Case study – Using Death Duties Files to Gain Insights into the Financial Situation

While researching my third great-grandfather Teunis van Nijkerken, I discovered he owned quite a bit of capital when he died in Winterswijk on 1 June 1887. His death duties file indicated he and his wife Johanna Vonhof owned over 2,000 guilders in assets, including 500 guilders in a bank account, and about 700 guilders in money lent to … [Read more...]

Using Proof by Contradiction to Focus your Research

Those who came to genealogy from a science background are likely familiar with “proof by contradiction”—a way to prove a theory by demonstrating that its opposite leads to an insupportable contradiction.[1] Many genealogists use this technique, often implicitly. Whatever the name, genealogists benefit from understanding how to apply the technique … [Read more...]

Case study – Working with farm names

In parts of the provinces of Drenthe, Overijssel and Gelderland, people used to call themselves after the farm they lived on. It wasn't until the introduction of the civil registration in 1811 that their names became fixed. My own name, Hoitink, is an example of such a farm name. Since the name could change every time a person moved, this … [Read more...]