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 – 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...]

Yvette Hoitink and Other Dutch Presentations at NGS Conference in Michigan, May 2018

I am so excited to have been invited to give three presentations at the National Genealogical Society conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan in May 2018. I will be talking about three topics: Dutch Genealogy 101: Finding Your Ancestors from the Netherlands (Wednesday 2 May 2018, 2:30 PM). Dutch vital records are available online and indexed. … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Dutch Immigrants may not have Understood Each Other

Dutch immigrants sometimes settled in places where Dutch people from other parts of the Netherlands came too. This doesn't mean they could understand each other. Before the age of radio and television, there was no common Dutch language that everybody understood. Different regions had different dialects, different languages even. Frisian and Low … [Read more...]

Was Eleanor of Aquitaine my Ancestor? Discovering the Possible Line

When I was about ten years old, I read about Eleanor of Aquitaine in the book De Gouden Dolk [The Golden Dagger] by Thea Beckman. Eleanor is a minor character in the book; the employer of a servant that the main character, a young crusader, fell in love with. Learning about Eleanor Queen Eleanor fascinated me. I found out that she was born about … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t add another generation just based on the patronymic

Your brick wall ancestor might be somebody who did not use a surname but went by patronymic only. He might be Leendert Pieters (son of Pieter), Jan Hendricks (son of Hendrick), or Claes Huijgens (son of Huijg or Hugo). The patronymic indicates the name of the father. It is a best practice in Dutch genealogy not to add another generation with … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy News for October 2017

Here is an overview of the new sources, websites, and projects that were announced last month. Online records The Brabants Historisch Informatie Centrum (the Noord-Brabant provincial archives) made 100 meter [about 350 feet] of notarial records available online, mostly from the 1800s. 250,000 records have been indexed, so you can search by … [Read more...]

Quick tip – No Burial Information in Death Records

Unlike in some other countries, Dutch death records do not name the place of burial. This can make it hard to find out where your ancestor was buried. There are online websites that list graves, but since graves are routinely cleared after a few decades, the grave may not survive. Sometimes, you can find an announcement of the burial in the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Guest blog post on FamilySearch

Yvette Hoitink wrote a guest blog post on FamilySearch about How to Use Dutch Records on FamilySearch. Read about the amazing records that can be found online. Millions more Dutch records will be added in the coming weeks.   … [Read more...]