Map of the Week: Friesland in 1718

This week, we are looking at a map of Friesland from 1718. In 1682, Bernardus Schotanus à Sterringa was hired to create maps of all the municipalities in Friesland. A second improved version of this series was compiled by François Halma. He added an overview map that showed all the municipalities, shown below. You can consult the maps of individual municipalities on the website Friesland op de Kaart. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Friesland memorabilia

Hessel de Walle created a wonderful website with texts of graves in churches, mourning signs, stones with names, silverware, signet rings, etc in Friesland. In many cases, this includes a photo of the object. The website has the following search options: Gemeente: Municipality Plaats: Town Typen: Types. Achternaam: Last name Voornaam: First name Patronymicum: Patronymic Beroep: Occupation Foto: Photo Portretzerk: Grave portrait Latijn gebruikt: Latin … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Frisian genealogy yearbooks online

The Genealogysk Jierboek [Genealogical Yearbook] is a publication about Frisian genealogy. The issues from 1951 to 2020 are online. The articles are in Dutch or Frisian. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Friesland Memorabilia

If you have ancestors from Friesland, you want to check out the website of Hessel de Walle: Memorabilia uit Friesland [Memorabilia from Friesland]. Hessel collects references to Frisian memorabilia with people's names on them, like mourning boards in churches, inscribed silverware, grave monuments, etc., and generously made his database available online. You can search the database in different ways: Gemeente - Municipality Plaats - Town Typen - Types Achternaam - Last name … [Read more...]

Friesland Genealogy Research Guide

Friesland is one of the northern provinces in the Netherlands. It borders on the province of Groningen in the east, Drenthe and Overijssel in the South, the IJsselmeer in the west and the North Sea in the north. The capital city of Friesland is Leeuwarden. The largest towns are: Bolsward Dokkum Drachten Franeker Harlingen Heerenveen Sneek Wolvega The province also includes several of the Wadden Islands: Vlieland Terschelling Ameland Schiermonnikoog. … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – West-Friesland is not in Friesland

In the early Middle Ages, the whole area between the Zwin and Weser rivers was called Frisia/Friesland. The current province of Friesland in the Netherlands is in the middle of that region, but the former area of Frisia was much larger. To this day, part of the province of Noord-Holland is known as "West-Friesland" [West Frisia] and part of northern Germany is known as "Ostfriesland" [East Frisia]. So West-Friesland is in the province of Noord-Holland, not in the province of Friesland. … [Read more...]

Born with a Silver Spoon in her Mouth

We all know the expression "born with a silver spoon in your mouth." But for one little girl from Friesland, this was almost literally the case. When Geertje Gerrits Heslinga was born on 15 December 1742, her parents had a silver spoon made to commemorate the event. The spoon was engraved with her name and birth date. It is now part of the collection of the Fries Scheepvaartmuseum in Sneek. Such silver spoons were a tradition in Friesland, among richer families. The silversmith is … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Fries

Fries means Frisian; from Friesland. The word is used as a noun to indicate a person from Friesland, or as an adjective for all things Frisian. For research in Friesland, try AlleFriezen, a website with many indexes and scans of Friesland records. BTW, in English, "Frisian" is used as the general adjective for Fries, while "Friesian" is used for the horses. So don't call someone a Friesian unless it's a horse. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Grietenij

A grietenij is a municipality. The term is mainly used in Friesland. In 1851, it was changed to gemeente, the common Dutch word for municipality. In parts of Groningen, the term grietenij was also used to refer to the local courts. A grietenij was led by the grietman, whose function was similar to that of a mayor. … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette – Where is “Friesland” anyway?

Holly (De Fries) Flaherty wanted to know more about Friesland. Her paternal grandfather was from Friesland and spoke Dutch, but her maternal grandfather was from Friesland and spoke German. She heard that there were two provinces called Friesland - one German and one Dutch. She wanted to know if they were connected, historically, and whether Denmark was once considered Friesland. To answer this question we have to go back. WAY back.  Once upon a time, in the first centuries BC … [Read more...]