Dutch Research that Can (and Can’t) be done Online

People don’t always realize how many Dutch records are already available online. I do most of the research for my own family and for clients online. Even before most archives closed because of corona, I only had to go to the archives a couple of times per year despite being a full-time researcher.

Here is an overview of the record types and their typical online availability. The links lead to articles that give more information about the records.

Can usually be found online

Man standing on a ladder in front of stacked boxes

Finding records in the repository. Credits: US National Archives (no known copyrights)

Can sometimes be found online

Can typically not be found online

  • Records that are not public yet, including recent civil registration records
  • Church records after 1811
  • Personal record cards
  • Royal decrees
  • Less popular records, such as municipal correspondence
  • Private records, such as those kept by families or organizations, who have not turned over their collections to an archive
  • Genealogical publications under copyright

In some cases, it may be possible to order scans of records that are not online yet. See the overview of archives providing free scanning on demand.

It may be possible to get dispensation to view records that are not public, for example if you can prove the people involved are deceased, if they are your own records, or if you are the next-of-kin. That will require an on-site visit.

Library reading room

Reading room, 1974. Credits: Rob Mierenet, National Archives collection

Where to find the online records

Nation-wide websites:

Overview of websites per province/city:

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG® is a board-certified genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 30 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Roger Bonga says

    Very helpful article. Thank you.

  2. Thank you.

  3. Donald Warren Blankman says

    This is a good article to get one started with research in The Netherlands. Much can now be done on-line, but a personal visit to Dutch Archives will provide you with an indescribable experience and feeling of being close to the origins of your Dutch family, and that is lacking on the internet. In an archive you can actually touch and feel some of the original documents and know that your ancestor wrote that, or personally signed his or her name!

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