Quick Tip – Living People are not Easy to Find

Because of strict privacy rules in the Netherlands, living people are not easy to find. In general, records of people born less than 100 years ago are not public. Here are some sources for researching people in the 1900s that may help you to find living relatives. Another option is to take a DNA test. Because Dutch people are careful of their … [Read more...]

Archives preparing to re-open

Most archives in the country have closed their doors during the corona crisis. Archives are now preparing to re-open, often with restrictions on the number of visitors in the reading room and new seating plans and routes that allow patrons to keep their distance. I expect all archives to be open again by June 1st. Archives who offer … [Read more...]

Virtual Pilgrim Event Leiden400 on 16 May

On Saturday May 16, the online opening of the Pilgrim Year Leiden400 will take place! The Pilgrims lived in Leiden from 1609 to 1620, when they left for America. Get to know Leiden during the virtual event, which will be in English. Take a city walk through the historic center, and meet people who will tell you about Leiden in the time of the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Website War Lives

The website War Lives documents the lives of people during World War II using original records from the period. The website shows a time line for each person, and links to the sources that were used to compile the information. Sources include war graves, databases of prisoners in camps in the Netherlands and the East Indies, documentation … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Achterhoek resources at Genealogiedomein

The website Genealogiedomein has resources for research in the eastern part of Gelderland, the area known as the "Achterhoek." Available resources include: Transcribed church records before 1811 Transcribed civil registration records after 1811 Indexed census records Indexes or transcriptions of court records Indexes or … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Blaeu atlas

I love to use old maps to see where my ancestors lived. One of the highlights in the history of cartography is the world atlas created by Willem Blaeu in 1662. Erfgoed Leiden, the archives in Leiden, have digitized their Blaeu atlas. You can browse the atlas via Bladeren door Blaeu [Browse Blaeu]. Klik the pink button "Start met Bladeren" to … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Check if the Archives are Open

If you are planning to do on-site research in the Netherlands, check their website or contact the archive to make sure they are open. Most archives have announced their reading rooms are closed until further notice, to prevent spreading COVID-19. Check the opening hours ("openingstijden") and look for news announcements mentioning COVID-19 or … [Read more...]

Quick tip – AncestryHour Interview with Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink was interviewed by Daniel Loftus for the first episode of "Meet who you tweet" at AncestryHour. Daniel is a young genealogist from Ireland and Ambassador for Youth for #AncestryHour, the weekly Twitter meetup for genealogists across the world. Go to the interview. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Why did they not marry in May?

If your ancestors were farm workers in the 1800s, and did not marry in May, check the birth date of their oldest child. Most work contracts ran from May to May. Farm workers who planned on getting married, often married in May so they could then move in together and maybe lease their own farm. When there was a baby on the way, it was … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t Stop Looking When They’re Dead

Sometimes, relevant records are produced long after the person of interest is dead. Here are some examples: ¬†An estate may remain undivided during the surviving spouse's lifetime. The records of how the estate was divided and who the heirs were might be decades later. A record may have been copied at a later time, for example as part of … [Read more...]