Quick tip – Don’t trust the archivist! (at least: not blindly)

Border near Dinxperlo. Postcard (public domain)

Earlier this year, I emailed an archivist in Germany to ask about the sources that might be available for my 18th century ancestor. The archive is 2.5 hours from where I live, so I didn't want to drive┬áthere for nothing. Unfortunately, the archivist informed me that the town hall had been bombed in World War II, destroying all the old records. For … [Read more...]

Dutch term – gemeente

Municipal map of Stompwijk.

A gemeente is a municipality, the lowest administrative unit. The Netherlands currently has 408 municipalities in 12 provinces. Over the last couple of decades, many municipalities merged. In 1812 there were 1,100. Archives of municipalities can be found at a local archive; either a municipal archive specific for that municipality or a regional … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Find Dutch genealogical collections at archives, not libraries or courthouses

Large modern building

Unlike in the US, most genealogical records and collections in the Netherlands can be found in archives, not libraries or courthouses. Most libraries do not have a genealogical collection, just some published books about genealogy. Courthouses, municipalities and other governmental agencies are required by law to transfer their permanent records to … [Read more...]

Types of archives

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In the Netherlands there are different types of archives:National archives Provincial archives Local archives: Regional archives Municipal archives This articles explains the differences between the archives and where to go for your research. … [Read more...]

Visiting archives

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IntroductionArchives in the Netherlands are public and accessible for free. The employees are available to ask questions, but they do not do the research for you. Most of them understand English, but it is wise to bring someone along who speak Dutch to interpret the documents for you. Some archives have a genealogical correspondent who will do … [Read more...]