Review: Dutch Roots by Rob van Drie

Dutch Roots cover

Dutch Roots: Finding your ancestors in the Netherlands is a book written by one of the best-known genealogy educators in the Netherlands, Rob van Drie. Rob's experience shows in this 190-page book, that contains a comprehensive overview of the most important sources for genealogical research in the Netherlands. It is the first book about Dutch … [Read more...]

Quick tip: there is no letter y in the Dutch alphabet

boy looking at paper of boy sitting next to him

The Dutch alphabet has a letter ij, not a y. Dutch names with a ij typically get spelled with a y in English, for example Dijkstra/Dykstra, Wijnveen/Wynveen. Next time you're having problems finding a person in a Dutch search engine, check that you've used the Dutch spelling. … [Read more...]

Three Things I Learned About DNA at WDYTYA Live

View of the floor

Last week, during Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in London, I attended a DNA workshop about Autosomal DNA. Autosomal DNA is the DNA on your non-sex chromomes (22 pairs). I have done autosomal testing with FamilyTreeDNA and 23andme and am always looking for information that helps me to interpret the results. Here are three things that I … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Try to find evidence to disprove your case

Two old cars after a collision

When proving a theory, we look for evidence that supports it. But as diligent researchers, we should look just as hard for evidence that disproves our theory. In fact, searching for evidence that does not fit with our preconceptions can be far more informative than searching for supporting evidence, as demonstrated in this short video. … [Read more...]

Ask the expert

Overview of the exhibition

I am currently in London, to attend Who Do You Think You Are Live, the biggest genealogy event in the world. People were already queueing to get in about an hour before the show opened. Once inside, they could listen to lectures, visit one of the dozens of stands or have their DNA sampled to be analyzed. Last year, one of the parts of the … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Are your records independent?

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

The next time you find a birth, marriage and death record that all agree about the name of the person and his date of birth or age, ask yourself: are these documents independent? An extract of the birth record would have been submitted in order to get married. The details from the marriage record may have been copied into the marriage booklet, … [Read more...]

Love speed skating? Your ancestors did too!

Two men on skates near a start line

If there is one sport that the Dutch dominate, it is speed skating. It is the only Olympic sport where the orange team can win all three medals. Our love for speed skating is not surprising if you understand the history of the Dutch landscape. Because large parts of the country are below sea level, the landscape is crisscrossed by little canals … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Database laws may protect Dutch family trees

Woman carrying food distributed by allied forces, World War II

Most countries have copyright laws to protect the creative work of authors and artists. Under copyright law, a fact cannot be copyrighted since it doesn't meet the requirement of creativity. In many countries that means that the names, dates and places in a genealogical database are not protected by copyright and may be copied without asking … [Read more...]

Quick tip: New Worldwide Genealogy Blog

Postcard

Worldwide Genealogy is a blog where genealogists from around the world tell about their adventures. I am honored to be a part of this group. My first blog post appeared today, as I will be blogging on the 5th of every month. Enjoy! … [Read more...]

Quick tip: WieWasWie now available in English

WieWasWie logo

WieWasWie (WhoWasWho) is the most comprehensive genealogical database in the Netherlands. Archives in all the provinces participate in this website to publish indexes and sometimes even scans of their records. Up until now, WieWasWie was only available in Dutch but an English version is now available. >>Go to the English version of … [Read more...]