Sources for researching people in the 1900s

Researching people in the 1900s in the Netherlands can be hard because of privacy regulations. Records of people born less than 100 years ago are usually restricted. Here are some other options for research.

  • Family papers
    Your family may have papers about recent family members, such as marriage booklets or prayer cards.
  • Newspapers 
    Check the newspaper website Delpher for newspaper articles. Births, marriages, and deaths were always announced by the municipality in the newspaper, though very short. Family announcements in newspapers may have more information.
  • Personal record cards
    For people who died in the Netherlands after 1938, you can order a personal record card. The card of the head of household may list children.
  • Address books and phone books
    Address books and phone books can often be found in libraries or archives in the region. Some of them are available online. The 1915 phone book and 1950 phone book are online for the whole country. Ancestry ($) has an index of phone books for 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2011. You can also search the current phone book but few people choose to be listed anymore.
  • Published genealogies
    Some published genealogies, especially those written before the modern privacy laws, may include information on recent generations. You can check the “Genealogisch Repertorium” at the Central Bureau for Genealogy’s library website to see what books have been published about the family name you’re researching.
  • Request access to records that aren’t public yet
    If the records you need aren’t public yet, it may be possible to get access to them if you have permission of the persons involved or proof of death. Read how to access records that aren’t public.

Please check the Digital Resources of the Netherlands and Belgium page for links to sources specific for the region you’re looking for.

Group of cousins, all grandchildren of Cornelis Trouw and Maria Gommeren

Grandchildren of Cornelis Trouw and Maria Gommeren, 1920s

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. Wow Yvette, thank you so much for this list – especially Delpher! I’d never heard of it before and am finding lots more details about my family – details about my uncle’s car accident in 1964, a couple of bankruptcies, and lots of ads for businesses owned by various relatives. And I found one relative who I didn’t even know existed, who died in action in Atjeh in 1875. I’m going to have to work out how he even fits into the tree.

    Thank you again!

  2. Ann Van Den Meerendonk says

    Thank you Yvette for the great list. I’ll put it to good use.

  3. Jacquie Schattner says

    Thanks Yvette for this wonderful information. I was able to find family members still living in NL through the birth, marriage and death announcements in the newspapers found on Delpher. I’m hoping to contact them.


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