Quick tip – Dutch Emigrants to Australia database

The National Archives has a database of Dutch emigrants to Australia between 1946 and 1991. The database may only be used for historical research. The database is compiled based on the card catalogs that were created by the Dutch consulates in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane between 1946 and 1991. The cards were organized by heads of household … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Use DNA to find Dutch cousins

DNA testing is becoming more popular in the Netherlands. Many Dutch people test at MyHeritage, though some also test with other companies such as Ancestry, FamilyTreeDNA, or 23andMe. To find Dutch cousins, you can take a DNA test. You will then get a list of people who tested at the same company who share DNA with you. The more DNA you share, … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t assume that coat of arms is yours

Many people mistakenly believe that finding a coat of arms with your surname means it's "your" coat of arms and that you're entitled to use it. That's not how it works. The coat of arms may have been used by a different family with the same name. You will have to trace your line back to find out if one of your ancestors ever used it. Even that … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Atlas of Mutual Heritage

The website Atlas of Mutual Heritage contains images of places associated with the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and West India Company (WIC). These include trade posts and former colonies in Africa, Asia, Australia, and North and South America. For some of these places, the VOC and WIC archives contain the oldest surviving records and … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Was that lost record transcribed or indexed?

Some parts of the Netherlands, especially Zeeland, suffered heavy record loss during World War II. Church records and court records may have been lost as a result. Most civil registration records survive, because duplicates were made of those at the time of creation, and both copies were in different locations. Before World War II, some people … [Read more...]

Quick tip – What Interpretations Were Added to the Abstract?

I recently came across a publication that abstracted Dutch records. In the publication, the compiler had grouped a marriage record and two baptismal records together. The parents of the child in the first baptismal record, a year after the marriage, had the same names as the married couple. The name of the child in the second baptismal record … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Use Scanning on Demand

Research in original sources can be difficult if you do not live near the repository. Good news: several archives in the Netherlands offer scanning on demand from their finding aids. They will scan the records for you. Often, they're put online for everyone to use, while other archives choose to send you the files personally. Some archives … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Some records may be in French (1795-1813)

From 1795 to 1813, the Netherlands was under French rule. As a result, some of the records created in this period were in French. This includes the earliest registers of the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. The civil registration was introduced in 1811 in most parts of the country, and as early as 1794 or 1795 in parts of … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Follow up in other records

When we find our ancestor in one record, we can often use it as a stepping stone to finding other records. The record can be like a loose thread to unravel a greater yarn. Here are some examples: A marriage record may have a note in the margin about a divorce. It should name the court and date of the divorce. You can use this to find the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Cadastral records don’t always show the current owner

In cadastral records, you may encounter the situation where your ancestor appears as owner of real estate long after his death. This happens if the estate remains undivided, for example if there is a surviving spouse. Sometimes, the cadastral records are corrected to show the heirs, but sometimes the deceased owner remains on the books. See the … [Read more...]