Sources for Dutch Genealogy – Pre 1811 Cheat Sheet

Looking for information about Dutch ancestors in the period from say 1650 until 1811 (before the introduction of the civil registration)? This cheat sheet will tell you which sources to consult.

In some cases, not all types of records are available in each region. If a town did not have an orphan chamber, the administration of the estates of (half-)orphans was handled by the court. Not all regions had notaries, in which case voluntary legal actions were handled by the court as well. 

If you’re looking for… …first look at… …then look at… …and if that fails…
Birth information
Marriage information
  • court marriage records
Death information
Divorce information (rare)
  • subsequent marriage record
  • court records
  • passenger lists (rare)
  • orphan chamber records / court records
  • voluntary court records / notarial records (last wills, estate divisions)
  • collateral succession tax records
  • tax records
  • tax records
  • census records
  • town records
  • census records
  • criminal and civil court records
  • guild records
  • town records
Military career
  • muster rolls (rare)
  • court records
Poor ancestors
  • church poor administration (“diaconie”)
  • tax records
  • town records
Criminal ancestors
  • criminal court records
  • lists of graves in churches (only richer people)


About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG® is a board-certified genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 30 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Wynand van Bakel says

    I’m trying to link up Van Bakels in the USA with my family. Originally from Noord Brabant. I find it difficult to gather info on ships passenger list to establish when and from where to which port in the USA they emigrated. Any ideas or help?

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