Dutch term – Bakker and Bakkerij

A bakker is a baker, and a bakkerij is a bakery. Bread was and is a staple in the Dutch diet. The content and weight of loaves of bread was heavily regulated. If you have ancestors who were bakers, you may find them on lists of calibrated weights, or involved in court cases if their loaves were found to be too light or containing different … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Why Did He Die Elsewhere?

Sometimes, you will find a death record that shows your ancestor died in a different place from where he was living all his life. Common reasons are: He was in a hospital receiving care. He was institutionalized in a mental hospital. This sometimes happened to elderly people who suffered from dementia. He was in jail. He was there … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Moetje

A moetje is a situation where a couple married because the bride was pregnant; a shot-gun wedding in modern terms. "Moeten" is the verb "must" and "-je" is the diminutive form. So the marriage was a "bit of a must." Customs were different in different areas and among different social classes. Among laborers in Friesland, it was quite common to … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Netherlands featured at Western European Family History Conference

Next week, the Family History Library presents a week-long free conference about Western European Research. Each day focuses on a different country: Monday 15 May: Germany Tuesday 16 May: France Wednesday 17 May: The Low Countries Thursday 18 May: The Netherlands Friday 19 May: Switzerland. You can either attend in person in … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for April 2017

Here are some of the new websites and resources that have become available to us in the past month. Online Dutch records In Friesland, five thousand cards that recorded the hiding places of people in World War II were discovered. These include Jewish people and people who were involved in the resistance. The cards have been scanned and … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Grootburger and Kleinburger

A burger is a burgher, a resident of the town with certain rights. Some towns had different levels of burghership, the grootburger [large burgher] and the kleinburger [small burgher]. The rights associated with each status depend on the location and period. Example: Burghers in Deventer This example is a translated abstract from information … [Read more...]

Five Resources for World War II Research

It can be hard to find out what happened to your family in World War II, since it was often not talked about. Here are some resources that may help you. Newspapers (Delpher) The newspaper website Delpher has many digitized newspapers from World War II and afterward. Some things to look for: Names of your ancestors during the war Names of … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Arbeider

An arbeider is a laborer. Sometimes, records will indicate the type of work they did, such as a boerenarbeider [farm laborer] or fabrieksarbeider [factory worker]. Most laborers were poor and did not own any real estate. Many were illiterate. … [Read more...]

Researching Relatives with Disabilities

A forty-four-year-old man lies buried in Winterswijk, the Netherlands. His grave has an ordinary marker, but with an unusual design: it has a toy on it. People who walk past it wonder why a grown man would have a toy depicted on his grave. They don't know that the man who rests there was my uncle, Dinant, who had severe mental … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Tuugkist

A tuugkist is a chest that is used to store personal belongings such as clothes or jewelry. It is a word that is used in the eastern provinces of the Netherlands. Many tuugkisten have elaborate carvings. Some of them even have the initials or a date. Tuugkisten were often made when a couple started their own household,, so it can even provide … [Read more...]