Dutch term – Aanwas

Aanwas means increase. The term can often be found in reference to increase in land because of river deposits. Laws specified who owned the aanwas. Sometimes neighbors argued about the rights to the newly created land, for example if one property owner lost land because of erosion while his neighbor gained land due to deposits. These conflicts … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Kaartenbak

A kaartenbak is a card catalog. Creating card catalogs was the popular way to index genealogical records before the computer age. Not all kaartenbakken have been made available online, so a quick survey of the available catalogs in a reading room is a good first step in a research plan. Archives often use one of three strategies to make this … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Tweeling

The Dutch word tweeling (literally: two-ling) means twins. Similarly, drieling means triplets, vierling means quadruplets, vijfling means quintuplets, and zesling means sextuplets. The word tweeling is used for the set of twins. There is no singular Dutch word for a twin. You can say "ik heb een tweelingbroer" [I have a twin brother], "ik heb … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Schutterij

The schutterij is the citizen militia responsible for the defense of the town. In times of war, they could be called up to defend the country. Schutterijen existed throughout the Netherlands from at least the 1500s. Regulations for the schutterijen were standardized in 1814. Male residents between the ages of 18 and 50 (from 1827: between 25 and … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Gulden, Stuiver, Penning

In many older Dutch records, you will find sums of money noted in guldens [guilders], stuivers [stivers], and penningen [pennies]. 1 gulden = 20 stuivers 1 stuiver = 16 penningen For example, fl. 2 : 10 : 1 means 2 guilders, 10 stivers and 1 penny. Fl. is the abbreviation for florijn [florin], an old name for guilder used to denote the … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Pokkenbriefje

A pokkenbriefje is a pox letter, given by a doctor to confirm that a child has been vaccinated against the pox. In 1823, a new law required all children to submit a pokkenbriefje before they were admitted in school. Pokkenbriefjes can sometimes be found in school records. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Selectielijst

A selectielijst literally means a selection list. Archives publish selectielijsten to announce their retention policies for records created by a specific government agency. For each series on the list, it will indicate whether it will be permantly preserved or after how many years it will be destroyed. The selectielijsten are put up for public … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Octrooi

An octrooi is a patent. Historically, octrooien were not just required to protect inventions, but also to enter into certain types of businesses, similar to what we'd call a permit today. An octrooi could also grant permission to publish a book in a certain area. Octrooien can often be found in the records of the landlords or the government. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Prentbriefkaart

A prentbriefkaart or ansichtkaart is a postcard. Postcards became popular in the early 1900s. Old postcards can give you a good idea of what the town looked like when your ancestors were living there. It's also worth asking family members if any of them have old postcards. Among the papers I inherited from my grandfather and grandmother were … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Notulen

Notulen are minutes. They can be found in the records created by many different types of people and organizations, such as church councils or the municipal government. They can contain a variety of information. Archival descriptions in finding aids often don't index the minutes but simply label the boxes as notulen and their period. You will … [Read more...]