Ask Yvette – Am I related to Rembrandt van Rijn?

Titus, by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn. Credits: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

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

Mou

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?

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?

Westerbork monument, the place from where most Jews were transported to the camps in Eastern Europe. Credits:

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?

Population register

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

Dutch girls laying flowers on the graves of a temporary graveyard for killed Canadian soldiers. Edderwolde, The Netherlands, 1945.

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...]

How soon after birth were children baptized?

The baptism of William V of Orange, 1748

In response to the article about the word dopen (baptisms), Tore Langholm asked: Has “baptism” always/usually been equivalent to “infant baptism” in the Netherlands? I just found a record of a baptism in the Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk in July of 1698, and wonder if I can assume that this is also the childs’ birth year? … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette: English version of WieWasWie?

WieWasWie logo

Many people have asked me if there is an English version of WieWasWie, the website with the largest index of genealogical records in the Netherlands. WieWasWie is a joint project in which many different archives participate. Volunteers enter the information. In some cases, scans are also available. The website is the successor of the very popular … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette: how to find my grandparents’ birth records

Birth record of Antonie de Wijze, Middelburg 2 March 1886

In response to an article about different types of archives, Larry Joosse wrote: Looking for birth records for Anthonie de Wijze born March 2, 1886 in Zand, and Catharina Johanna vanKeulen born on July 16, 1888. they are my mother’s parents. I thought I would respond in the form of a blog post and show you all the different steps that I take to … [Read more...]

How to order my own birth certificate from the Netherlands?

Birth record with note in the margin

Almost every week, I get a question by someone who needs help obtaining his birth certificate from the Netherlands. Often, these are people who were born in the Netherlands but moved away and now need a birth certificate to get married or apply for citizenship. So I thought I'd explain how you can order your own birth certificate. Birth … [Read more...]