Ask Yvette: Untangling two same-named women

My distant cousin, Fred Geurkink, asked me the following question [edited for brevity]: My grandma Gigi, (Marion Peterson), wrote down in her recollections about my great great grandma Grietje Koning. Said she was born on 30 Aug 1834, married my gg grandpa Jan Pieters Stelma on 23 Jun 1856, etc etc. On Ancestry, I received "hints" about said … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy Webinar – Questions about Immigrant Ancestors

This is my second post answering the questions asked by viewers of my "Researching Your Dutch Ancestors" webinar. In this post, I will answer questions about finding immigrant ancestors. A good general strategy for finding immigrant ancestors is outlined in my article How to find my immigrant ancestor in the Netherlands? How do you trace your … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy Webinar – Questions about Records

During the webinar "Researching Your Dutch Ancestors," the viewers had the most interesting questions. I got to address some of them during the webinar, but thought they all deserve a reply so I'm dedicating this post to answer some more. There were so many great questions that I will have inspiration for several follow-up articles, so please stay … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette – A research plan for an 18th-century brick wall ancestor

Reader Rob Ton wondered what other sources he might consult to identify the parents of his brick wall ancestor Aert Ton. Aert Ton was married in Heerewaarden, a village in Gelderland, on 19 May 1737 to Hendersken van Neerlangen. Neither his marriage nor his burial record identifies his parents. Since this is a common problem that many of you are … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette – Am I related to Rembrandt van Rijn?

After I wrote about my "great-aunt" Hendrickje Stoffels, the mistress of Rembrandt van Rijn, several people named Van Rijn have asked me if they could be descended from Rembrandt. The short answer? Sorry, no. Here's why. Rembrandt van Rijn had one lawful wife: Saskia van Uylenburgh. They had only one child who survived childhood: Titus van … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette – Resources for Jewish genealogy in the Netherlands

Several people have asked me how to find their Jewish ancestors in the Netherlands. I have researched several Jewish families, but don't read Hebrew so I cannot access all records. Here are some resources that have been useful in my research. Please share your own tips in the comments. Regular records Since the introduction of the civil … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette: What happened to Genlias?

Between 1995 and 2012, many archives in the Netherlands published indexes of birth, marriage and death records on Genlias (www.genlias.nl). Genlias was taken offline in 2013 and replaced by WieWasWie. Genlias was the most popular genealogy site in the country, and many people used it for their research. Ancestry.com still links to Genlias, even … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette – Are there any records of people who helped Jews in World War II?

Earlier this week, Kirk Payne wrote the following comment: I have a request that might stump you. My wife’s immediate ancestors immigrated to the US in the early 20th Century. Most of her great- and great-great Aunts and Uncles remained in the Netherlands. She had a cousin ask us if we’d seen any records showing her relatives having helped the … [Read more...]

Looking for census records in the Netherlands?

In many countries, census records are a popular source for genealogical research. In the Netherlands, we use population registers or civil registration records instead. After the census of 1849, the government decided to keep the information up to date. These records are called population registers and show where a family lived in a certain … [Read more...]

How to find the cause of death

Several people have asked me how they can find out how their ancestors died. Unfortunately, records that list cause of death are routinely destroyed, so most often it will not be possible to find the cause of death. … [Read more...]