Quick Tip – Repeat Searches Periodically

If you search a database and don't find the record you're looking for, try again later. Many databases get periodic updates or corrections, so a record that cannot be found today may be added tomorrow. For example, the people database at Archieven.nl often has new records as a result of indexing projects or because new archives decide to host … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Rijkslandbouwwinterschool

The rijkslandbouwwinterschool was the national agricultural winter school. Farmer's sons (and later, daughters) attended the school during the winter months when there was not a lot to do on the farm. They'd learn about growing crops and raising cattle. This type of school was introduced in the period 1890-1920 throughout the country. Some still … [Read more...]

Three old people ago…

One old person ago... Women did not have equal rights. Women in the Netherlands got the right to vote in 1917. But until 1956, married women needed permission from their husbands to enter into any legally binding contracts. Two old people ago... Slavery was legal in the Dutch colonies of Suriname, the Netherlands Antilles, and the … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Bij Kaarsenbrand

In old legal records, you can sometimes find that property was sold "bij kaarsenbrand" [by burning candle]. It does not mean that it was sold at night, but rather that the property was sold in an auction that lasted as long as a candle burned. If the candle went out, the highest bid at that time was the winning bid. It made sure that auctions would … [Read more...]

Why the Little Dutch Boy Never Put his Finger in the Dike

He is probably the most famous Dutch boy that never lived. The Little Dutch boy who saved the day by putting his finger in a dike. The book in which he appeared, Hans Brinker; or, the Silver Skates: A Story of Life in Holland, featured several stories. The story about the Little Dutch Boy told how he saved Haarlem from flooding by putting his … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Klederdracht

Klederdracht means traditional costume. Many regions had their own style. Experts can tell you what area a person in a photo came from just by looking at the style of headwear or clothing. … [Read more...]

Dutch Archives that provide Free Scanning on Demand

In the Netherlands, archives provide their already digitized records available online for free. But several archives go a step further, and also allow you to request documents to be scanned free of charge. These archives have allocated budget for digitizing their collection. Part of this budget is used for larger projects, and another part is … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Auteursrecht

Auteursrecht (literally: author law) is the Dutch term for copyright. Here are some things that you need to know about copyright in the Netherlands: Copyright expires seventy years after the death of the creator, after which time the work becomes part of the public domain. Copyright requires originality. There is no copyright on a … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – There’s Nothing Wrong With Speculation

When you are researching your ancestors, there is nothing wrong with speculation. Building and testing hypotheses is a great way to discover new evidence that may help you prove your case. Just don't confuse speculation with proof, and make sure to not spread speculative information without clearly labeling as such (or not at all, to prevent people … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Pachter

A pachter is a tenant. Most farmers in the Netherlands were tenants who did not own their farms or land. You can sometimes find tenancy contracts in court records, notarial records, or family archives. Especially in earlier times, these contracts were often made without having an official record so it may be hard to find proof. See an example of … [Read more...]