If you have ancestors from Friesland, you want to check out the website of Hessel de Walle: Memorabilia uit Friesland [Memorabilia from Friesland]. Hessel collects references to Frisian memorabilia with people’s names on them, like mourning boards in churches, inscribed silverware, grave monuments, etc., and generously made his database available online.
You can search the database in different ways:
- Gemeente – Municipality
- Plaats – Town
- Typen – Types
- Achternaam – Last name
- Voornaam – First name
- Patronymicum – Patronymic
- Beroep – Occupation
- Foto – Photo
- Portretzerk – Portrait grave
- Latijn gebruikt – Latin used
The default is “alles” [everything]. Just filter the Achternaam [last name] drop down box for the last name you’re looking for to see what treasures your family may have left behind. Many of the entries include photographs or prints of the item.
The memorabilia themselves are in many different places: private collections, churches, museums, and in auction catalogs.
For an example of such memorabilia, check out this article: Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, about a birth spoon created to commemorate the 1742 birth of an ancestor of one of my clients.
The website has an associated Facebook group, Friese Memoriecultuur (in Dutch, but English questions are welcome).