Quick Tip – Van der Aa’s Gazetteer

Van der Aa's Aardrijkskundig Woordenboek der Nederlanden or geographic dictionary of the Netherlands is a dictionary in 14 volumes that appeared between 1839 and 1854. It contains descriptions of all geographical names in the Netherlands. For cities, towns, and villages, it will give a description of its location, the population including the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Are the Pages in the Right Order?

For an article I'm working on, I was studying a woman's neighbors to see if their records could help me identify her parents. I noticed that the neighbors in a transcription that I used were different from the neighbors on the scans on the archive's website. It turns out the transcription had transcribed the pages in a different order. The person … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Check for Marriage Booklets in Your Family

If your family lived in the Netherlands after say 1850, check your family papers to see if there is a marriage booklet ("trouwboekje"). These booklets are given to the spouses during the marriage ceremony and record the information about the spouses. It is then updated when children are born or when the spouses die. See the article about my … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Names are Different in Latin

If your family was Roman Catholic, their church records will be in Latin. These records used the Latin version of names. Since Dutch search engines only find exact matches, you will need to search for these Latin names or use wildcards. For example, my ancestor Jan Smulders appeared in Catholic records as Joannes. His father Hendrik is called … [Read more...]

Quick tip : Upload your DNA to MyHeritage. Now!

MyHeritage allows you to upload your autosomal DNA results from other companies. This is a currently a free service, but after 1 December 2018, advanced features will be paid. If you upload now, these services will remain free. Upload your DNA now! If you upload after 1 December 2018, you will still see your matches but you won't be able to … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Unexpected Nicknames

My grandmother's official name was Catharina Flooren, but she was known as "Toos." That's a common derivative of Catharina, which came about via Catharina > Cato > Toos. Other examples of nicknames that  might seem surprising are Mees for Bartholomeus, Elen for Aleida, and Nel for Petronella or Cornelia. Especially before the introduction … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Life events may create notarial records

Many notarial records are unindexed and can be time-consuming to go through. But notarial records were often created because of a life event that we can find in other sources. In a small town with just one or two notaries, it can pay off to browse the notarial records around that time. In towns without a notary, these types of records can be found … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Are There Scans of that Unindexed Record?

If you can't find a record for your ancestor by searching for their name, see if the records have been scanned but not indexed yet. It's much quicker to scan a record that it is to index it. Indexing requires people to read the names and type them into a database. This is time consuming so millions of records have been scanned without being … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Search Family Papers First

When you're researching a line, first check what records might be available in your family. When I was researching my grandfather Johannes Marijnissen, my mother had several interesting records about him: an old passport, his marriage booklet, military discharge papers, an extract of his death record, and family photos. Since … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Dates in Population Registers May Be Incorrect

If you're using population registers, keep in mind that these registers were often copied from older registers and may contain copy errors. The birth dates mentioned in them were often not written close to the time of birth, and the informants may have made mistakes. If you find a birth date in a population register, always verify that … [Read more...]