Dutch term – Dood

Merry party disturbed by death. Gesina ter Borch, 1660.

The word Dood means dead or deceased. Information about deaths can be found in death records (after 1811) or burial records (before 1811). In most cases, it will not be possible to find a cause of death. … [Read more...]

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

Information desk at the Amsterdam Civil Registration

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 – Begrafenis

Funeral of five firemen

A begrafenis is a burial. Before 1811, the church records of burials are often the best source for the burial date. Some registers include the death date as well. After 1811, death records of the civil registration show when a person died, but they do not contain information about the burial. That information can sometimes be found in family … [Read more...]

Source: Family announcements

Marriage announcement of H.J. Kastein and E.J.E. de Monye

In the Netherlands, there has never been a tradition of writing biographical obituaries like you see in countries like the United States. Instead, "familieberichten" [family announcements] simply announce the death of a person. In the 19th century, only more affluent people had a familiebericht placed in the paper. It was usually very short and … [Read more...]

Dutch term – levenloos

Death record of stillborn child

Levenloos literally means "lifeless" and is used to refer to stillborn children. In death records, you will often read "levenloze dochter" [stillborn daughter], "levenloze zoon" [stillborn son] or "levenloos kind" [stillborn child]. Since 1811, death records were created for stillborn children (children born after a pregnancy of more than six … [Read more...]

How to find the cause of death

Dutch girls laying flowers on the graves of a temporary graveyard for killed Canadian soldiers. Edderwolde, The Netherlands, 1945.

Several people have asked me how they can find out how their ancestors died. Unfortunately, records that list cause of death are routinely destroyed, so most often it will not be possible to find the cause of death. … [Read more...]

Quick tip: know the witnesses

Baptism in Flanders, 18th century

Understanding who the witnesses in records were can help you find your ancestors. Baptism witnesses were usually chosen from the immediate family, often from siblings of the parents. Witnesses or informants for death records, on the other hand, were often neighbors. Knowing these customs can help you understand who these people were and how they … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Use Genver to find Dutch records on Familysearch

Extract of the burial record of Gart Vossers

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...]

Death record

death record

Death records are a part of the civil registration. A death record lists the following data:Place, date and time of death Names of parents Names of spouses Name, profession and age of the one registering the birth Names, profession and age of the witnesses Often: address where the death took place … [Read more...]