Dutch term – Signalement

Signalement is the physical description. You can often find signalementen in military records, prison records, or in police bulletins. It is rare to find a physical description for ancestors before say 1800. See a list of Dutch terms in physical descriptions for more information. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Indexes may have added information

The goal of an index is to provide an easy way to find the records. Creators of indexes will sometimes add information to make the records easier to find, even when that information is not in the original record. This can create problems if the information they added turns out to be incorrect or misleading. A recent query in the Dutch Genealogy … [Read more...]

Vote for the Genealogy Rockstars

John D. Reid is organizing a Genealogy Rockstar survey for the fifth time. Whose presentations do you want to attend? Whose publications do you spell? Who in the genealogy world inspires you and makes you want to be a better genealogist? Now is your chance to vote. I know about half the people on the list and there are some great names among … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Polder

A polder is a section of land that was claimed from the sea or marsh. This was traditionally done by building a dike around it the land and draining the water using mills. A polder will typically have many drainage canals crisscrossing the landscape. … [Read more...]

Seven Ways to Find Your Dutch Ancestor’s Occupation

Finding your ancestor's occupation is a great way to learn more about his life and can be a gateway to finding more records. Here are six different ways you can find out what your Dutch ancestors did for a living. 1: Civil registration records If your ancestor lived in the Netherlands after 1811, you should be able to find your ancestor in … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Learn about places from newspapers

You can learn a lot about the places where your ancestors lived from newspapers. You can see what was going on, read about Dutch settlements and find out about the people who were living there. Many Dutch newspapers have been digitized by the Royal Library and are available at Delpher. Select "Kranten" [newspapers] to search the newspapers for the … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Haven

A haven is a harbor. The Netherlands had and has some of the largest harbors in the world. They provided work for a range of occupations, both for people working at sea like fishermen and skippers, and for people working in the harbor like merchants, innkeepers and carriers. The harbors of Rotterdam and Amsterdam were also major ports of … [Read more...]

How to Record Prefixes and Patronymics

Dutch names often have prefixes like Van der, De, and Ter; and patronymics like Jans (son of Jan) or Pietersen (son of Pieter). Dutch genealogy programs have separate fields for prefixes and patronymics but most international programs do not. So where do you enter these name parts in a genealogy program that only has fields for First name and Last … [Read more...]

Quick tip – List of Dutch pilots in the RAF and FAA

During World War II, several Dutch pilots joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Fleet Air Army (FAM) to help liberate the Netherlands. The Department of Defense website has a list of all these men. List of Dutch pilots in the RAF and FAM (click through to the PDF).   … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Legitieme portie

The legitieme portie (legitimate portion) is the part of the inheritance that children are legally entitled to. Under Dutch law, at least since the 1800s, children cannot be disowned by their parents completely, even if the parent makes up a will. Their legitimate portion is half of what they would have inherited if there was no will. This is … [Read more...]