Level up challenge – 2023 progress report

Two years ago, I issued my level-up challenge. I wanted to take my research to a higher level by gathering more complete information and documentation about my ancestors. See the original blog post for an overview of the levels.

In this blog post, I will reflect on my progress in the past year. My goal for 2022 was to get my generation 1-6 ancestors to level 3 or higher.


Here’s my starting point in 2021:

Situation in 2022:

levels in 2022

Situation now in 2023:

levels 2023

Some of these changes are the results of reassessing where I was, while others are the result of new research. The averages remained the same.

This shows I did not meet my goal to get everyone in the first six generations to level 3. I managed that for my mother’s side but not my father’s side. I have had a busy year with little time to work on my own tree, due to being busy with client projects, my studies, and a home renovation project. And my living family wants my attention too, of course!

Paternal side

Here is a more detailed view of my paternal side, going back to generation 11 (generation 10 for my father).

Levels 2023 - paternal

Not much change here, but I did manage to level up my great-grandparents. For several of my generation 5-8 ancestors, level 3 is the highest I will able to do online since the notarial records for the area around Winterswijk and Aalten are not online yet. I wrote to the archives to ask if there are any plans to digitize these records, but unfortunately that is not the case. The records I need for level three are online though, so I can continue with those.

The green section in the lower left quadrant is my Weversborg line that I researched for my renewal portfolio for the Board for Certification of Genealogists. In March 2022, the resulting case study was published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. The bigger green section in the second quadrant is my Kinship Determination Project that I wrote for my initial BCG portfolio.

Maternal side

Here is a more detailed view of my maternal side, going back 11 generations (10 for my mother). My Eleanor of Aquitaine line stands out in bright green.

Levels 2023 - maternal

The biggest changes are on the lower right quadrant, in the section for my ancestor Jan Gommeren and his ancestors. I proved that he was my biological ancestor in 2021 and have been working on his ancestors. I have not hit any brick walls there, just lacked the time to research them all.

2023 goal

My goal for 2023 is to meet the goal I set for 2022: to get everyone in the first six generations to level 3 or above.

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. Great progress! I’m inspired. Thank you.

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