Quick tip – Friesland Memorabilia

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.

Silver spoon commemorating the birth of Geertje Geerts Heslinga

Silver spoon commemorating the birth of Geertje Geerts Heslinga

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).

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.

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