Dutch term – Loteling

loteling was a conscripted soldier, whose number came up. This 19th century term literally means “lottery person,” which refers to the lot numbers that were assigned to all eligible young men. The ones with the lowers numbers had to serve.

Until 1896, you were allowed to switch numbers, and the person who had to serve in another’s place would be called a nummerwisselaar.

Henk in the military

Conscripted men having some fun, 1934. Credits: Photo in the private collection of the author.

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. tony talboom says

    I would be interested to see if your work has covered also Belgium (particularly Flemish-speaking), since until 1830, a large part of Belgium was part of the Greater Netherlands, Particularly in the (now) frontier regions, a lot of family histories have continued hopping back and forwards over the frontiers, with some “uitschieters” to other parts of the Netherlands or Belgium. With one or two exceptions that follow the same genealogical roots/names as myself (Talboom), I have found many Netherlands genalogical sites/references to be very parochial as if neighbouring towns or countries did not exist.
    I find very few Flemish extensions of names of Dutch (i.e. Nderlands/Vlaams) origin on Netherlands sites,
    Any reply can be in Nedeerlands or English.
    Genalogical greeetings,
    Tony Talboom

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