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...]

Tribute to Henk Hoitink (1914-2000)

Engagement picture

A hundred years ago today, a boy was born in Winterswijk, Gelderland. His parents, Gerrit Jan Hoitink and Willemina Berendina van Nijkerken, had just been married the year before. They named their son Hendrik, after Gerrit Jan's father, as was the local tradition. Informally, they called him Henk. Henk Hoitink was my grandfather. Henk … [Read more...]

Quick tip: find the origin of your name in name taking records

Name taking record of Jelmer Sipkes Sipma

If your family is from the northern provinces, or Jewish, you may find them in name taking records. When the civil registration was introduced, people who did not have a last name yet were required to record their last name. In such cases, the name taking record is often the earliest record you will find for your name. Sometimes, clues about the … [Read more...]

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...]