About this website

Creating a website like this is a fun activity. There are so many options, so many choices. What do visitors want? What do I want? In this blog I will describe some of the things I encounter in developing and maintaining this website.

Quick tip – Study the Siblings if you’re Stuck

If you're stuck and can't find your ancestor's parents, try researching the siblings and other relatives. Here are some suggestions to identify possible siblings: Baptismal records¬†and marriage records often name the witnesses. Witnesses were typically close family members, such as siblings. Court records sometimes show several people … [Read more...]

My Personal Genealogy Goals for 2018

Most of my genealogy time is spent on client projects, but one of my resolutions for 2018 is to spend some time on personal projects as well. All my projects give me inspiration for blog posts, lectures, or articles, so even time spent on personal projects helps my business. I have several personal goals for 2018. Connecting with cousins I have … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for December 2017

Here is an overview of the new sources, projects, and news about archives that were announced last month. Sources The newspapers Volkskrant, Trouw, and Het Parool for the period 1945-1995 have been added to the national newspaper website¬†Delpher. The publication was made possible thanks to a licensing agreement that allowed the Royal Library … [Read more...]

Dutch records that are public as of 1 January 2018

Happy New Year everybody! Let's take a look at some of the records that have become public today: Birth records from 1917, which includes my maternal grandmother Catharina Flooren. Marriage records from 1942, which includes my grandparents Hendrik Hoitink and Gesiena Wilhelmina Woordes. Death records from 1967, which includes my … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Some surnames were adopted gradually

As you get further back in time, you will get to the point where you find the first person who adopted a surname. Sometimes that's a distinct event; for example when a Frisian family adopts a last name in 1811 because it is required by the Napoleonic laws upon the introduction of the civil registration. Before 1811, there were no laws and … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Reusing images of records

Many Dutch websites with genealogical records allow you to download scans. But it is not always obvious what you are allowed to do with these scans. You may want to upload them to your online tree, use them in a blog post, or include them in a book you're writing. With most public records published on websites of archives, you will be able to do … [Read more...]

Was Eleanor of Aquitaine my Ancestor? Generation 1: Yvette Hoitink

This is the second post in a series about my possible line of descent from Eleanor of Aquitaine. In the first post, I explained how I discovered the possible line, and how I am going to verify it one generation at a time. Yvette Hoitink, daughter of Els Marijnissen The first step is to prove that I'm the daughter of my mother, Els Marijnissen. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Use notarial records

Notarial records are a great source of genealogical information. They can contain prenuptial agreements, business contracts, last wills, and estate divisions, giving you an insight into your anecstors' lives and family. Not all areas had notaries before 1811, in which case you can find these sources in local court records. A growing number of … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for November 2017

Here is an overview of the new sources, websites, and projects that were announced last month. Sources The National Archives of Curacao launched a new genealogy section on their website. Court records of Nijmegen from 1596 until 1811 are available at the Nijmegen Regional Archives website. 38,700 records of Amsterdam notaries were added … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Erfgenaam

An erfgenaam is an heir. Most people in the Netherlands did not have wills, in which case you need to understand the local laws to know who the heirs would be. Most regions did not allow a person to disinherit the children completely, they would always receive their legitimate portion. Understanding the inheritance laws can help you figure out … [Read more...]