Quick tip: using genealogical search engines

woman holding a looking glassDid you know that most genealogical websites in the Netherlands use a different search strategy than websites in the US? Most Dutch websites only find results that are a perfect match for your query. Each term you fill in acts as a filter for the results set and limits the chance of finding anything useful. The more you fill in, the less you find! This is different than most international websites, where approximate matches are also shown, with the best matches appearing first.

If you use a Dutch website and do not get any results, try limiting the amount of terms you’re using, or use wildcards like Jans* to search for variations.

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.


  1. Larry Toom says

    Yvette, I really enjoy your post`s, I look forward to seeing them. I live in Pella Iowa, my ancestors all came from Holland. Most with the original group in 1847 with domine Scholte. I have one who changed his name toVerros when he came to the us.He was 32 unmarried and from a unwed mother ( a basterd ?) and a protestant. we think his mother`s name was Verhorst. I also work as a volunteer at the Pella Historical Museums. web is http://www.pellahistorical.org.Thank you, Larry.

  2. penelope Garrett says

    origin of the surname Sturtevant

    I have seen that Sturtevant is English, and I have seen that it is of Dutch origin. Can you tell me which id true?

  3. Emma Bolongaro says

    Hi Yvette,
    I am looking up the Dutch name….sounds like…..from Vauxhall….so its Van……?
    i hope you help me?

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