Quick tip – Ask a Local Expert

Genealogy: it's not just about looking for dead people but also about connecting with living people. Let's solve those brick walls together

If you're really stuck, try finding someone who is familiar with research in the area and ask them to take a second look at your brick wall. They may know about local naming traditions, obscure sources or notice unusual patterns. Just this week I was able to solve a client's brick wall using the knowledge of a local expert. I traced the New … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy Webinar – Questions about Records

records in the archives

During the webinar "Researching Your Dutch Ancestors," the viewers had the most interesting questions. I got to address some of them during the webinar, but thought they all deserve a reply so I'm dedicating this post to answer some more. There were so many great questions that I will have inspiration for several follow-up articles, so please stay … [Read more...]

Researching Your Dutch Ancestors webinar now available online

Finding your Dutch ancestors

The recorded version of my webinar "Researching Your Dutch Ancestors" is now available online. It will be available for free until Tuesday 22 September. After that, the recording will remain available for Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers. View the recorded webinar If you are a subscriber, you can view the recording anytime using the above … [Read more...]

Amazing find: Image of the Murder of my 16th-century Ancestor

Place where Tonnis Willinck was shot

Last week I made a fantastic discovery that underlines why you should always check the records of neighboring towns and not limit your research to the place where your ancestors lived. On a German map, I found a drawing of the killing of my ancestor Tonnis Willinck. Many of my ancestors lived in Winterswijk, on the Dutch-German border. As you … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Was your ancestor the first to use the surname?

Mardi Gras, 1911.

Let's say you've gone all the way back to the 1500s, 1600s or 1700s and can't find the parents of your brick wall ancestor. Could it be that your ancestor was the first one to use the name? Perhaps your Van Etten really was from Etten, and his parents only used a patronymic. Perhaps your Hoitink ancestor was born on another farm, and only called … [Read more...]

The Sinister Amsterdam Orphan Trade

Citizen's orphanage in Amsterdam

While doing research at the Amsterdam City Archives, I came across a ledger of orphans working for the Dutch East India Company. The register was part of the records of the Burgerweeshuis, the Citizens' Orphanage. I was fascinated to read how the orphans would learn a trade like carpentry or sail making, and were able to find employment in one … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Dutch Genealogy Webinar

Yvette Hoitink

On Wednesday 16 September, I'll give a webinar about "Researching Your Dutch Ancestors." I hear the virtual seats are filling up quickly so grab yours while you can and register today. See the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website for more information and registration.  Tip: If you are a Family Tree Webinar Subscriber or purchase this webinar … [Read more...]

Emergency baptisms by the midwife

Emergency baptism by a midwife, 1720

In the Roman Catholic church, if a child was in peril of dying during the delivery, the midwife was allowed to perform an emergency baptism. Here is a summary of the instructions for such baptisms, as printed in Brussels in 1698. Instructions for midwives regarding baptisms of young children who were born, or were in peril of not being born … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Wiring money to the Netherlands

Buying groceries, 1955.

If you're ordering records from municipalities or archives in the Netherlands, chances are that you will not be able to pay by credit card or PayPal. Most government agencies in the Netherlands are only set up to accept bank payments. To wire money, you will need the IBAN-number of the bank account that you're sending the money to, and the … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette – A research plan for an 18th-century brick wall ancestor

The river lands near Heerwaarden, 1697

Reader Rob Ton wondered what other sources he might consult to identify the parents of his brick wall ancestor Aert Ton. Aert Ton was married in Heerewaarden, a village in Gelderland, on 19 May 1737 to Hendersken van Neerlangen. Neither his marriage nor his burial record identifies his parents. Since this is a common problem that many of you are … [Read more...]