Holiday wishes

My best wishes to everyone, and Merry Christmas to all my friends who are celebrating Christmas today.

It’s the time of year to look back and forward. This past year has been a wonderful year for me. It was my first year as a full-time professional genealogist and I’ve enjoyed myself very much.

I’ve worked on a range a projects covering all of the provinces in the Netherlands except Flevoland, plus former colonies and overseas territories like Surinam, the Netherlands Antilles, New Netherland, South Africa and the Dutch East Indies, from the 1500s to the 1900s. What a ride!

Family gathering around the table for Christmas

Family gathering around the table for Christmas, Zeeland 1949. Credits: Spaarnestad Photo

I’ve also worked on my portfolio for the Board for Certification of Genealogists, which I plan to submit in the next couple of weeks, before my February deadline. If the judges find that my work meets standards, that would make me the first genealogist in the Netherlands to be certified by the BCG. The standards are high and so is the first-time failure rate, so wish me luck!

Working on my portfolio has been so much fun. The Kinship Determination Project especially, where you write a narrative about three generations in a family including all biographical details, has been an amazing experience. I’ve never researched anyone so intensely and am in awe of the insights you get when you really try to find everything instead of stopping when you’ve found enough information to identify the parents. The process also made me realize that I should not just spend my time doing research, but also take the time to write it all up.


So for my personal genealogy projects in 2016, instead of searching for new ancestors, I will write articles or ebooks about the ancestors I’ve already found, documenting why I think they are my ancestors and what they did during their lives. I will probably use this blog to write some of these stories and case studies down.

I also plan to preserve the old family photographs that my uncle gave to me. This will include scanning them, asking family members for help in describing them, and repackaging them in acid-free albums and containers instead of the shoe boxes that my grandparents kept them in.

What are your genealogy plans for 2016?

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.


  1. First of all, Merry Christmas! I hope you’ll be able to retrieve the BCG-certification, there aren’t that much professionals in the Netherlands, from what I’ve seen.

    My plans for the holidays and next year are first of all to finish my genealogy website and write more stories about my direct ancestors. Also, I’ll have to go further in updating and sourcing my genealogy (first, I didn’t record what sources I used, so I’ll have to go over all persons again). Also, I’m trying to collect all our photos (1860s – now) and organize them on my computer by year, family and event.

    However, my “major” genealogy plan will be totally different from what I’m used to or did before. I’ll be writing my bachelorthesis about what migration took place within the Netherlands between 1815 and 1900, by mining a lot of genealogical data, combining the data and creating a model. To do this, I’ll use loads of genealogical sources and I will have to put my genealogical expertise to the test. 🙂

    • What a fascinating project for a thesis! Please let me know what you’ve finished, I would be very interested in the results. You would be very welcome to do a guest post 🙂

      • I will keep you up-to-date! For now, it’s a lot of contacting archives, but I will let you know when I’m finished and I’ll think about the guest post 🙂

        • Have you been in touch with Bob Coret, the man behind He knows all about open data sets that are available and has converted several to make them available as open data on his own site.

          • I have, yet there are many archives who not have got an API of any kind, so I’ll have to contact them separately (that’s why I’m starting to contact them already, since it takes weeks before I have had response from all…) Bob was kind enough to add a feature to his API to be able to harvest much faster with json!

            • Great that you’re already in touch with Bob. I spoke to him two weeks ago and he told me he’s also making the rounds, requesting access based on the new re-use of information law. Sounds like you could benefit from each other’s results and expertise 🙂

    • Barbara Andersen says


      I am interested in your thesis project and would love to see your finished paper. Two sets of my great/grandparents came to America during your time period. My Grandfather came with his brother in 1887, at the age of 21. My Grandmother’s family came 1870-1873, as she was born in Michigan in 1873. Let me know if you need any of the specifics of these people. Please let us know when your paper is finished. Love this blog/website.

      • Hey Barbara,

        I’m trying to figure out the movements of people within in the Netherlands, since I figured it would be a nice showcase for the possibilities of digitalized and transcribed data for research. I have actually thought about emigrationpatterns, but this would become really difficult since many countries (like in South-America) didn’t keep or have records online which I can use. Nevertheless I will reply again when I’m finished with my paper, much later this year.

  2. Dave Simmer says

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Best of luck in your efforts to being certified by the BCG.

  3. Sandi Mohr says

    Merry Christmas Yvette. I wish you a wonderful New year of 2016! Good luck on getting your certification!
    Thank you so much for your newsletter! It’s great. I really look forward to it and I learn so much. I have told other people about it and they are enjoying it too.
    Thanks for all your effort!
    Sandi Mohr

  4. I am one of your American readers. I love your newsletters and wish you the very best New Year in 2016. I often copy a note from you and post it to my website with a hotlink to you. I am president of a group called the DUTCH COUSINS. We are descendants of the low Dutch people who settled New Amsterdam in the 1500s. My ancestor Cornelius Cozine was the Domine for the Conewago Dutch Reform colony near Gettysburg PA, and the group immigrated to Kentucky the end of the 1700s. You can read about them on my website. Here is a short hotlink:

    Thank you again for your great blog and newsy info.

  5. I forgot to say, the immigrant we know, my 9th great grandfather “Cosyn” Gerritzen van Putten was born 1606 at Putten, Gelderland Province, Holland. The Dutch used a patronymic naming system when they settled New Amsterdam; when the English took over the area n 1660 and renamed it New York, they required people to have surnames – so the sons took the surname Cosine.

    In 1631 A marriage record is found in the Putten archives for Cosyn Gerrits on Jan 2nd. (both from Putten) (son of the late Gerrit Jans from Oldenbarnevelt or Barneveld) to ‘Meakijken Everts’ (daughter of the late Evert Reijers) 

    We assume Meakijken died, because Cosyn Gerritsen van Putten in New Amsterdam had a wife named Vroutje Gerrits, sometimes called Vroutje or Vroutjen Cosyns. In 1640, when Gerrit, the first child of Cosyn and Vroutje was baptized in New Amsterdam, one of the sponsors was a Trynije Everts, who may have been a relative of Cosyn’s first wife.

    Cozyn Gerritzen Van Putten, a wheelwright and wagonmaker, and his wife Vroutje who were in Manhattan Island by 1637, located northwest of Van Twiller’s plantation [Iconography of Manhattan Island:6:161] Cozyn Gerritsen van Putten, Cosyn’s formal patent dates from 1647, which means that he had “sowed or mowed” the land as early as 1637. Before 1665 Cosyn came into possession of the 10-acre lot and farmhouse built in 1633 for Director Gen. Wouter Van Twiller. (1665 “Court Minutes of New Amsterdam”). Cozyn is listed as a wheelwright at the 1641 baptism of Thomas Sanders

    Have you run into any of that info or names in your research, Yvette?

  6. Bruce W. Van Roy says

    Here is my narrative about a specific Dutch immigration.


    Bruce W. Van Roy (van Venrooij, Welhuis, van der Heiden, Wijngaard)

    Although the Dutch people did not show much interest in migration to America before the 19th century, by the mid-19th century the Dutch began to leave the Netherlands. During the 1840 to 1861, almost 20,000 Dutch immigrated to the United States, compared to only 2,500 the previous twenty years. This great migration resulted from the combination of economic and religious hardships in the Netherlands at the time.

    Most of the Dutch immigrants during the great migration were Protestant, who mainly settled in Michigan and Iowa. During this period only small groups of Dutch Catholics came to the United States. These Dutch Catholics, who were mostly farmer, were thinly scattered throughout the Middle West. The earliest and most noteworthy Dutch Catholic settlement was established in Wisconsin, then called the Michigan Territory, by Reverend Theodore Johannes Van den Broek in 1848.

    Theodore Johannes Van den Broek, born in Amsterdam in 1783 and educated in the Netherlands went to America around 1830-1832 as a missionary. Van den Broek studied at the Dominican Saint Rose convent in Springfield, Kentucky and the Saint Joseph convent in Somerset, Ohio. He then worked among the native Indians and settlers in the Fox River area of Wisconsin.

    Returning to the Netherlands during the summer of 1847, Van den Broek conceived a plan to establish a Dutch Catholic settlement in Little Chute, Wisconsin and published his Trip to North America to promote this idea. The response was great enough to charter three ships to America. Three ships, called “Libera”, Maria Magdalena” and “Amerika”, left the Netherlands on March 19, 1848 with 350 immigrants. The first immigrants arrived in Wisconsin on June 10 — an 83 day journey — and settled in the Little Chute area of the Fox River valley. Despite lack of funds, poor accommodation and living conditions and Van den Broek’s death in 1851, this early Dutch Catholic community managed to survive.

    Early in 1850 another Dutch priest, Reverend Gerald J. B. Van den Heuvel brought 200 Dutch Catholics from Brabant province to the Fox River valley. In June 1850 a new settlement 15 miles to the east of Little Chute was founded called Hollandtown. Unlike the existing mixture of French Canadians, Germans and Irish, Hollandtown was the only entirely Dutch Catholic settlement in Fox River valley. These settlements were the beginning of what became one of the largest Dutch Catholic settlements in the United States and, ultimately, brought 40,000 Dutch Catholics to the region.

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