Cadastre: Overview Maps and Minute Maps

Several of you voted for cadastral records as the topic you would like me to write about in 2021, so here we go. This is the first article in a series. The cadastre was introduced in the Netherlands in 1832. The whole country was divided into cadastral municipalities, which did not always completely overlap with the civil municipalities. Each … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Beerwagen

A beerwagen was a cess car, a car used to collect faeces in larger cities. In Amsterdam, this was also known as a boldootwagen, which jokingly referred to Boldoot, an Amsterdam factory making perfume. Before indoor plumbing, people would use buckets instead of toilets. A beerwagen would come by to collect the waste. It did not need to ring a … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Vuurwerk

Vuurwerk is the Dutch term for fireworks. Traditionally, fireworks are lit at midnight on New Year's Eve. This year, fireworks are not allowed because hospitals are already overwhelmed. Fireworks is a modern version of the old tradition to make noise to scare the spirits of the old year away. Before fireworks were available, people would shoot … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Winter

The Dutch word winter means the same in English: winter. Wintertime was traditionally the time to do indoor activities, such as finishing wooden shoes, weaving, making mats, etc. In many parts of the Netherlands, it was hard to get around in the winter since the roads were too boggy. As soon as it was cold enough for the ice to become reliable, … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Voornoemd

In records, you sometimes see a reference to someone, "voornoemd." That means "aforesaid," the same person as mentioned before. For example, the beginning of the record may introduce Jan Jansen as the guardian of Janna Derksen. Further on in the record they may refer to "Jan Jansen, voornoemd," which refers to the Jan Jansen that was already … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Verklarende niet te kunnen schrijven

In civil registration records, the informants of birth and death records and the bride and groom and their parents in marriage records, as well as the witnesses, are asked to sign the record. If the people were illiterate, this will be noted in the final sentences of the record. Often you will see a sentence like "verklarende de moeder van de … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Stemmen

Stemmen means to vote. In the Netherlands, the right to vote was originally tied to owning property or personal wealth. It took until 1917 for all men to be allowed to vote. Women had to wait until 1919. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Beleg

A beleg is a siege. During the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648), many cities were besieged by either Dutch or Spanish troops. In several cases, whole cities were burned to the ground, an in some cases the population was massacred. Read Five Ways the Eighty Years War Affected Your Ancestors for more information. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Bron

Bron is the Dutch term for "source." The word also means "spring," in the meaning of a place where water naturally comes to the surface. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Noord, Oost, Zuid, West

Oost-West [East-West] is the theme of the History Month in the Netherlands this year.┬áThe Dutch terms for the cardinal directions are: noord north oost east zuid south west west You may encounter these terms in deeds, where the location of the property is described in terms of its neighbors to the north, east, … [Read more...]