Quick tip – Visit the virtual Jewish monument

Auschwitz main gate with the text 'Arbeit macht frei'

Today we commemorate that Camp Auschwitz was liberated 70 years ago. I visited the camp with my class in high school and it made a lasting impression on me. We saw rooms packed with children's shoes, toothbrushes, toys, and then read that it was just 1% of the total number that had been collected. Each one representing a tragic story. The … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Most people did not own real estate

Meerdink farm

Historically, most people in the Netherlands did not own real estate. Most farmers were tenant farmers, often living on the same farm for generations. Others were seasonal laborers who moved from farm to farm every year. It is rare to find tenancy contracts or rental agreements as these things were usually arranged between the owner and the tenant … [Read more...]

Quick tip – research the collateral lines

Group of cousins, all grandchildren of Cornelis Trouw and Maria Gommeren

Most people are more interested in ancestors than their siblings, but records of the siblings can contain vital clues. For example, death duties files (memories van successie) of siblings who died without children can show that nieces and nephews or more distant relatives inherited. The death duties files can reveal complex family relationships, … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Records that just became public

Library reading room

To protect the privacy of living people and the security of our nation, access to many records is restricted for a number of years; typically 25, 50, 75 or 100 years. Every year, new records become public for the first time. As of 1 January 2015, the following records became public: Birth records from 1914 Marriage records from … [Read more...]

Quick tip – TEDx talk about New Netherland history

View of New Amsterdam

Charles Gehring, the lead researcher at the New Netherland Institute, gave an enlightening presetation at TEDx about New Netherland, the best-kept secret in American History, which is now available on YouTube. Hattip: Limburg Emigrant Page on Facebook. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Find out what’s in WieWasWie

WieWasWie logo

In discussion groups, I will often see people wondering why they can't find their ancestors' records in WieWasWie (WhoWasWho). WieWasWie is the largest website with genealogical sources in the Netherlands, a collaboration between dozens of repositories throughout the country. It has over 100 million references to people in the database, but is far … [Read more...]

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...]