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 – The parents in the death record may be wrong

Civil registration records are generally reliable. They are created on the day itself or a few days afterward. But not all information in the record is of the same quality. In my experience, the information about the parents in a death record is the least reliable of all the information you can find in civil registration records. The informant … [Read more...]

How far did my ancestors move?

When working with American, Canadian, and Australian genealogists, I am always struck by how their family stories are about migration. The most common question is where their ancestors came from. My ancestors did not move much. Most of them married a partner from the same area, and lived their wholes lives in the same towns. I never wondered … [Read more...]

Case study – Using Estate Inventories

In Winterswijk, Gelderland in 1754, Jan Hendrik Hilbelink was a widower with four young children, who wanted to marry again. Before being allowed to do so, he had to come to an agreement with the guardians of his minor children. He made an estate inventory of all the possessions of him and his late wife, Aaltjen Vriesen. Their children would be … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Two New Netherland Articles Published

Two of my clients published articles in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (April 2017 issue) for which they used research I did for them:  Harry Macy, "Origin of the Amerman and Terhune Families, and their Founding Mother Geertje Dirks." This article includes research I did to identify the origins of Albert Terhune, patriarch … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for July 2017

Here is an overview of new records and projects that were announced in the past month. Online Dutch Records Notarial records of the following municipalities in Friesland are now available via AlleFriezen, mainly for the 1920s and 1930s: St. Annaparochie, Balk, Beetsterzwaag, Bolsward, Drachten, Dronrijp, Franeker, Giekerk, Hardegarijp, … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Where did the name come from?

When you hit a brick wall, it might be worthwhile to look at all the names in the family. Can you account for all the names of the children? Could one of them be named after a grandparent or former spouse? Last names can provide clues about a place of origin. Different suffixes in surnames point to different regions. A matching name does not … [Read more...]

Column – Unnecessary

Many archival collections in the Netherlands have been cataloged in finding aids according to the principles of the nineteenth-century archivists Feith, Fruin, and Muller. Their Handleiding voor het ordenen en beschrijven van archieven [Manual for orderning and describing of archives] from 1898 states that a finding aid should merely provide an … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for June 2017

Here are some of the new sources and websites that have become available to us in the past month. Online Dutch records The Regionaal Historisch Centrum Limburg published an index and scans of the population registers of Maastricht for 1860-1890. The index was created by volunteers at the VeleHanden [Many Hands] platform The West-Fries … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Netherlands category on Cyndi’s List

Cyndi's List is a wonderful directory of links to any genealogical topic you can think of. It has a Netherlands category with links to websites that are relevant if you're researching your Dutch ancestors. Cyndi's List is one of the few sites that I remember from my early internet days that is still online. I had the pleasure of meeting Cyndi … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Repeat Searches Periodically

If you search a database and don't find the record you're looking for, try again later. Many databases get periodic updates or corrections, so a record that cannot be found today may be added tomorrow. For example, the people database at Archieven.nl often has new records as a result of indexing projects or because new archives decide to host … [Read more...]