Quick Tip – Did the boundaries change?

Over the past two hundred years, Dutch municipalities have seen many boundary changes. In the past 50 years especially, many smaller municipalities have merged to form larger municipalities. Understanding these boundary changes can help you figure out if your ancestor moved, or if they continued to live in the same place but the municipality changed. For an overview of all municipalities in the Netherlands since 1811 including boundary changes, see the website Gemeentegeschiedenis.

Example: Princenhage

My grandmother grew up in Princenhage. If I search for that name in the Gemeentegeschiedenis website, it tells me that the municipality existed between 1819 and 1942. My grandmother was born in 1917 and married in 1942, so the municipality was indeed called Princenhage during her childhood. In 1942, it was annexed by Breda. The records for Princenhage can now be found in the Breda City Archives.

Aunt Piet (in white apron) before her shop in Princenhage (public domain)


About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, MLitt, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist, writer, and lecturer in the Netherlands. She has a Master of Letters in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee, and holds the Certification of Genealogist and Qualified Genealogist credentials. Yvette served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists and won excellence awards for her articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. Yvette has been doing genealogy for over 30 years. She helps people from across the world find their ancestors from the Netherlands and its former colonies, including New Netherland. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

Leave comment