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 – Trace enslaved people by their owners

If you are researching enslaved people in the former Dutch colonies like Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles, you need to trace their owners. Enslaved people created few records themselves, but their owners may have created records that mention them. Here are some examples of records created by owners that may include enslaved people: … [Read more...]

Poor relief in the Netherlands in the 1600s

In the 1600s, poor relief was a local affair. There was no national social security system. Larger cities had poor masters who administered a fund to support the poor residents of the city. In the countryside and smaller cities, the deacons of the protestant church had the responsibility to aid people in need. Even people who did not belong to … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for October 2019

Here is an overview of the new sources, projects, and news about archives that were announced last month. Online sources The Historisch Centrum Overijssel published indexes of birth records of several Overijssel towns: Oldemarkt, Kuinre, Hellendoorn, Oldenzaal, and Hengelo. The indexes can be found on Open Archieven. The slave registers of … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t rely on automatic translators

Automatic translators like Google Translate can be a big help if you don't speak Dutch. However, many older records use terms that no longer exist in modern Dutch, or that have shifted meaning. Automatic translators are also notoriously bad at translating words that may have multiple meanings. An example is the sentence: "Zijn neef was zijn … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Use Past and Next Places in Population Registers

Population registers are a wonderful way to trace where our ancestors were living between 1850 and 1920. The registers give an overview of the people in the household. If someone moved into the household, the register should indicate the previous place of residence. If they moved within the municipality, the previous place will be indicated as … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Dutch Emigrants to Australia database

The National Archives has a database of Dutch emigrants to Australia between 1946 and 1991. The database may only be used for historical research. The database is compiled based on the card catalogs that were created by the Dutch consulates in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane between 1946 and 1991. The cards were organized by heads of household … [Read more...]

Five places to find out-of-copyright books from the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, copyright expires 70 years after the author's death in most cases. Many books published in the early 1900s and earlier are in the public domain. Here are five places where you can find these publications. Delpher Delpher is a website by the Royal Library of the Netherlands where you can find books, newspapers, and … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Use DNA to find Dutch cousins

DNA testing is becoming more popular in the Netherlands. Many Dutch people test at MyHeritage, though some also test with other companies such as Ancestry, FamilyTreeDNA, or 23andMe. To find Dutch cousins, you can take a DNA test. You will then get a list of people who tested at the same company who share DNA with you. The more DNA you share, … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for September 2019

Here is an overview of the new sources, projects, and news about archives that were announced last month. Online sources The Memories van Successie (death duties files) of Noord-Brabant are being scanned and added to the Brabants Historisch Informatie Centrum website. The first batch of scans has been uploaded. Death duties files give you an … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t assume that coat of arms is yours

Many people mistakenly believe that finding a coat of arms with your surname means it's "your" coat of arms and that you're entitled to use it. That's not how it works. The coat of arms may have been used by a different family with the same name. You will have to trace your line back to find out if one of your ancestors ever used it. Even that … [Read more...]