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.

5 Ways to Find Out When Your Ancestor Was Born

How do you find out when your ancestor from the Netherlands was born? Here are five different ways. … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Did your widowed ancestor make a settlement?

If a widow or widower with young children wanted to marry again, often they first had to make a settlement with their minor children so they received their share of the deceased parent's inheritance. These records can be helpful to prove family relationships, to get insights into the economic circumstances of the family, and to find out about … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette – Where is “Friesland” anyway?

Holly (De Fries) Flaherty wanted to know more about Friesland. Her paternal grandfather was from Friesland and spoke Dutch, but her maternal grandfather was from Friesland and spoke German. She heard that there were two provinces called Friesland - one German and one Dutch. She wanted to know if they were connected, historically, and whether … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Access to restricted records

Dutch privacy laws restrict access to recent records. As a rule of thumb, access to records that may contain information about living people is restricted. For example, you can only access birth records of people born more than 100 years ago, and you can only access notarial records after 75 years. In many cases, access restrictions are set for … [Read more...]

The Curious Case of Bastiana van Breugel

Pretoria, South Africa, 11 October 1901; the height of the Anglo-Boer War. The Dutch Consul-General in South Africa wrote to the Secretary of State in the Netherlands about a possible spy that was discovered: a Dutch nurse was suspected of slipping classified information to the Boers. The story took a strange turn when the female nurse was … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Finding out your ancestors’ political views

In the Netherlands, people do not have to register to vote. Our government knows where people live, and voting passes are sent to their homes. So voting records do not show party affiliations. In municipal archives, you can often find "Kiezerslijsten" that show the people who were eligible to vote. Voting itself is anonymous, so these lists will … [Read more...]

Benefits of Reasonably Exhaustive Research

The first component of the Genealogical Proof Standard as formulated by the Board for Certification of Genealogists is Reasonably Exhaustive Research. It means trying to find "all evidence that might answer a genealogist's question about an identity, relationship, event, or situation."1 Reasonably Exhaustive Research is one of the five requirements … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Find More Records via the FamilySearch Catalog

FamilySearch has many records from the Netherlands, available from the Netherlands Research Page. But that page only has the large record sets. FamilySearch is digitizing the microfilms in their granite mountain vault, and those images are sometimes available from the catalog only. Example: Lichtenvoorde court records Some of my ancestors are … [Read more...]

Quick tip – New Netherland digitization projects

On both sides of the Atlantic, records are being digitized that will help us trace New Netherland ancestors. The New York State Archives is digitizing the New Netherland records. With funds provided by the Dutch government, they are digitizing 9,500 pages of records not already digitized. These include New Amsterdam council minutes, … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Your ancestors may appear in inventories

Estate inventories and guardians' accounts often contain information about the daily lives of our ancestors. They can tells us what they owned and whom they did business with. If your ancestor was in trade, he may appear in the inventories of some of his clients. This can give you more insight into his business. Depending on the time and place, … [Read more...]