Bron is the Dutch term for “source.” The word also means “spring,” in the meaning of a place where water naturally comes to the surface.
Good genealogical publications have a bronvermelding [source reference], called references or source citations in English.
Bronnen come in all shapes and sizes:
- They could be original records, created by government officials, churches, organizations, employers, or private people.
- They could be derivative records, such as transcriptions or indexes created by historical societies, archives, and genealogical companies.
- They could be authored works, such as published genealogies or online trees.
When doing genealogy, we try to find the best quality sources: original records, created at or near the time of the event, with eye witnesses as informants. We compare evidence from different sources to see if the information is indepently verified and resolve conflicts if two sources have conflicting information.