Quick tip – Check what’s available online

There are HUGE digitization projects going on in the Netherlands. So if it's been a while since you've checked what's available online, check again. The record you need may be waiting for you. For an overview of online records, see Digital Resources Netherlands and Belgium. … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Women in New Netherland conference

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in New York State, there will be a conference about "Women In New Netherland." Organizer: New Netherland Institute Dates: 22-23 September 2017 Where: Albany, New York More information: Women in New Netherland Conference page … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Talk to your oldest family members

About ten years after I started doing genealogy, I was talking to my grandmother about her family. She asked me if I'd ever found out when her two aunts died. The last time she'd heard from them was about twenty years earlier, when they were in their 80s. In those days, I was focused on going back in time. I had blazed right through the 1900s … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Quick Tip – There’s Nothing Wrong With Speculation

When you are researching your ancestors, there is nothing wrong with speculation. Building and testing hypotheses is a great way to discover new evidence that may help you prove your case. Just don't confuse speculation with proof, and make sure to not spread speculative information without clearly labeling as such (or not at all, to prevent people … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Pachter

A pachter is a tenant. Most farmers in the Netherlands were tenants who did not own their farms or land. You can sometimes find tenancy contracts in court records, notarial records, or family archives. Especially in earlier times, these contracts were often made without having an official record so it may be hard to find proof. See an example of … [Read more...]