New website: Alle Drenten

A new website launched this week: Alle Drenten (all people from Drenthe). Drenthe is a province in the north-east of the country. Many people from other regions lived there too, as it was home to the pauper colonies where beggars, vagrants and prisoners were sent to.

The new website is the successor of DrenLias. It contains all the indexes that were available on the old site, and it now includes scans of the original records, just like the similarly-named websites Alle Groningers and Alle Friezen for research in the provinces of Groningen and Friesland, respectively.

AlleDrenten screenshot

Contents of Alle Drenten

The Alle Drenten website contains the following sources [click the ? for more information about the source]:

  • Birth records 1811-1902 [?]
  • Marriage records 1811-1932 [?]
  • Death records 1811-1952 [?]
  • Pauper colonies
  • Population registers Veenhuizen and Ommerschans 1827-1921 [?]
  • Death duties files 1806-1912 [?]
  • Notarial records 1810-1915
  • Church records (baptisms, marriages, burials) 1580-1811 [?]
  • Tax records 17th and 18th century

The website does not indicate which part of the pauper colony records has been indexed. Based on my own research, I know it is not complete yet because I have found several paupers who were in the colonies who cannot be found on this website. Their records can be accessed in the reading room of the Drents Archief in Assen.

How to use the new website

Unfortunately, the website is available in Dutch only. The home page has a search form (“Zoek een persoon”) that searches all the database simultaneously.

Achternaam = last name
Voornaam = first name
Plaats = Place [Location]
Periode = period
tot = until

Beware that search engines of Dutch websites only find hits that match all your information, so the more you fill in, the less you will find. Start by just typing in a last name and period, and use a wildcard (*) if you are uncertain of the spelling.

The results are displayed in a table. Click the camera icon to see the original record (on some displays this may require horizontal scrolling). The page-icon leads to a detailed index page, which also includes a link to the scan. Filters above the table allow you to filter the results by Plaats (location), Bron (source) or Soort (type). There is no free option to download or save the scan but you can order a scan via the “Bestel Scan” option for 1 euro each.

Example: finding Cornelia Johanna van der Zeep

Let’s say we are trying to find records for Cornelia Johanna van der Zeep, an ancestor who might have been in the pauper colonies. We type in Achternaam: Zeep and press “Zoeken” [Search]. There are only 12 results, including 6 results for Cornelia Johanna van der Zeep. A seventh result for Kee van der Zeep also turns out to be for the correct person. If we had searched for “Cornelia Johanna”, we would not have found that record.

We find the following records about Cornelia Johanna van der Zeep:

  • A birth record of her daughter Leentje Leijendekker, born Veenhuizen (Norg) 21 October 1848
  • Six entries of the population register of Norg, which shows that Cornelia Johanna van der Zeep arrived in Norg in December 1843 from Hoorn. It shows how Cornelia Johanna van der Zeep died in Norg on 17 February 1875.

We now know that we are missing at least one record: if Cornelia Johanna van der Zeep died in Norg, there should have been a death record as well. We search again for Seep, a spelling variation of Zeep. This turns up 16 records, including 13 for Cornelia Johanna van der Zeep:

  • A death record of her husband Leendert Leijendekker, who died in Norg on 21 July 1856
  • Her own death record, which confirms she died in Veenhuizen (Norg) on 17 February 1875
  • Ten more registrations in the population registers, which allow us to trace the movements of her family in the pauper colony.
Death record of Cornelia Johanna van der Seep in the image viewer

Death record of Cornelia Johanna van der Seep in the image viewer

Do you have ancestors from Drenthe?

Do you have ancestors that lived in Drenthe, either because they were born there or because they lived in the pauper colonies? Go to Alle Drenten and see if you can find them. Please let uw know how you like the new website and share any finds in the comments. The website is still in beta so be sure to send any suggestions for improvement to their webmaster as well.

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.

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