Quick tip – That index may not be complete

If you are using a genealogical database such as WieWasWie, beware that the record you are looking for may not be in the index. Either it may not exist (anymore, if ever), or it may not have been indexed yet. Most indexes provide a┬átable of contents that show which records have been included. If you don't find the record you are looking for, … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t search too broadly too soon

If you are stuck, it is tempting to start searching broadly. You might use Google or a national database like WieWasWie to see where your ancestors' name pops up. However, this strategy often does not give you the result you're hoping for. You may find dozens of namesakes all over the country, without any way to tell if any of them is your … [Read more...]

Quick tip: try spelling variations

Even after the introduction of the civil registration, but especially in earlier records, there may be spelling variations of a name. A woman may be called Elizabeth or Elisabeth, her last name might be written as Jansen or Janssen. Especially since most Dutch search engines only find exact matches, it is important to try different spelling … [Read more...]

Dutch term: Uitgebreid zoeken

The words uitgebreid zoeken mean "advanced search" (literally: elaborate search). You will often find the term on websites with genealogical databases where the "uitgebreid zoeken" link will take you to a search form with more options to formulate your query. Beware that most search engines only find exact matches, so don't fill out too much … [Read more...]

Quick tip: using genealogical search engines

Did you know that most genealogical websites in the Netherlands use a different search strategy than websites in the US? Most Dutch websites only find results that are a perfect match for your query. Each term you fill in acts as a filter for the results set and limits the chance of finding anything useful. The more you fill in, the less you … [Read more...]