Quick tip – Use Different Types of Death Records

In the period after 1811, the civil registration death records are the most reliable and informative records to use. In the period before 1811, there are different types of records that can act as substitutes for death records: Burial records kept by the churches Account books by the churches or deacons where fees are recorded for renting a … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Van der Aa’s Biographical Dictionary

A biographical dictionary from the 1800s is available online: Van der Aa's Biografisch Woordenboek. The 21 volumes contain thousands of lemmas about more or less famous people in the Netherlands. The dictionary is in the public domain so you can use it for your own research. To find entries, select the first letter of the last name and then … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Use Google Translate App to Translate Publications

Did you know you can use the Google Translate app on your phone to translate publications? Just click the camera icon in the app and point it at a printed text. Google Translate will show the translation in place. I first saw this when one of my clients used it to translate a Dutch plaque next to a monument and a Dutch menu. You can also use it … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Friesland Memorabilia

If you have ancestors from Friesland, you want to check out the website of Hessel de Walle: Memorabilia uit Friesland [Memorabilia from Friesland]. Hessel collects references to Frisian memorabilia with people's names on them, like mourning boards in churches, inscribed silverware, grave monuments, etc., and generously made his database available … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Magazines and Journals at Delpher

The website Delpher is famous for its newspapers, but also has a large collection of magazines and journals. This includes many trade and professional journals that have information about people in these occupations, such as teachers and farmers. The majority of the periodicals dates from the 1850s to 1950s.   … [Read more...]

Quick tip – 98% of Dutch People have Immigrant Ancestors

Did you know that an estimated 98% of people in the Netherlands have an immigrant ancestor somewhere in their trees in the past 500 years? They could be descendants of German laborers, French Huguenots, Swiss or Scottish mercenary soldiers, people from former Dutch colonies like Suriname, the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), or the Netherlands … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Unusual Name or Transcription Error?

In my tree, I had one set of triplets: Gemma, Aeltjen, and Stijntjen, daughter of Jan Mengers. They were baptized in the Dutch Reformed Church of Winterswijk on 14 March 1702. I first learned about them in the transcribed records that I bought as a teenager and was excited about the special find. I descend from Aeltjen. I haven't been … [Read more...]

Quick tip – It’s All About the Dash

When we research our ancestors, it's easy to focus on the vital events. When was a person born, when did they marry, when did they die? If we're not careful, this reduces our ancestors to names and dates. Take my ancestor Johannes Marijnissen (1806–1844), for example. That dash between his birth and death date represents a full, though short, … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Living People are not Easy to Find

Because of strict privacy rules in the Netherlands, living people are not easy to find. In general, records of people born less than 100 years ago are not public. Here are some sources for researching people in the 1900s that may help you to find living relatives. Another option is to take a DNA test. Because Dutch people are careful of their … [Read more...]

Archives preparing to re-open

Most archives in the country have closed their doors during the corona crisis. Archives are now preparing to re-open, often with restrictions on the number of visitors in the reading room and new seating plans and routes that allow patrons to keep their distance. I expect all archives to be open again by June 1st. Archives who offer … [Read more...]