Quick tip – 400 Years of Dutch-American Stories

The National Archives of the Netherlands publishes a monthly series of stories about the 400 years of Dutch-American history. Past issues include stories about the name New Amsterdam, a woman named Mayken van Angola who was freed from slavery, and Dutch-American relations. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Beschikbaar, beschikbaarheid

Beschikbaar means available; beschikbaarheid means availability. You may come across the terms in finding aids and texts discussing how to consult records. For example, a finding aid may include a section about availability to discuss where the records are kept, how they can be accessed, whether they are available online, or whether there are access restrictions to consider. … [Read more...]

Researching Military Ancestors in the Netherlands – Before 1795

I often get questions about finding military ancestors, and thought I would write a few posts about that. I will start with the early period, before 1795. Before 1795, most soldiers were professional soldiers, not conscripts. The Dutch Republic (1588-1795) hired both Dutch and foreign men. Often, whole regiments were hired, including from Scotland, Switzerland, and Germany. The regiments would be stationed in garrison towns throughout the republic, changing every few years. Some soldiers … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Grondwerker

A grondwerker (literally: ground worker) was a digger. Diggers could be employed by builders, to dig foundation trenches, or by canal builders. It was hard, low-paying work. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Koninkrijk

Koninkrijk means kingdom. The Netherlands was the Dutch Republic until 1795, when the French occupied the country. It became the Kingdom of Holland in 1806, with Louis Napoleon as its first king. It was part of the French empire from 1810 to 1813. After the defeat of the French, it became the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1813. The House of Orange has supplied the monarchs ever since. Kings of Holland Louis Napoleon (1806-1810) Kings and Queens of the Netherlands Willem I … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for August 2022

Here is an overview of the new sources, websites, and other news announced last month. Sources 450,000 records from population registers 1900-1938 from Zeeland have been added to the Zeeuws Archief website. Several church, court, and notarial records from the east of Noord-Brabant have been added to the Brabants Historisch Informatie Centrum website. Transcriptions of church, tax, and population registers of Nieuw- en Sint Joosland have been added to HoGenDa. Transcriptions of … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Hear the dialects of your ancestors

In the Netherlands, every region, sometimes every town, has its own particular dialect. If you want to hear how the people in your ancestors' region sounded, you can listen to audio clips at the Meertens Institute website. Click on the + before the province Click on the name of the town, which will open a pop-up with a list of recordings. Click on "Afspelen" [play] Most of the clips are anonymous. You can also click Kaart [map] to see the recordings on a map or click the Opnames … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Look at old photos

Looking at old photos can tell you a lot about life in the times of your ancestors, even if the photos were not of your family. Take this photo of an unidentified Winterswijk farm in 1937, for example. Since I am related to just about everyone from Winterswijk, the child in the photo is probably a distant cousin of mine. We can see that the she is wearing long stockings above her wooden shoes, telling us the photo was probably taken in winter. She is sitting on a wooden chair with a … [Read more...]

Dutch Term – Nederlands Hervormd

Nederlands Hervormd means Dutch Reformed, a protestant religion. You may come across the term in population registers or church records. The Dutch Reformed church adopted that name in 1816. Before that, it was known as Nederduits Gereformeerd [Nederdutch Reformed]. There are many other protestant religions that split off from the main Dutch Reformed church, including Gereformeerd [Christian Reformed]. … [Read more...]

Dutch societies with members-only databases or transcriptions

Most genealogical information in the Netherlands is available free of charge. Government archives are required to make existing information available free-of-charge. This is why you will not be charged to access online records at the websites of Dutch archives. Private organizations can charge for access. Some organizations have created databases or transcriptions that are available as a member benefit. Here are some examples. Please note that the websites of these organizations are … [Read more...]