Dutch term – Haaldode

A haaldode is a dead person that was retrieved. I have only ever seen the word used in Amsterdam records, but it may have been used elsewhere as well. In Amsterdam, a lot of people were living in poverty by the end of the 1700s. People died in the streets or drowned in the canals. Their bodies were retrieved and brought for inspection to a … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Familiebijbel

A familiebijbel is a family bible. Some Dutch families recorded births, marriages, and deaths in their bibles. Familiebijbels were not as common in the Netherlands as they were in other parts of the world. Until the 1900s, a large part of the population was illiterate and only richer people were able to create their own records. You rarely see … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Brand

Brand is the Dutch word for "fire." Fire was a major threat to any town. Fires effect the available records. The obvious connection is that some records are destroyed by fires. Examples are Enschede town records prior to 1862 and Varsseveld town and church records prior to 1723. Fires or the threat of fire can also create records: Lists … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Innocent

Innocent literally means "innocent." It is a term used in older Dutch records to refer to somebody who had a mental disability or who had severe dementia. You may encounter the term in a will, for instance, if the parent wanted to provide for a child with disabilities or in a hospital record describing an elderly patient's mental condition. Read … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Vredegerecht

The Vredegerecht (sometimes spelled vredegeregt) is the Peace Court or Justice of the Peace. The system of vredegerechten was introduced during the French occupation and lasted from 1811 to 1838. The Vredegerecht held the lower jurisdiction in a canton, a district roughly the size of one or a few municipalities. After 1838, the vredegerechten … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Passagierslijst

A passagierslijst is a passenger list. Most passenger lists are kept in the country of arrival. Passenger lists for people who emigrated from the Netherlands to another country, are rarely found in the Netherlands. But the passenger lists of people who travelled to the Netherlands may be found in Dutch archives. The Stadsarchief Rotterdam … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Familiearchief

A familiearchief is an archive created by a family. The records in a family archive can relate to personal, business, or government affairs and were often formed by several generations. Many familiearchieven are still in the possession of the family, while others have been turned over to an archival institution. The website Archieven.nl has … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Grietenij

A grietenij is a municipality. The term is mainly used in Friesland. In 1851, it was changed to gemeente, the common Dutch word for municipality. In parts of Groningen, the term grietenij was also used to refer to the local courts. A grietenij was led by the grietman, whose function was similar to that of a mayor. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Verboden graad

A verboden graad means "forbidden degree." You will usually encounter this in marriage records, if the bride and groom received dispensation for being too closely related. This could mean that they were blood relatives, or relatives-by-marriage. You can also encounter the term in requests for dispensation to the civil or ecclesiastical courts, or … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Besnijdenis

Besnijdenis is the Dutch word for circumcision. In the Netherlands, circumcision was traditionally performed on Jewish boys only. For the period before the introduction of the civil registration in 1811, besnijdenisregisters [circumcision records] are an important source of birth information about male Jewish ancestors. They can often be found … [Read more...]