Dutch term: boerderij

A boerderij is a farm. Sometimes, you will find boerderij doende (doing farm) as an occupation, which means that the person was a farmer. Most farmers were tenants who did not own their farms. Some farms are very old; not necessarily the buildings, but the agricultural business at that location. ┬áThe buildings got renewed, the property got sold, tenants moved in an out, but a farm may have existed on that location for hundreds of years, perhaps even more than a thousand. Tracing the … [Read more...]

Farm names

In the days before the Civil Registration forced everyone to stick to a surname, people in the eastern part of the Netherlands were named after the farm they lived at. You can still see that in the surnames today: Derk te Kolste, Piet te Lintum, Gerrit Jan Hoitink, etc. Since the surname might change every time a person moved, this sometimes offers difficulties in tracing your ancestors. There are some strategies to help you solve those name puzzles. … [Read more...]