Dutch term – Opzichter

An opzichter is an overseer.

If you find that your ancestor was an opzichter, that can be a clue to find more records about him. Opzichters were hired by various organizations like hospitals or prisons. In former Dutch colonies, you can find overseers on plantations or managing enslaved people. The organizations the overseers worked for may have created records that shed more life on your ancestors’ lives, or for the people they oversaw.

If you are looking at a death record and the informants are opzichters, that could be a clue that your ancestor died in an institution like a hospital, prison, or asylum. Finding out where the informants worked could help you learn more about the circumstances of your ancestor’s death.

See Record analysis example – Dutch death record for an example where the informant was a big clue.

Overseer and workers on a sugar factory in the Dutch East Indies, early 1900s. Credits: Rijksmuseum (public domain).

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.

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