Dutch term – Handschrift

The Dutch word handschrift has two meanings: handwriting and manuscript.

The further we go back, the more difficult it is to get samples of our ancestors’ handwriting, or know if they even could read and write. After 1811, civil registration birth, marriage, and death records include signatures of the parties, or a statement that they couldn’t write. Before 1811, notarial or voluntary court records are a good place to look for signatures.

Manuscripts are records that are hand-written. They can often be found at libraries or archives.

medieval manuscript

Manuscript in Middle-Dutch, about 1450-1460. William, Duke of Guelders, submits to Charles VI. Image credits: Royal Library, The Hague

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.

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