Case study: incorrectly recorded burial of Maria Elissen

My ancestor Maria Elissen was the wife of Johannes Antonij Koolen. I knew she must have died between 1789, when her youngest child was born, and 24 December 1798, when her husband was called a widower when he died.1 The burial register for Tilburg for this period is indexed and appears to be complete. However, no burial was found for Maria Elissen.2 The only burial for a Maria, wife of Jan Koolen was Maria van Keulen, who was buried on 15 April 1795, the wife of Jan Koolen.3 Could this have … [Read more...]

Case study – the origins of Jan Dirkse van Eps

One of my clients asked me to research the origins of her Dutch colonial ancestor, Jan Dirkse van Eps. She graciously allowed me to share the research I did for her on my website, to make it available to other Van Eps descendants. As this article is based on the research report I wrote for her, it will also give you an insight into my work process and the type of research that I do. Unfortunately, the terms of the Amsterdam City Archives website do not allow me to reproduce the scans of the … [Read more...]

Case study: Lammert Huybertsen Brink

Two years ago, I helped a client, Mr. Dennis Brink, find out exactly where his family was from. He kindly agreed to let me share our story of discovery of the origins of his immigrant ancestor, Lammert Huybertsen Brink, with you. Known information When Dennis Brink first contacted me, he provided the following information about his New Netherland ancestor, Lammert Huybertsen Brink: Lammert Huyberts from Wageningen, with wife and two children ages 2 and 3 1/2 years, sailed on the … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette: Resolving Conflicting Evidence in Early Civil Registration Records

Since the introduction of the civil registration (in 1811 in most part of the Netherlands), everybody was supposed to have a fixed name. Everybody who did not have a surname, was required to take a name and have that recorded. The reality was not always so neat. Especially in regions where many people did not have surnames before 1811, like Friesland, Groningen, Overijssel and Gelderland, the same person may appear in civil registration records under different names. Willem Lucas de Jonge and … [Read more...]

Case study – Using population registers to tell a story

When you find enough evidence to answer your initial research questions, it is tempting to move on to another family. But you can discover a whole lot more if you make the effort to find all available records. In this case study, I will show you how you can find out more about the lives of your ancestors using information from Population Registers. Example: Maria Gommeren When I first researched my great-great-grandmother Maria Gommeren (1864-1918), I stopped looking for records once I proved … [Read more...]

My great-grandparents’ incestuous marriage

When my great-grandparents Hendrik Woordes and Janna Geertruid Droppers wanted to get married in 1910, they were facing a problem. The law did not allow them to marry, since his first wife Hendrika Willemina Droppers had been the sister of Janna Geertruid. Hendrika Willemina had died in childbirth the year before, leaving Hendrik with a motherless infant. When he found her youngest sister willing to marry him and take care of the child, the only way to do that was to apply for a Royal … [Read more...]

Case study: subtle clues in population registers

On the very first day I started doing genealogy, I found a birth record saying that my grandfather’s grandmother was born as an illegitimate child, father unknown. Three years later, her mother married and the groom acknowledged the child as his. The three-year-gap made me dismiss him as her biological father. In the 23 years since then, I’ve collected all documents I could find about this family but never found any viable candidates. Inspired by Dr. Thomas Jones' and Elizabeth Shown Mills' … [Read more...]