Quick tip – “Alhier” and “Elders” are not place names

Sometimes, you will encounter the term alhier and elders in a record to indicate a place of origin or residence. These are not place names, but mean "in this location" and "somewhere else," respectively. Hattip to Ellee Brooks who gave the "elders" tip in a comment. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Is that an every-name index?

Not all indexes include everybody in the record. Examples of indexes that miss people are: Indexes of baptisms, that include the child and parents but not the witnesses Indexes of deeds, that only index the grantor but not the grantee, or list both the grantor and grantee, but not the neighbors mentioned in the record Indexes of … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Browse the Whole Book

When you're researching a family, indexes may help you to find the exact record you need. But it can be worthwhile to browse the whole book. Here are some things I learned from browsing the whole book: I've found records of my ancestors that I didn't find in the index, either because the name was spelled differently in the record, or … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Transfer your DNA to Other Companies

If you have recent Dutch ancestors, you may not have a lot of matches when you take a DNA test since DNA testing is not that popular in the Netherlands. To increase your chances of finding Dutch cousins, transfer your DNA results to other websites such as MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA, and GedMatch. Testing at Ancestry and 23andMe can also increase … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Were there children of the first marriage?

If a person wanted to remarry after becoming a widow(er), they first had to come to an arrangement with the children of the prior marriage. These arrangement are often registered in court records, orphan chamber records, or notarial records, often around the time of the publication of the banns of the second marriage. They can provide a wealth … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Was the Index Scanned?

Long before computer databases were invented, people created indexes. Examples of such "manual" indexes include: A list of names at the end of a book or register An index volume (repertorium) with abstracts of records created by a notary A list of grantors and grantees in the back of a deed register A register with muster roll numbers … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Patronymics May Not Be Easy to Recognize

Sometimes it's hard to see the difference between a patronymic and a middle name. One of my ancestors, Hendrik Jan Smulders was called "Jan" because his father was named Jan. At that time, people in Tilburg didn't use a genitive form to indicate patronymics so it's difficult to see if "Jan" is a middle name or a patronymic. In other regions and … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Crossed Out Does Not Mean Incorrect

Just because a record or part of a record is crossed out, does not mean it is incorrect. Often, records were struck through when they were no longer valid or needed. For example, a court record about a debt was struck through after the debt was paid, sometimes with a note in the margin about the payment. In population registers, a line was … [Read more...]

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...]