About this website

Creating a website like this is a fun activity. There are so many options, so many choices. What do visitors want? What do I want? In this blog I will describe some of the things I encounter in developing and maintaining this website.

Crowd funding needed for Suriname Slave Registers

A crowd funded project will digitize and index the slave registers of Suriname, making them freely accessible online.  Slave registers of Suriname The slave registers of Suriname are a unique record series. They record the names of approximately 80,000 people who were enslaved in Suriname between 1830 and the abolition of slavery … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Beta version of WieWasWie

WieWasWie, the website where many Dutch archives publish their indexes and scans of genealogical sources, has a new website. It is in beta, which means that they are looking for user feedback. Try the beta version of WieWasWie … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Civil Cases can Contain Earlier Records

Civil court cases can be a treasure trove of information. To support their claims, the parties may have had copies made of records that were kept in their family, or perhaps drew maps to show a boundary dispute. In my own tree, I was able to prove the parents of a woman who married around 1677 by going through a civil case involving the … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy Article in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly

I am proud to announce that my article "Griete Smit's Parentage: Proof in the Absence of Vital Records" has been selected as the lead article of the December 2016 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. NGS members can download the PDF from the NGSQ archives. The journal is also available in many libraries in the United States and … [Read more...]

Quick tip – How did they get that property?

If your ancestors owned property, that might help you find out more about them. If you cannot find the original purchase, they may have inherited it from a family member. By tracing the property, you may discover an earlier generation. The names of properties are rarely indexed, but perhaps you can find the neighbors, and check their deeds. … [Read more...]

Types of Dead Ends in a Dutch Tree

I don't call an ancestor a "brick wall" until I feel that I've exhausted the research options. Instead, I prefer "dead end" to indicate ancestors for whom I have not identified the parents yet. I have about two thousand ancestors in my tree for whom  I have not identified both parents. To give you an idea of the types of problems you can … [Read more...]

Quick tip – How to Find out Which Church Records Survive

Church records of baptisms, marriages, and burials are among the most popular genealogical sources to use. If you can't find a record, how do you know if the records don't exist anymore, or if you simply haven't found the person? In 1981, a book was published to help researchers, the Repertorium DTB. For each town, it lists the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Amsterdam Scans now Free

The Amsterdam City Archives will no longer charge for their online scans. That means that you do not need pay-per-view credits anymore to consult the scans that are attached to their indexes or finding aids. Available indexes include: Church records of baptisms, marriages, and burials before 1811 Conveyance records of property … [Read more...]

Dutch Records That Just Became Public

2017 has arrived, and that means that many records have become public. Many records are closed for 25, 50, 75, or 100 years. Records that can now be consulted include: Birth records of people born in 1916 (hi, grandma!) Marriage records of people married in 1941  Death records of people who died in 1966.  … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Finding the Current Name of an Old Place

When reading old records, you will often come across place names that cannot be found on a modern map. The spelling or the entire name may have changed. For example, the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, was known as Batavia under Dutch rule. Former Amsterdam City Archivist Simon Hart researched the places of origin that were mentioned in the … [Read more...]