Researching Military Ancestors in the Netherlands – Before 1795

I often get questions about finding military ancestors, and thought I would write a few posts about that. I will start with the early period, before 1795. Before 1795, most soldiers were professional soldiers, not conscripts. The Dutch Republic (1588-1795) hired both Dutch and foreign men. Often, whole regiments were hired, including from Scotland, Switzerland, and Germany. The regiments would be stationed in garrison towns throughout the republic, changing every few years. Some soldiers … [Read more...]

Source – Mill tax records

Before say 1800, taxes varied widely depending on the location. Several provinces instituted a mill tax; a tax on grinding grain. The tax could be levied in different ways. Often, a fixed sum was charged per head, with a reduced rate for children under 16. In some jurisdictions, the tax collector collected the taxes and recorded who paid what. In other jurisdictions, the tax was leased to the highest bidder, who would then collect the taxes and got to keep any profits above the paid sum. In … [Read more...]

Source – Records of the municipality

In 1812, the Netherlands had more than 1,100 different municipalities. Since then, many have merged so we have about 350 left. See the Gemeentegeschiedenis website for an overview of all the municipalities that ever existed. Each of these municipalities created a wide range of records. Typical categories include: Records created by mayors, aldermen, municipal council, such as minutes of meetings, correspondence, municipal reports Various departments within the municipality … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for April 2021

This article gives an overview of the new sources, websites, and other archives news that was announced last month. Sources The National Archives of the Netherlands published 1.9 million scans relating to slavery.  The image collection of the municipality of Haaren is now available at the website of the Regionaal Archief Tilburg. The West-Fries Archief now made the family cards 1919-1939 available online again. You can search via the Personen [persons] page. These scans were taken … [Read more...]

Cadastre – Original Indicator Tables

This is the second article in a series about using cadastral records. In the first article, we looked at overview and minute maps that were created when the cadastre was introduced in 1832. These maps show the cadastral municipalities, sections, and plots. This post will show you how to find out who owned each plot. Contents of an original indicator table The oorspronkelijke aanwijzende tafel [original indicator table] recorded the owners of each plot. The tables are organized per … [Read more...]

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 cadastral municipality was divided into sections, and each section into plots. The combination of cadastral municipality, section letter, and plot … [Read more...]

Source – Secret Register of Released Prisoners

A source with an intriguing name is the "Geheim Register van Ontslagen Gevangen" or the Secret Register of Released Prisoners. This register was kept from 1882 to 1896 and included the photos, personal details, and overview of crimes of the prisoners who would be released in the upcoming month even though they were still considered dangerous. This included people who served multiple sentences, or who served a long sentence for a serious crime. … [Read more...]

Slave registers of Curacao now available online

The slave registers of Curacao (1839-1863) and the emancipation registers of Curacao (1863) are now available via the website of the National Archives of Curacao and National Archives of the Netherlands. … [Read more...]

Source: Municipal Reports

Since 1851, municipalities were required to write annual reports about the state of the municipality. These reports rarely give information about individual ancestors, but can be a great source of information about their circumstances. Topics you can find in municipal reports: Population Elections Names of the municipal council members Names of mayor and aldermen Finances Municipal property and works Health Police National and local militia Education … [Read more...]

Source – Bankruptcy files

If someone is unable to meet his financial obligations, the court can be asked to declare him bankrupt. The court appoints a curator who inventories the debts and assets of the bankrupt person, who the creditors are, and how they can best be paid. When everything is settled, which could take years, the bankruptcy is ended. Bankruptcy files Records are created of all the actions that happen after somebody is declared bankrupt. Together, these form a bankruptcy files. These files are part of the … [Read more...]