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.

Dutch Genealogy News for July 2020

Here is an overview of the new sources, websites, and projects that were announced last month. Sources Breda and the former municipalities now belonging to Breda have been added to HisGis, the historical geographic information system.  The map viewer shows the plots and ownership in Breda in 1832. 1200 maps of Drenthe from the 1600s to … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Friesland Memorabilia

If you have ancestors from Friesland, you want to check out the website of Hessel de Walle: Memorabilia uit Friesland [Memorabilia from Friesland]. Hessel collects references to Frisian memorabilia with people's names on them, like mourning boards in churches, inscribed silverware, grave monuments, etc., and generously made his database available … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Assess Online Trees and Other Publications

Many of my research projects start with a survey of published literature: journals, books, and online trees. Here are five ways I assess the quality and reliability of these publications. Sources The first thing I look for are the sources: If the publication has no sources, there is no way to evaluate the quality of the underlying … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Magazines and Journals at Delpher

The website Delpher is famous for its newspapers, but also has a large collection of magazines and journals. This includes many trade and professional journals that have information about people in these occupations, such as teachers and farmers. The majority of the periodicals dates from the 1850s to 1950s.   … [Read more...]

Quick tip – 98% of Dutch People have Immigrant Ancestors

Did you know that an estimated 98% of people in the Netherlands have an immigrant ancestor somewhere in their trees in the past 500 years? They could be descendants of German laborers, French Huguenots, Swiss or Scottish mercenary soldiers, people from former Dutch colonies like Suriname, the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), or the Netherlands … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogical Abbreviations

Here is a list of abbreviations you may come across during your research in the Netherlands. Abbreviation Full version English translation A.R.A. algemeen rijksarchief national archives (outdated term) aktenr. aktenummer record number B.R. Bevolkingsregister Population register B.S. burgerlijke stand civil … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Unusual Name or Transcription Error?

In my tree, I had one set of triplets: Gemma, Aeltjen, and Stijntjen, daughter of Jan Mengers. They were baptized in the Dutch Reformed Church of Winterswijk on 14 March 1702. I first learned about them in the transcribed records that I bought as a teenager and was excited about the special find. I descend from Aeltjen. I haven't been … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for June 2020

Here is an overview of the new sources, projects, and news about archives that were announced last month. Sources The National Archives launched a beta version of their new presentation of archives, which includes millions of new scans. See the blog post for more information and instructions on how to participate. The Rotterdam City … [Read more...]

National Archive Launched New Presentation (Beta)

The National Archives just launched the beta version of its new catalog to search and view their records. This happens to be a project I have been working on myself, in the one day per week I do IT projects for archives. I have been managing the migration of 14 million scans from the new system to the old, and consulting on building the new … [Read more...]

Quick tip – It’s All About the Dash

When we research our ancestors, it's easy to focus on the vital events. When was a person born, when did they marry, when did they die? If we're not careful, this reduces our ancestors to names and dates. Take my ancestor Johannes Marijnissen (1806–1844), for example. That dash between his birth and death date represents a full, though short, … [Read more...]