And the winner is…

Opening gifts

In honor of King's Day, celebrated today for the first time ever, we organized a giveaway of the book 'Dutch Roots' for subscribers of the Dutch Genealogy Newsletter. Many new people subscribed (welcome!). A winner was randomly selected from all the subscribers. … [Read more...]

Quick tip: There is no village called ‘Burgerlijke Stand’

Windmill during a water surge

In some of the records at Familysearch, the place of birth is listed as 'Burgerlijke Stand' followed by the name of a municipality in the Netherlands. 'Burgerlijke Stand' means 'Civil Registration' and is not a location. The way it is included in the record sets on Familysearch makes it look like a village. When these records were imported by … [Read more...]

King’s Day Giveaway: Dutch Roots

Dutch Roots cover

On 26 April, we will celebrate the first ever "King's Day" in honor of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. Until last year, the national holiday to celebrate the monarch's birthday was "Queen's Day," a tradition started in 1891. King Willem-Alexander succeeded his mother, Queen Beatrix, on 30 April last year. This year, he will be visiting … [Read more...]

Using risk management strategies to do genealogy efficiently

train wreck

As a project manager, I am used to assessing and managing risks. I will determine the biggest threats to my project, assess how likely they are to occur and how much of an impact they would have if they do occur. The combination of these factors will tell me which risks I need to focus my attention on: risk = likelihood x impact. The same … [Read more...]

Quick tip – most farmers were tenants, not owners

Etching of a farmer

If your ancestors were farmers, please keep in mind that most farmers in the Netherlands were tenants, not owners. Most land was owned by a few wealthy families and institutions like churches or convents. You may be able to find information about your ancestors in the archives that these families and institutions created but you will not be able … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Of Dutch descent? You may be a latent citizen

Dutch woman in traditional costume

A Dutch law for latent citizens allow some children and even grandchildren of Dutch citizens to claim Dutch citizenship. Until 2003, 'latent citizenship' was only recognized for foreign-born children of Dutch male citizens. But current equality laws have broadened the eligibility so since 2003 foreign-born children of Dutch women have also been … [Read more...]

Five reasons to hire a professional genealogist

5 reasons to hire a professional genealogist

Most of my clients hire me for a combination of these five reasons. Why would you consider hiring a professional genealogist? Or what is holding you back? If you have ever hired a professional genealogist, what was your main reason for doing so? (Feel free to reuse this image. A link back to this blog post is appreciated.) … [Read more...]

Quick tip: read ‘Holland’ instead of ‘Reusel-De Mierden’

photo of a church

Do you have ancestors from Reusel-De Mierden, Noord-Brabant? Chances are, they are not from this place but the place name was introduced by mistaken when software tried to resolve the place name 'Holland'. Read Was your ancestor born in Reusel-De Mierden, Noord-Brabant? Guess again! for more information. … [Read more...]

Column – Thought process

People lying sandbags near a river

Shortly after I started doing genealogy, a fellow researcher urged me to always document my sources. "You think now that you will remember where you've found everything, but there comes a time that you will have gathered so much that you won't remember the source." Wise words that I took to heart and that have proved to be invaluable. … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Mind your immigrant ancestor’s neighbors

Log cabin

When you're trying to find the place of origin of your Dutch immigrant ancestor, be sure to check his neighbors too. Did any of them come from the Netherlands? On websites that allow you to search census records, like Ancestry.com or Ancestry.co.uk, you can often search for all people born in the Netherlands who lived in a certain place, … [Read more...]