Dutch term: burgemeester

Portrait of a man with a medal

Dirk Zeper (1803-1881), mayor of Leeuwarden. Source: Beeldbank Leeuwarden (public domain)

The term burgemeester means ‘mayor’. Before 1795, when the French occupied the Netherlands and introduced new laws, most towns had more than one mayor. These were elected officials.

Since 1795, each municipality only has one mayor. Mayors are appointed by the crown. In early records of the civil registration, it is not unusual for a mayor of a small town to act as the clerk registering the births, marriages and deaths in the civil registration records.

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 25 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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