How to find out if your ancestor served in the Dutch army

Finding soldiers after 1811

If your male ancestor married between 1811 and 1932, the marriage supplements should have a declaration that he fulfilled his military duties. This declaration should show if the ancestor served or got an exemption. If you are lucky, the declaration will name the regiment.

Another way to find out if your ancestor served is by consulting the militieregisters [militia registers], which recorded all men that were called up in a municipality in a given year. Some of these militieregisters are available online.

Once you know the regiment, you can consult the military records at the National Archives. These records will be digitized in the near future. Some of the earlier records are available at FamilySearch. The National Archives has several indexes of soldiers in the army [landmacht], navy [marine], and the Royal Dutch East Indies [KNIL, OostIndië].

Finding soldiers before 1811

In earlier centuries, there are no national records that record all soldiers. Marriage records will often tell you if the groom served in the army, and give the regiment or officer they were serving under. The National Archives has an index of soldiers serving in the army between 1707 and 1795.

Military recruits showing name signs

Military recruits, 1934

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 25 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette’s professional genealogy services.

Comments

  1. Matthew Newbold says:

    Yvette,
    It appears that to purchase scans thru Militieregisters.nl you need to have an account with a dutch bank. Is there a way to purchase thru chase or another American Bank?
    Sincerely,
    Matt Newbold

    • You can also select “handmatige overboeking” and transfer the money to the Dutch bank account electronically. The information you need is provided when you select that option.

      • Matt Newbold says:

        Yvette,

        Thanks for the tip I was able to purchase the military record for several of my male relatives. I especially love the “signalements” These physical descriptions are great when I don’t have any photos! Transferring the money to the bank was rather expensive, The bank in the Netherlands charged 7.5 Euros and my bank in the states charged $40 for a money wire so I requested 13 documents rather than just one so that extra expense would be spread out. Great to have this information!

        Sincerly,

        Matt Newbold

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