Dutch term – Signalement

Signalement is the physical description. You can often find signalementen in military records, prison records, or in police bulletins. It is rare to find a physical description for ancestors before say 1800.

See a list of Dutch terms in physical descriptions for more information.

certificate including physical description

National Militia certificate for Arend Kastein, including his physical description

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG® 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 certificate 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 so interesting! I also found a description for my great great grandfather…. but how do I understand/convert his height of 1 El 634 strepen? I have been unable to find any useful modern comparison.

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