Ownership vs. Occupation

I listened to a presentation by Sue Adams about our farming ancestors, and she talked to the difference between ownership and occupation. You can own a house where you do not live, and you can live in a house you do not own. Similarly, you can own land you do not farm, or farm land you do not own.

Ownership creates different records than occupancy. Typically, ownership creates more records, and tenants or people who lease land can be harder to trace. My recent article “Four Farms Four Names” in the March 2022 NGSQ illustrates how to trace tenants.

Knowing whether your ancestor owned or occupied the property can help you plan your further research. Here are some records associated either ownership or occupation in the Netherlands.



Farm in Friesland

Farm in Goënga, Friesland. Credits: Rijksdienst Cultureel Erfgoed (CC-BY-SA)

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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