Dutch term – Eiland

An eiland is an island.

The Netherlands has several islands, such as the Zeeland islands in the south-west and the Wadden islands in the north. But there used to be many more. Large parts of the mainland of the coastal provinces used to be islands. The waterways have since been dammed off and reclaimed from the sea.

Modern examples of this are the former islands of Urk and Schokland, now part of the province of Flevoland. Earlier examples include the former island of Cadzand in Zeeland.

When researching a family in the Netherlands, it’s vital to get a contemporary map that will show you the waterways. Knowing where the former islands were, and where possible ferries went, will help you to understand migration and courtship patterns.

map of the Zeeland islands

Map of the Zeeland islands from the Plantijn atlas, circa 1577-1585. Credits: Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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