Dutch term – Geërfde

In the eastern parts of the Netherlands, a geërfde was a heritor, the owner of a property with certain rights in the commons.

The heritors of a district would come together periodically to discuss matters relating to the commons. The geërfde would have a vote in any decisions made there, for example relating to the sale of common land, taxation, allocating funds for road repairs, and other matters involving the community. The records of such meetings can provide interesting insights into the lives of our ancestors and their roles in the community.

Roerdink farm

Roerdink farm in Winterswijk, whose owners were heritors. Image credits: Rijksdienst voor Cultureel Erfgoed (CC-BY-SA)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG® is a board-certified genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 30 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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