Quick tip – The suffix ‘-je’

In the Dutch language, the suffix '-je' indicates a diminutive. Depending on the preceding word, it can be -je, -kje, -tje, -pje, or -etje; sometimes with an -n at the end. In Low Saxon dialects in the north-east of the Netherlands, -ke, -ske, -ken, -sken, or -chien are used. The diminutive suffix is used for nouns and names. Many female names are diminutive forms of male names. The diminutive form of a name is also used for a young child, so studying the name in context is necessary to … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Mind the long S

Up until well into the twentieth century, there were two different ways to write the letter 's' in Dutch (and other languages): the regular 's' and the long 's'. The long 's' looks like an 'f' without the crossbar. The long 's' is used in different situations. In words with double 's,' the second 's' is often written in the long form. When transcribing names or words with a long 's', make sure to transcribe it correctly as an 's.'¬†For example, the name of my ancestor in the birth record … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Video about using WieWasWie

FamilySearch features a helpful video where Fritz Juengling explains how to use the website WieWasWie (Who Was Who) for researching your ancestors in the Netherlands. Go to the video … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Compare to the neighbors

To understand your ancestors, you need to study them in their context. One way to do that is to compare your ancestors to their neighbors to get some idea of their place in the community. Here are some research questions that may help you get to know your ancestors: Did your ancestors own their home? Did most people in the community rent or own? How much did your ancestors pay in taxes? How much did other people in the neighborhood pay? How old were your ancestors when they … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Open Journals

If you are interested in reading about Dutch history, check out the website Open Journals. It provides open access to several journals, including: BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review Early Modern Low Countries Historical Life Course Studies The Rijksmuseum Bulletin TSEG - The Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History Articles in these journals are in various languages, many in English. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Check the finding aid or catalog for scans

When you are searching for your ancestors, it's tempting to stick to searching for their name in an online index. But only a small fraction of records have been indexed. A larger part is available online as images that have not been indexed yet. These images are often available via the catalog or finding aids on the website of archives. Look for terms like inventarissen or¬†archieven. In some cases, the records have not been scanned yet, but the catalog or finding aid has a button to order … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Beware of chapter 1

If you're lucky, your literature research may reveal a book published about your family done by genealogists in the past. Writing such books was popular in the nineteenth century, especially for prominent families, or descendants of early settlers of a colony, for example. Several such books exist for New Netherland settlers. In many of these early books, chapter 1 is where the author tries to sketch the early history of the family. This is where you find claims of royal descent, of … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Use & in Open Archives

If you are using Open Archives for your research, try searching for two persons at once by using the & operator. Example: Hendrik Hoitink and Johanna Piek Let's say I am looking for my ancestors Hendrik Hoitink and Johanna Piek. Searching for Hendrik Hoitink gives me 404 results. Searching for Johanna Piek gives me 1,456 results. That's a lot of results to wade through! Most of them will be irrelevant. However, if I search for Hendrik Hoitink & Johanna Piek, I get just 49 … [Read more...]

Quick tip – If you wanted it or needed it…

Easy rule of thumb for working with Dutch records: If you wanted it or needed it, there probably was a tax on it. Marriage tax. Window tax. Hearth tax. Beer tax. Tobacco tax. Servant tax. Petrol tax. Dog tax. Real estate tax. Genealogists must be the only people in the world who like taxes, because of the wonderful records they created! … [Read more...]

Virtual Dutch-American Conference

AADAS, the Association for the Advancement of Dutch-American Studies, is holding a virtual conference: Telling, Sharing, and Preserving Dutch-American Stories on 18 and 19 June 2021. Registration is free for AADAS members. The keynote speaker will be Dr. George Harinck, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, who specializes in the cultural history of Dutch Protestantism in the 19th and 20th centuries and has published widely on this topic. Other speakers include Suzanne Sinke, Mary Risseeuw, Penny … [Read more...]