Dutch term – Overlijdensakte

Death record of stillborn child

An overlijdensakte is a death record. In most of the Netherlands, deaths have been recorded in death records of the civil registration since 1811. Before that, burial records kept by the churches are usually the best information available for finding out when someone died. Read more about death records. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Doodloper

Dead end nature.

A doodloper (literally: dead walker) is a dead end, a term Dutch genealogists use for an ancestor for whom we haven't found the parents yet. They are the end points in your family tree. A doodloper is similar to the English term "brick wall ancestor," but subtly different. "Brick wall" is generally used for ancestors who are seemingly impossible … [Read more...]

Source: Borgbrief (Bond letter)

View of Zundert, 1777

Before the mid 1800s, if you wanted to move to a new place, you had to provide proof that you would not be a liability to the town. You would be required to submit a bond letter to the authorities, wherein the poor administration or civil authorities of your previous town declared that they would take care of you if you became poor. These letters … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Proclamatieboek

Farm in Friesland

In the province of Friesland, a proclamatieboek is a register in which the court records the proclamations of real estate sales that took place. This allowed people who had Naastingsrecht the opportunity to match the purchase price and buy the property for themselves. Proclamatieboeken can be found in the archives of the local courts, which are … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Landloper

Vagrant, by Pieter Jans Quast, 1634.

A landloper was literally a "land walker," a vagrant who roamed the countryside. Vagrancy used to be a crime, and vagrants could be incarcerated or banned. Some regions employed special "armenjagers" [pauper hunters] to drive them away. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Loteling

Henk in the military

A loteling was a conscripted soldier, whose number came up. This 19th century term literally means "lottery person," which refers to the lot numbers that were assigned to all eligible young men. The ones with the lowers numbers had to serve. Until 1896, you were allowed to switch numbers, and the person who had to serve in another's place … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Particulier

Woman leaning on her arm with a vacant look in her eyes

A particulier is a private person, someone not working for the government and not a business. For instance, when you buy something, it is important whether you buy it as a particulier (consumer) or as a business since your warranty may be different. The female form is particuliere. In some records, the term was used to indicate a person who was … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Schepel

wooden bucket

A schepel is a measure of surface as well as of capacity. One schepel of land used to be the amount of land you could sow with one schepel of grain. You may encounter the term in land records or tax records. The size of a schepel differed from one region to the next. For example, in Gelderland, a schepel of land was about 1450 m2, or 0.36 acres. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Dood

Merry party disturbed by death. Gesina ter Borch, 1660.

The word Dood means dead or deceased. Information about deaths can be found in death records (after 1811) or burial records (before 1811). In most cases, it will not be possible to find a cause of death. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Archiefstuk

Charter of 950

An Archiefstuk is an archival record, a document created or received in the course of a person or organization's activities or tasks. The oldest surviving archiefstuk in the Netherlands is a 950 charter whereby King Otto I granted the right of a market and toll to Cassalum (unidentified location). The charter is kept by the Regionaal Historisch … [Read more...]