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.

Quick tip – Mensenlinq

Mensenlinq is a website where many current newspapers publish their family announcements. It is a good place to find the recently deceased. It can be difficult to find recent deaths since death records are not public for 50 years and recent newspapers are not published online due to copyrights. Mensenlinq allows you to search for the announcements that families placed in newspapers. See the source Family Announcements for more information about this source. By default, Mensenlinq only … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette – Military passports in the 1800s

Reader Freddy Walhof asked me about the practice of military passports in the 1800s. In the military service record of an enlisted man, the column for end of service said "gepasporteerd" which means "passported." Freddy wondered if an actual passport was issued or if this was an administrative term only. At the end of service, enlisted men were issued a military passport. This contained an extract of their service record, including that they had fulfilled their military duties. Since these … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Identical place names in New and Old Netherland

If you are doing in New Netherland, the Dutch colony in what later became New York and the surrounding area, you may come across place names that exist in both the (old) Netherlands and New Netherland. When you come across a place in records and you cannot find the person in the records of that town, consider that perhaps the other place is meant. For example, a New Amsterdam marriage record may refer to a bride from "Vlissingen" without specifying whether that is the town on Long Island or the … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for August 2023

Here are all the new sources, projects, and other news announced in the past month. Sources Hattinga's atlas of Gelderland, Overijssel, and Groningen from the 1740s has been digitized and can be consulted at the website of Collectie Overijssel. Cause of death notes from the east of North Brabant have been digitized and indexed. Check the index at the BHIC website. Verdicts of the Court Martial in 's-Hertogenbosch 1839-1919 have been indexed and scanned. See the BHIC website. Guid … [Read more...]

Quick tip – No marriage license or bond

In the Netherlands, there are no marriage licenses or marriage bonds like you may be familiar with in other countries. The only way to get married was to have banns read, typically for three consecutive weeks. That gave others the opportunity to raise objections, for example if one of the parties was promised to another, or if the couple was too closely related. In extraordinary circumstances, you may find dispensations to have the banns read all on the same day, but that is extremely rare. … [Read more...]

Dutch Ancestors Research Plan – 17th and 18th century

In my Level-Up Challenge, I defined six levels of ancestral profiles. In this post, I will give you a basic research plan for an ancestor living in the 17th and 18th century for levels 1-4. Level 1: Names only I usually find the name of the person in records of somebody else I am researching. No specific research plan needed. Level 2: Vital statistics The civil registration was introduced in 1811 in most parts of the Netherlands (around 1795 for some parts of Limburg and Zeeland). Before … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Friesland memorabilia

Hessel de Walle created a wonderful website with texts of graves in churches, mourning signs, stones with names, silverware, signet rings, etc in Friesland. In many cases, this includes a photo of the object. The website has the following search options: Gemeente: Municipality Plaats: Town Typen: Types. Achternaam: Last name Voornaam: First name Patronymicum: Patronymic Beroep: Occupation Foto: Photo Portretzerk: Grave portrait Latijn gebruikt: Latin … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for July 2023

Here is an overview of the new sources, projects and other news announced last month. Sources The colonial records of Curacao, Bonaire and Aruba 1828-1845 have been digitized. Scans are available via the finding aid at the Nationaal Archief website. These records contain government, court, and notarial records and are crucial for researching ancestors who lived in the colony, encluding enslaved ancestors. Dutch documents from New Paltz in New York from the 1600s and early 1700s have … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Drowned Places

The Netherlands is located in the delta of several of Europe's major rivers, including the Rhine, the Scheldt, and the Meuse. Over time, more than a hundred villages and cities in the Netherlands were lost to water. In a few cases, catastrophic floods washed away a whole town, like during the St. Elisabeth Flood of 1421. In other cases, repeated smaller floods caused people to abandon a place. This happened in West-Vlieland and Reimerswaal, for example. It could also be that the townsfolk … [Read more...]

A Cautionary Tale about Works in Progress

Here's a cautionary tale for all of us have multiple unfinished projects underway. I was just going through correspondence with someone I worked with on New Netherland/colonial New York projects on occasion. He was a prolific author who had several articles published in peer-reviewed journals. At one point he shared a list of his works-in-progress with me, which included: 55 articles 5 books about New Netherland families, including a genealogical dictionary of early settlers of one … [Read more...]