Dutch term – Schout

In many parts of the Netherlands, the schout used to be the term for mayor or sheriff. The schout represented the overlord and oversaw the administration and court in a district. His role combined those of a modern mayor, judge, and police commissioner.


Portrait of Claes Allertsz Boelens, schout of Hoorn. Credits: unknown painter, collection Rijksmuseum

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. This is interesting. I came across this word while researching my eighth great-grandfather, who came to New Amsterdam / New Netherlands in the 1640s. He was in trouble with the law all the time, and that word comes up a lot. 🙂 The old Dutch records, now in the Ulster County (NY) archives, were translated into English in the late 1800s. Some words escaped exact translation. Thanks for the clarification!

    By the way, if you’re curious, my ancestor’s name was Jan Jansen Van Amersfoort. He was a carpenter who helped build the Stockade District of the city of Wiltwyck (various spellings), which became present-day Kingston in New York State.


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