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 – Check the websites of the archives

Not all information that is kept in Dutch archives is available via national websites like WieWasWie or Open Archives. You can check the map of archives in the Netherlands to see where the records are kept for the place where your ancestors lived. Often, the websites of the archives will have additional information. This can include images of the towns, finding aids with scans of unindexed records, or newspapers. You may even be able to find photos of the streets where your ancestors lived. … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for June 2023

Here is an overview of all the new sources, projects, websites and other news announced last month. Sources Residence cards of Voorburg 1922-1939 have been indexed and can be consulted at the Haags Gemeentearchief website. These cards list the residents per address. Several church records from the east of North Brabant have been added to the BHIC website. The photo collection of Johan van Eerd is now available via the BHIC website. These include photos from the 1930s-1970s, including … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Did the boundaries change?

Over the past two hundred years, Dutch municipalities have seen many boundary changes. In the past 50 years especially, many smaller municipalities have merged to form larger municipalities. Understanding these boundary changes can help you figure out if your ancestor moved, or if they continued to live in the same place but the municipality changed. For an overview of all municipalities in the Netherlands since 1811 including boundary changes, see the website Gemeentegeschiedenis. Example: … [Read more...]

How I use AI in my work

Last week, I wrote a post about using handwritten text recognition software to automatically transcribe records. Several people have asked me if and how I use AI for my business, so I thought I would clarify. Handwritten text recognition technology I use handwritten text recognition technology for my personal research and client projects. For one client, Roberta Estes of DNA Explained, I traced a line back to Harlingen, Friesland in the early 1600s. There were earlier unindexed records … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette – Difference between arbeider, werkman, dagloner

A reader asked me what the difference is between the occupations arbeider, werkman, and dagloner. Arbeider and werkman are synonyms and both mean "laborer." These are usually people who work for an employer for a longer period of time, typically a year, in return for an annual wage. A dagloner is a day laborer, somebody who does not have a fixed employer but is hired and paid per day. All these occupations perform manual labor, typically unskilled, for an employer. Laborers were usually … [Read more...]

Using AI for Transcriptions: VerledenTekst

My friend Willem Vermeulen and I have been playing around with AI the past few weeks to try software for handwritten text recognition. We've been using it to transcribe records of Oosterhout in Noord-Brabant, where we both have ancestors. Short version: it is a game-changer and will forever change how I do genealogy.  Loghi The software we used is Loghi, Linux-based software developed by the KNAW (royal Dutch academy for sciences) in collaboration with the National Archives. It is available … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for May 2023

Here is an overview of all the new sources, websites, and news from archives announced last month. Sources The civil registration birth records of Suriname (1828-1921) have been digitized and indexed. The information can be found on the website of the National Archives of Suriname. The registration only includes births of people who were born free. For people born in slavery (legal in Suriname until 1863), check the slave registers. Notarial records from Nijmegen (1812-1844) have been … [Read more...]

Award for Excellence for NGSQ Article by Yvette Hoitink

The National Genealogical Society just announced that my article "Four Farms, Four Names: The Identity and Parentage of Dirk Weversborg" won the Award for Excellence 2022! The article was published in the March 2022 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal in the United States. The journal is known for its great case studies and I am beyond honored (and surprised!) that my article was chosen as the best of 2022. The article features my ancestor Dirk … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Order records in advance

If you are visiting a Dutch archive in person, please check their website. Often, you can order records in advance. That way, the records will be waiting for you when you arrive, and you can start your research right away. Some archives provide an order button from the catalog, while others allow you to email a list of the records you want to consult.   … [Read more...]

Free Alternatives to Ancestry for Genealogy in the Netherlands

Many American genealogists use Ancestry as their main platform to do genealogy. Some have asked me if they need to change their subscription to WorldWide to research their Dutch ancestry. Others do not have an Ancestry subscription wonder if they need one. The answer is no. You do not need Ancestry to research your ancestors from the Netherlands. As far as I know, Ancestry does not have any sources from the Netherlands that are not available for free on other websites. Most sources that … [Read more...]