The Dutch word vader means ‘father.’
Finding fathers can be difficult if the parents weren’t married. Some tips:
- Check the birth record to see if the margin has any notes about the child being recognized by a father later in life. This need not be the biological father but it can be a good clue.
- Check population registers (since 1850) to see whom the mother was living with.
- Check church council minutes to see if the mother was censored.
- Do an autosomal DNA test. This is particularly helpful if you have a candidate(s) for who the father might be. If you match people on that line, then that is evidence that you have the right person.
See also the case study: Subtle clues in population registers to see how I potentially found the biological father of an illegitimate ancestor of mine.