Dutch term – Doopboek

A doopboek is a baptismal register. Baptismal records are especially useful in the period before the introduction of the civil registration in 1811 (in most parts of the Netherlands). Baptismal records are often the earliest record created about our ancestors. You may come across the term in finding aids and genealogical indexes, or on the covers of the imaged baptismal records. See the article about baptismal records for more information on how to use and find these records.   … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Which baptisms did your ancestor witness?

Baptismal witnesses were often close relatives or friends of the parents of the child. Knowing their associates and relatives can help you prove their identity and parentage. You should look at baptismal witnesses from both sides: Check the people your ancestors chose as baptismal witnesses for their children Check for whom your ancestors acted as baptismal witnesses. Most researchers do the first, since the information is there when they look up all the children. Fewer researchers … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Peter and Meter

A peter is a godfather, meter is a godmother. The terms are typically used in Catholic sources. The word compeer is also sometimes used, especially in older records. In Dutch Reformed sources, the term doopgetuige (baptismal witness), or getuige (witness) is used more often. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Sub conditione

Sub conditione is a Latin term meaning "under the condition." You may encounter the term in Roman-Catholic baptismal records in cases when the midwife performed an emergency baptism. If the child lived, the child would be baptized again by the priest, under the condition that he was able to receive the baptism. Read more about emergency baptisms. … [Read more...]

Emergency baptisms by the midwife

In the Roman Catholic church, if a child was in peril of dying during the delivery, the midwife was allowed to perform an emergency baptism. Here is a summary of the instructions for such baptisms, as printed in Brussels in 1698. Instructions for midwives regarding baptisms of young children who were born, or were in peril of not being born whole In case there is fear that the child will sicken or die, they shall wash the child with natural water while speaking these words: "I baptize thee … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Not all religions baptized infants

In the period before the civil registration, which was introduced in most of the Netherlands in 1811, baptismal records are the usual documents to consult for information about the birth date of an ancestor. In most cases, children were baptized within days of being born. But some religions did not baptize infants but waited until people were old enough to make an informed decision about joining the church. In the Netherlands, the main church that baptized adults was the Anabaptist or … [Read more...]

Source – Baptismal record

Before 1811, baptismal records are the main source for information about an ancestor's birth date. Baptismal records should have been kept since the Trente council of 1545-1563, but for most areas they only survive since the early to mid 1600s. Most children were baptized within days of being born. In some churches, children were baptized the next Sunday. Others baptized them the same day, or may have waited several weeks. Anabaptists and similar religious only baptized adults, so in that … [Read more...]

The illegitimate, doubly baptized, incestuous orphan

Sometimes you read records and you wonder how much bad luck one person can handle. While doing research for a client I came across the following baptism in a transcription of the Roman-Catholic baptismal records for Venlo in 1750-1760:1 1751 13 november Anna Elisabetha conditionaliter rebaptizata est filia spuria Andreae Ketels et Gertrudis Podor qui sunt consanguinei in secundo consanguinitatis gradu: susce- perunt Jacobus Podor et Anna Elisabetha van Cauwenbergh As all Roman … [Read more...]

How soon after birth were children baptized?

In response to the article about the word dopen (baptisms), Tore Langholm asked: Has “baptism” always/usually been equivalent to “infant baptism” in the Netherlands? I just found a record of a baptism in the Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk in July of 1698, and wonder if I can assume that this is also the childs’ birth year? … [Read more...]

Dutch term: Dopen

The Dutch word dopen means baptisms or to baptize. Doopboeken (baptize books) are the main source for birth information prior to the introduction of the civil registration (in 1811 for most of the Netherlands but as early as 1796/1797 for Limburg and Zeeuws-Vlaanderen). … [Read more...]