Quick tip – How to Find out Which Church Records Survive

Church records of baptisms, marriages, and burials are among the most popular genealogical sources to use. If you can't find a record, how do you know if the records don't exist anymore, or if you simply haven't found the person? In 1981, a book was published to help researchers, the Repertorium DTB. For each town, it lists the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Amsterdam Scans now Free

The Amsterdam City Archives will no longer charge for their online scans. That means that you do not need pay-per-view credits anymore to consult the scans that are attached to their indexes or finding aids. Available indexes include: Church records of baptisms, marriages, and burials before 1811 Conveyance records of property … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Finding the Current Name of an Old Place

When reading old records, you will often come across place names that cannot be found on a modern map. The spelling or the entire name may have changed. For example, the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, was known as Batavia under Dutch rule. Former Amsterdam City Archivist Simon Hart researched the places of origin that were mentioned in the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Did the family hop the border or vice versa?

The borders of the Netherlands have not always been what they are today. The borders were much different before 1839.  Several towns that are now in Germany once belonged to the Netherlands, and several Dutch towns were once part of the German states. Also, what used to be the southern part of the Netherlands is now Belgium and … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Improve a Life, Join Kiva

Are you looking to reach out and help somebody? I am a member of a team of genealogists who lend money on Kiva. The money is used by entrepreneurs and students all over the world who need help to improve their lives. After they repay the loan, you can lend it again. Our team "Genealogists for Families" has 330 members and has already lent … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Create a Town Timeline

To understand your ancestors' lives better, it can help to create a town timeline showing you what was going on at the time. Here are some samples from my own research projects that show how understanding local history can help: During the Eighty Years' War, the Dutch Republic recruited regiments from all over Europe to help fight the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – What Organizations Was Your Ancestor Involved in?

In the 1800s and 1900s, there were many organizations for every aspect of a person's life. Here are some examples I encountered in my research projects: Honorary member of the Society for the Promotion of the Musical Arts. Chairman of a local  branch of the Anti-Revolutionaire Partij [Anti Revolutionary Party], a Christian … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Access to restricted records

Dutch privacy laws restrict access to recent records. As a rule of thumb, access to records that may contain information about living people is restricted.¬†For example, you can only access birth records of people born more than 100 years ago, and you can only access notarial records after 75 years. In many cases, access restrictions are set for … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Finding out your ancestors’ political views

In the Netherlands, people do not have to register to vote. Our government knows where people live, and voting passes are sent to their homes. So voting records do not show party affiliations. In municipal archives, you can often find "Kiezerslijsten" that show the people who were eligible to vote. Voting itself is anonymous, so these lists will … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Find More Records via the FamilySearch Catalog

FamilySearch has many records from the Netherlands, available from the Netherlands Research Page. But that page only has the large record sets. FamilySearch is digitizing the microfilms in their granite mountain vault, and those images are sometimes available from the catalog only. Example: Lichtenvoorde court records Some of my ancestors are … [Read more...]