Quick tip – Friesland memorabilia

Hessel de Walle created a wonderful website with texts of graves in churches, mourning signs, stones with names, silverware, signet rings, etc in Friesland. In many cases, this includes a photo of the object.

Friesland memorabilia website

The website has the following search options:

  • Gemeente: Municipality
  • Plaats: Town
  • Typen: Types.
  • Achternaam: Last name
  • Voornaam: First name
  • Patronymicum: Patronymic
  • Beroep: Occupation
  • Foto: Photo
  • Portretzerk: Grave portrait
  • Latijn gebruikt: Latin used

The easiest way to use the database is to open the list for Achternaam (last name) to check for names of your Frisian ancestors. If there are too many hits, you can filter by Gemeente (municipality).

Example: Geertje Heslinga’s birth spoon

I used this database for my research into the ancestors of my client Roberta Estes of DNA-Explained. One of her ancestors was Geertje Heslinga. In the database, I found a reference to a silver spoon, with an engraving to commemorate her birth in 1755. We were able to visit the museum where Roberta got to hold the spoon, as I described in this blog post.

Roberta Estes holding her ancestor’s spoon. Photo by author

Silver spoon commemorating the birth of Geertje Geerts Heslinga

Silver spoon commemorating the birth of Geertje Geerts Heslinga

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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