Dutch term – Muuranker

A muuranker [literally: wall anchor] is a wall tie, a piece of iron that is used to secure the outer wall to the timber frame of a building. If you are visiting a town where your ancestors lived, either in person or on Google Streetview, and see wall ties, you know it's an older house (say, before 1850). Some houses with wall anchors have timber frames that go back to the medieval period, when the frames would be filled with wattle and daub but have since been replaced with … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Mangelhoudster

A reader asked me about the term mangelhoudster. It literally means "keeper of a mangle." The mangle would be a dvice to put laundry through to dry and flatten it. The occupation is mainly found in and around Amsterdam. It could be that the mangelhoudster owned a mangle that others could use for a fee, or that she was a laundress herself. I have tried to find more documentation about the occupation but did not find much. An entry in the J.B. Glasbergen's Beroepsnamenboek [occupation's book], … [Read more...]

Dutch term – NSB-er

An NSB-er was a member of the Nationaal Socialistische Beweging [Nationalist Socialist Movement] in the Netherlands before and during World War II. The NSB was the party that welcomed the German occupation and collaborated with the nazis. During World War II, NSB membership was a requirement for many public offices, including being appointed as mayor. After the war, NSB members were arrested and investigated for collaboration. See the article Finding Collaborators in World War II for more … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Echtgenoot/Echtgenote

An echtgenoot is a male spouse. The female equivalent is echtgenote. You may encounter the term in death records, where someone is listed as the echtgenoot or echtgenote of someone else. The use of echtgenoot/echtgenote indicates that the spouse is currently living, otherwise the deceased would be listed as the weduwnaar [widower] or weduwe [widow]. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Tweede Paasdag

Tweede Paasdag is second Easter day, the day after Easter (Eerste Paasdag/First Easter day). Both days are holidays in the Netherlands. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Verzamelplan

A verzamelplan is a type of cadastral map created in 1832 to show the different sections within a cadastral municipality, and the maps/sheets within each section. See the article about Overview maps and minute maps for more information. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Landrecht

Landrecht is the law of the land. Before the introduction of the civil code in the Netherlands in 1809, each province, region, or domain had their own laws. Understanding the local laws and customs can help you interpret records and understand your family history. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Eenheidsworst

Eenheidsworst (standardized sausage) has become a proverbial way to say something is run-of-the-mill, not terribly exciting. The original eenheidsworst was introduced during World War I. Even though the Netherlands remained neutral, there were food shortages because overseas supply lines had been cut and much of the food produced in the Netherlands was sold or smuggled to Germany at inflated prices. The government introduced the eenheidsworst, consisting of 90% beef and 10% pork. Because … [Read more...]

Dutch terms – Bunder, Roede, El

Bunder, roede, and el were measures of land. You can find them in cadastral records and other land records. These terms have been used for centuries, and reflected different sizes in different areas. A bunder was typically 400 or 450 roede. An el was around 68-70 cm (distance from elbow to end of finger) and an el used for a surface area was a square with the sides of an el. In 1816, the metric system was introduced and these terms were given metric measures: Bunder: 10,000 m2 (100 x 100 … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Dienstmeid

A dienstmeid is a maid servant. The tasks of a dienstmeid depended on the wealth of the family, the presence of other servants or a housekeeper, and whether she worked on a farm or in the city. Tasks typically included cleaning, laundry, setting the fireplaces, etc. Richer households might hire a separate washing woman or cleaning lady, but in many households, this was all the task of one servant. On a farm, a dienstmeid would also be expected to milk the cows, take care of the other animals, … [Read more...]