Quick tip – Don’t confuse the date of the record and the event

Births and deaths are created within several days of the event. The first date that you will find in the birth record or death record is the record date. Further down in the record, you will find the actual birth or death date, which could have been up to five days earlier. Indexes sometimes only have the record date, so make sure to always … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette: Untangling two same-named women

My distant cousin, Fred Geurkink, asked me the following question [edited for brevity]: My grandma Gigi, (Marion Peterson), wrote down in her recollections about my great great grandma Grietje Koning. Said she was born on 30 Aug 1834, married my gg grandpa Jan Pieters Stelma on 23 Jun 1856, etc etc. On Ancestry, I received "hints" about said … [Read more...]

How Civil Registration Records were Created

If you are researching nineteenth and twentieth century Dutch ancestors, the civil registration records of births, marriages and deaths are among the first sources you should consult. Understanding how these records were created will help you assess their reliability. Birth records When the civil registration was introduced nation-wide in … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Always check the original record

My client wanted me to find interesting stories about her ancestors. Normally, that would have me scouring newspapers and court records, but only after I find the basic information about birth, marriages and death. The civil registration records are not the first place you would think to look for interesting stories, but sometimes they will give … [Read more...]

How to obtain certified copies of birth, marriage or death records from the Netherlands

I often receive requests by people who need to obtain official certificates of Dutch birth, marriage or death records for legal purposes. Obtaining certified copies is not a service I provide, so I will give you the instructions on how to do this yourself. Reasons for needing a certified copy There may be several reasons why you need an … [Read more...]

Dutch term: geboorteakte

A geboorteakte is a birth record. Births have been recorded by the government since 1811 (or 1794-1795 in parts of Limburg and Zeeland). Birth records of people born more than 100 years ago are public. Read more about using birth records to find your Dutch ancestors. … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette: how to find my grandparents’ birth records

In response to an article about different types of archives, Larry Joosse wrote: Looking for birth records for Anthonie de Wijze born March 2, 1886 in Zand, and Catharina Johanna vanKeulen born on July 16, 1888. they are my mother’s parents. I thought I would respond in the form of a blog post and show you all the different steps that I take to … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Use Genver to find Dutch records on Familysearch

UPDATE 11 June 2014: The website Genver.nl has been discontinued, the service to find records is now available at Zoekakten.nl. Read more about using Zoekakten.  Familysearch.org has a tremendous amount of digitized records from the Netherlands: Church records Civil registration records (births, marriages, deaths) Census records and … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Look in the margins of birth records

The margins of birth records sometimes contain interesting information. For example, if the child was born out of wedlock, and the mother later married and the husband recognized the child as his, this will be recorded in the margin of the birth record. So don't rely on an index, but always check the original document to see what information may be … [Read more...]

How to order my own birth certificate from the Netherlands?

Almost every week, I get a question by someone who needs help obtaining his birth certificate from the Netherlands. Often, these are people who were born in the Netherlands but moved away and now need a birth certificate to get married or apply for citizenship. So I thought I'd explain how you can order your own birth certificate. Birth … [Read more...]