Dutch term – gemeente

Municipal map of Stompwijk.

Map of Stompwijk, about 1866. Image credits: Nationaal Archief

A gemeente is a municipality, the lowest administrative unit. The Netherlands currently has 408 municipalities in 12 provinces. Over the last couple of decades, many municipalities merged. In 1812 there were 1,100.

Archives of municipalities can be found at a local archive; either a municipal archive specific for that municipality or a regional archive where the collections of several municipalities are kept.

For an overview of all the gemeentes, check the website Gemeentegeschiedenis (municipal history). Just type in the name of the former or current municipality for basic information like the dates it existed and a map.

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.


  1. Dave Simmer says:

    Yvette, many birth and assessment records refer to wijk (district) and huis No. in Leeuwarden and Harlingen. Do you know of maps or cross references that would show street names?

    • Hi Dave,
      The wijk and house numbers are typical for the 19th century, when most towns did not have street names. There are hardly any maps that show the wijk and house numbers or reference lists that will show what the later street names became. Leeuwarden is a fortunate exception. If you go to the Beeldbank Leeuwarden (Leeuwarden image bank) and search for kaart wijk leeuwarden (map district Leeuwarden), you will get a series of maps that show the different districts and locations.

  2. Dave Simmer says:

    Thank you Yvette. This will be a great help.

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