Open data case study: Changing names in Winterswijk

The Gelders Archief just published many¬†of their genealogical indexes as open data. This allows everyone to download the indexes and re-use them. Being a bit of a geek, I could not resist downloading some of the sets for Winterswijk to see what I could do with them. Winterswijk is the town where my father was born, and most of his ancestors to0, … [Read more...]

Quick tip: The first of same-named siblings probably died young

If you see multiple siblings with the same name, the first one probably died before the next one was born. Dutch parents typically named their children after relatives. By giving the new child the name of the deceased sibling, both the deceased sibling and the relative that that sibling had been named after were commemorated. There is one … [Read more...]

Quick tip: naming patterns

Most Dutch parents followed a strict pattern when naming their children: the first son was named after the paternal grandfather, the second son after the maternal grandfather; the first daughter was named after the maternal grandmother and the second daughter after the paternal grandmother. When you find a source that lists children in their … [Read more...]

English versions of Dutch first names

Many Dutch people took American names when they came to the US. Some common combinations are listed here. All of these combinations have been found in actual documents, even though the translations aren't always what you would expect. Tip: use the search-function in your browser to search for a name (Ctrl-F or Command-F in most browsers). … [Read more...]