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...]