Source – Guardianship records

Girls sitting around a table doing needlework

In my article about the Weeskamer (orphan chamber), an institute that oversaw the estates of orphans before 1811, several people asked me what records might exist for later orphans. The richest source of information are guardianship records, which can be found in the records of the court. Court-appointed guardians After 1811, the courts … [Read more...]

Source: Family announcements

Marriage announcement of H.J. Kastein and E.J.E. de Monye

In the Netherlands, there has never been a tradition of writing biographical obituaries like you see in countries like the United States. Instead, "familieberichten" [family announcements] simply announce the death of a person. In the 19th century, only more affluent people had a familiebericht placed in the paper. It was usually very short and … [Read more...]

Sources for Dutch Genealogy – Pre 1811 Cheat Sheet

boy looking at paper of boy sitting next to him

Looking for information about Dutch ancestors in the period from say 1650 until 1811 (before the introduction of the civil registration)? This cheat sheet will tell you which sources to consult. In some cases, not all types of records are available in each region. If a town did not have an orphan chamber, the administration of the estates of … [Read more...]

Sources for Dutch genealogy – post 1811 cheat sheet

boy looking at paper of boy sitting next to him

Looking for information about Dutch ancestors in the 19th or 20th century (after the introduction of the civil registration)? This cheat sheet will tell you which sources to consult. … [Read more...]

Source: church council minutes

Church council Zaamslag

Protestant or Reformed churches have a church council that administers the church. The church council consists of the minister, the elders and deacons. Some churches also appointed guardians who were responsible for the management of the church estates. Especially in earlier centuries, the council was involved with all aspects of the lives … [Read more...]

Name taking records

Name taking record of Jelmer Sipkes Sipma

The French occupation from 1795-1813 introduced many new types of administration, including the civil registration. To properly record people, it was necessary that they all had a last name. In 1811 and 1813, Napoleon decreed that everybody had to register their last name. After the French occupation ended, the Dutch government decided to keep … [Read more...]

Source: prayer cards

Prayer card of Johanna Buis

I vividly remember the first time I visited the Central Bureau for Genealogy in The Hague. I must have been about sixteen years old, and had just started doing genealogy. My mom also became interested and went with me. When we checked the catalog, we found that there was an envelope with prayer cards of people named Flooren, my grandmother's maiden … [Read more...]

Marriage booklets: why they are important even if you can’t find them

Marriage booklet of Cornelis Flooren and Catharina van der Zanden (p. 1)

In the third quarter of the nineteenth century, municipal authorities began to hand out "trouwboekjes" [marriage booklets] to the bride and groom at the time of their marriage. This booklet would contain the names of the spouses, date and place of their marriage, and had room for the names, birth places and birth dates of any children born to this … [Read more...]

Online cemeteries – Dutch alternatives to Find a Grave

Grave of Gerrit Jan Droppers (1845-1925)

Not many cemeteries in the Netherlands can be found on international websites like Find a Grave or Billion Graves. There is no Dutch equivalent for these sites, but there are several websites that provide photos of graves. … [Read more...]

Marriage supplements: gateway to more information about your ancestors

Extract of the burial record of Gart Vossers

Since the introduction of the civil registration in 1811, a bride and groom had to submit several documents to prove they were eligible to get married. Not only do these records tell you when your ancestors were born, but they may also provide information about their physical appearance, death dates of parents and previous spouses or even of their … [Read more...]