Roots part 1: Ferwerda emigrants

Cheryl near the Baard cemetery

This week, I am in Friesland with one of my clients, Roberta Estes. Roberta is visiting Friesland together with her husband Jim Kvochick and first cousin once removed Cheryl Ferverda. Roberta and Cheryl are descendants of Harmen Baukes Ferwerda, a Frisian who emigrated to Indiana in 1868. Cheryl is his granddaughter, Roberta is his … [Read more...]

And the winner is…

Opening gifts

In honor of King's Day, celebrated today for the first time ever, we organized a giveaway of the book 'Dutch Roots' for subscribers of the Dutch Genealogy Newsletter. Many new people subscribed (welcome!). A winner was randomly selected from all the subscribers. … [Read more...]