Quick tip – Your ancestors may appear in inventories

Estate inventories and guardians' accounts often contain information about the daily lives of our ancestors. They can tells us what they owned and whom they did business with. If your ancestor was in trade, he may appear in the inventories of some of his clients. This can give you more insight into his business. Depending on the time and place, … [Read more...]

Yvette Hoitink mentioned at BCG website

The blog of the Board for Certification of Genealogists features Yvette Hoitink as a new associate. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Deeds may have been recorded much later

In 1704, one of my ancestors had a dispute with his landlord. In the subsequent court case, both sides submitted copies of deeds into evidence. The oldest deed was from 1302, more than four centuries old at the time, allowing me to trace the history of that farm back more than seven hundred years. The original is now lost, the copy is all that … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Guide to coins, weights and measures

Ever wondered how large an Amsterdamse roede is, or how many duiten there are in a stuiver? The New Netherland Institute has a Guide to Seventeenth Century Dutch Coins, Weights and Measures on their website. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Grave Stones in Churches May Not Cover the Actual Grave

If your ancestors were rich, they may have been buried in the church. Many Dutch churches have floors consisting of grave stones. What many people don't realize, is that many of these slabs don't cover the actual graves anymore. The graves may have been cleared to make room for new (unmarked) ones, or the stones may have been rearranged when the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Indexes may have added information

The goal of an index is to provide an easy way to find the records. Creators of indexes will sometimes add information to make the records easier to find, even when that information is not in the original record. This can create problems if the information they added turns out to be incorrect or misleading. A recent query in the Dutch Genealogy … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Learn about places from newspapers

You can learn a lot about the places where your ancestors lived from newspapers. You can see what was going on, read about Dutch settlements and find out about the people who were living there. Many Dutch newspapers have been digitized by the Royal Library and are available at Delpher. Select "Kranten" [newspapers] to search the newspapers for the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Also Check Church Records After 1811

Church records of baptisms, marriages, and burials are the go-to sources for vital information before the introduction of the civil registration. After 1811, we usually don't bother since the civil registration records are often more reliable. But these church records can contain important information. When to check the church … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t go back too far too soon

When we go back in time, we often hit a brick wall for a person for whom we only know the name. Perhaps we find a marriage record that lists the father, or we find a name with a patronymic that suggests who the father was. It is very hard to find records if you only know a name. Often, names are not unique. There may be multiple people in the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Apply Lessons Learned to Old Problems

The longer we do genealogy, the better we get. We'll learn about new sources and strategies that help us solve new problems that come across our paths. But we should not stop there: we should also periodically revisit our old problems and apply the lessons we have learned. Two years ago, I wrote an article about how to find the father of an … [Read more...]