Quick tip – Introduction to Dutch history

Entoen.nu detail showing Anne Frank

If you want to learn about Dutch history, you can read the 50 canonical articles at EnToen.nu. These articles act as 'windows to the past' and were developed as the basis for the history curriculum in schools. Each window tells the story of one canonical event in the history of the Netherlands from prehistory to the modern day. Topics include … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Was he really born there?

Map of Amsterdam

People who move a long way from their small village will often claim a larger city in the area as their place of birth since nobody would have heard of their real place of birth. If you can't find your ancestor in the city where he was supposed to be born, try looking in the villages around there. This is especially true after immigration. Many … [Read more...]

News from the Netherlands – August 2014

Map of a river with different cities next to it

‘News from the Netherlands’ is a monthly series to inform you about the best new websites, projects and books that help you find and understand your Dutch ancestors. New records The Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken [Heritage Leiden and Surrounding areas, which includes the Leiden archives] has published a series of indexes of Leiden records on … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Yvette Hoitink featured on the Forget-Me-Not Hour

View of New Amsterdam

Yvette Hoitink is a guest of Jane E. Wilcox on the Forget-Me-Not-Hour, a radio show in New York that is also broadcast online. The show airs on 3 September at 11 AM New York time (5 PM Netherlands time). During the one-hour show, Yvette talks about finding Dutch colonial ancestors in the Netherlands. She gives tips about using clues in names to … [Read more...]

Europeana and genealogy

Archives Portal Europe homepage

Earlier this week, I had my farewell party at the National Archives, where I had worked for 8.5 years as a consultant and project manager in the IT department. I quit my job to focus full-time on my genealogy business. Besides doing client research, I will also be doing consultancy for IT-projects in the heritage sector. Europeana and Archives … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Catholic? Check for prayer cards

Prayer card of Johanna Buis

Were your ancestors Roman-Catholic? After their death, a prayer card ('bidprentje') may have been created. This card commemorates the deceased and often gives biographical information like the names of the spouse, date and place of birth and death. Read more about using prayer cards for your research … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Dutch Genealogy on Facebook

Facebook logo

There are several Facebook groups and pages for people with Dutch ancestors: Dutch Genealogy Dutch in New Netherlands (New York area) 1609-1674 Genealogy Group Dutch Genealogy in Australia Dutch Genealogy Services The Facebook page for the company behind this website and newsletter. To keep in touch with Dutch culture, I also … [Read more...]

Fighting in church

Aalten church. Photo: Yvette Hoitink

It is rare to find sources that show us the how our ancestors behaved in their every-day lives. Church council minutes can sometimes give us a glimpse. The church council minutes of Aalten are a good example. Church seats In Dutch Reformed Churches, most members had their own seats in the church. They would have benches built at their own … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Endogamy did not start after immigration

Bride and groom

People whose ancestors live in small Dutch immigrant settlements have probably noticed that many of them were distant cousins. The size of these communities limited the pool of potential spouses. Endogamy (marrying within the community, also known as 'kissing cousins') is not unusual. What most people don't realize, is that many of these … [Read more...]

Becoming a full-time genealogist

Diving

For the past several years, I have combined a job as project manager at the National Archives in The Hague with being a freelance genealogist. There are only a few genealogists in the Netherlands who report in English and there are many people of Dutch descent who don't speak Dutch. As you can imagine, the demand for my services has been much … [Read more...]