Dutch term: Nieuwjaar

The term Nieuwjaar means 'new year.' If you want to wish people in the Netherlands 'Happy new year,' you say 'Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!' The new year did not always start on January 1st. During the French occupation (1795-1815), the year started on 22 September. During the Middle Ages, some people used the Christmas style while others used the Eastern … [Read more...]

Dutch term: Kerstmis

Family around a Christmas tree, with presents

The word Kerstmis means Christmas. Traditionally, Christmas was celebrated in the Netherlands by going to to church and celebrating at home by having extra nice food. Dutch people did not give each other gifts for Christmas, as that was done on St. Nicholas' Eve (5 December). Over the last couple of years, Christmas has grown in popularity in … [Read more...]

Dutch term: stamboom

Kwartierstaat of Jan van de Poll, 1749

A stamboom is a family tree. Dutch genealogists will say that they practice stamboomonderzoek [family tree research] when they are asked about their hobbies. Searching for your family name in combination with the word stamboom in a search engine may lead you to Dutch publications about your family. … [Read more...]

Dutch term: geboorteakte

Birth record with note in the margin

A geboorteakte is a birth record. Births have been recorded by the government since 1811 (or 1794-1795 in parts of Limburg and Zeeland). Birth records of people born more than 100 years ago are public. Read more about using birth records to find your Dutch ancestors. … [Read more...]

Dutch term: bidprentje

Prayer card of Johanna Buis

A bidprentje is a prayer card. Prayer cards are a Roman-Catholic tradition to commemorate the dead. Read more about finding prayer cards and using them for your research. … [Read more...]

Dutch term: boerderij

Farm near Winterswijk

A boerderij is a farm. Sometimes, you will find boerderij doende (doing farm) as an occupation, which means that the person was a farmer. Most farmers were tenants who did not own their farms. Some farms are very old; not necessarily the buildings, but the agricultural business at that location. ┬áThe buildings got renewed, the property got sold, … [Read more...]

Dutch term: Uitgebreid zoeken

WieWasWie - search form with Wijze and Keulen filled in

The words uitgebreid zoeken mean "advanced search" (literally: elaborate search). You will often find the term on websites with genealogical databases where the "uitgebreid zoeken" link will take you to a search form with more options to formulate your query. Beware that most search engines only find exact matches, so don't fill out too much … [Read more...]

Dutch term: weduwnaar

Etch of an older man holding a woman's had

The word weduwnaar means widower. In most marriage records, even the early ones, the fact that groom is a widower will be mentioned. If you're lucky, the name of the previous spouse is mentioned too, but that has only been required since the civil registration (1811 or slightly earlier). … [Read more...]

Dutch term: begraafboek

Burial record

A begraafboek is a burial book. Begraafboeken are the primary source of information about deaths before 1811. They can be found at the archives in the capitals of the provinces. Many burial books have been digitized and are available on Familysearch.org. … [Read more...]

Dutch term: Dopen

Baptismal font from Leur, Noord-Brabant

The Dutch word dopen means baptisms or to baptize. Doopboeken (baptize books) are the main source for birth information prior to the introduction of the civil registration (in 1811 for most of the Netherlands but as early as 1796/1797 for Limburg and Zeeuws-Vlaanderen). … [Read more...]