Quick tip – Was your ancestor the first to use the surname?

Mardi Gras, 1911.

Let's say you've gone all the way back to the 1500s, 1600s or 1700s and can't find the parents of your brick wall ancestor. Could it be that your ancestor was the first one to use the name? Perhaps your Van Etten really was from Etten, and his parents only used a patronymic. Perhaps your Hoitink ancestor was born on another farm, and only called … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Dutch Genealogy Webinar

Yvette Hoitink

On Wednesday 16 September, I'll give a webinar about "Researching Your Dutch Ancestors." I hear the virtual seats are filling up quickly so grab yours while you can and register today. See the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website for more information and registration.  Tip: If you are a Family Tree Webinar Subscriber or purchase this webinar … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Wiring money to the Netherlands

Buying groceries, 1955.

If you're ordering records from municipalities or archives in the Netherlands, chances are that you will not be able to pay by credit card or PayPal. Most government agencies in the Netherlands are only set up to accept bank payments. To wire money, you will need the IBAN-number of the bank account that you're sending the money to, and the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Turn the page!

Bredevoort court records, with only the right page numbered.

In Dutch records, often only the right page is numbered. So if you see a reference for your ancestor at page 15 and can't find her, turn the page and check the left side of page 16. Often, this reverse page is designated like fol. 15v, with a v for "verso" [Latin for reverse] and "fol." [folio] instead of p. [page]. But sometimes the numbers … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Not all religions baptized infants

Baptism in the Mennonite Church, 1743

In the period before the civil registration, which was introduced in most of the Netherlands in 1811, baptismal records are the usual documents to consult for information about the birth date of an ancestor. In most cases, children were baptized within days of being born. But some religions did not baptize infants but waited until people were old … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Always check the original record

Two man operating a rasp

My client wanted me to find interesting stories about her ancestors. Normally, that would have me scouring newspapers and court records, but only after I find the basic information about birth, marriages and death. The civil registration records are not the first place you would think to look for interesting stories, but sometimes they will give … [Read more...]

Quick tip – the meaning of Holland

Map of Holland (the province). Nicolaas Visscher, 1682 (public domain)

If you see "Holland" in a published source, like a book or an online tree, chances are that the person means the country of the Netherlands. If you see "Holland" in a Dutch record prior to 1840, Holland refers to the province by that name, in the west of the Netherlands. In 1840, the province was split into Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland. As … [Read more...]

Announcement – The Dutch in America Across the Centuries

Dutch in America Across the Centuries

Are you interested in Dutch immigration to the United States? Are you able to go to Albany, New York next September? If so, you're in luck, because there will be a conference, where researchers studying the New Netherland era and experts on the the 19th century immigration wave will come together to connect and compare information about the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – The last name may not have come from the father

Father and his children, Pieter de Mare, 1768 - 1795.

In genealogy, we are used to children having the same last name as their father. But there are several circumstances in which the child could have a different name: If the child used a patronymic, in which case the name of the child would be derived from the father's first name, not his last name (e.g. Pier Hessels, son of Hessel Jans). This … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Are your translations accurate?

Teacher checking homework.

A client sent me a translated marriage record, identifying a nephew as a witness. She had searched for the nephew but could not find any siblings of the person of interest. When I looked at the original marriage record, the witness was called a neef, a term that is used for both nephew and cousin. As it turned out, the witness was a first cousin … [Read more...]