Dutch term – Onderwijzer

An onderwijzer was a teacher at a primary school. Appointments of teachers of public schools can often be found in the municipal administration or town records. Appointments of teachers of religious schools can often be found in the records of the church.   … [Read more...]

Column – Virtual

At the Famillement event last June, I noticed once more how nice it is to talk genealogy in person rather than online. To meet new people, and where you can feel the presence of a good speaker in the farthest corner of the room. Like the Famillement, most genealogy educational opportunities in the Netherlands are on-site. We go to an archive for … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Rijkslandbouwwinterschool

The rijkslandbouwwinterschool was the national agricultural winter school. Farmer's sons (and later, daughters) attended the school during the winter months when there was not a lot to do on the farm. They'd learn about growing crops and raising cattle. This type of school was introduced in the period 1890-1920 throughout the country. Some still … [Read more...]

How Taking Clients Made Me a Better Genealogist

I had been doing genealogy for over twenty years when I started taking paying clients. I had done pro bono work for friends, researching all over the Netherlands, but that was more in a coaching capacity and often did not require formal reporting. In the years since I started taking clients, my skills have grown. Here are five ways in which being a … [Read more...]

Could You Have Been a Teacher in the 19th Century?

During my research into one of my relatives who was a teacher in the 19th century, I came across some math problems published in a newsletter for teachers. These questions were used during examinations of assistant teachers at elementary schools in 1878. People taking the assistant teachers' exam were usually around 18 years old, had finished their … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Schoolmeester

A schoolmeester is a school teacher. Most school teachers taught in small village schools, consisting of one room, where they were expected to teach reading, writing and arithmetic to their pupils. Reading was considered more important than writing, as they could then read the bible. Most children would only go to school for about six years. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Schrijven

Schrijven means 'to write.' It wasn't until well into the 20th century that most of the people in the Netherlands were able to write. In birth, marriage or death records in the 19th century, you will often read sentences like "verklarende de moeder der bruid uit hoofde van ongeleerdheid niet te kunnen schrijven" [declared the mother of the bride, … [Read more...]