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...]

Ask Yvette – Dealing with Records Loss in World War II

To celebrate 1,000 likes of Dutch Genealogy Services on Facebook, likers were invited to ask a research question for a free consultation. Some could quickly be answered on Facebook. Eric Schmidt asked a question that some of you may struggle with as well, so I thought I'd answer it in more detail. Eric asked: For years this is my brick wall … [Read more...]

Record Analysis Example – Dutch Death Record

Learning how to analyze a record is one of the most valuable skills we need to learn as a genealogist. To give you an example of how this works, let's take a look at the death record of my second great-grandfather Gerrit Jan van Nijkerken. Abstract: Warnsveld, 10 March 1924. Marinus August George Schoute, 37, overseer, living here, and … [Read more...]

Differences between Genealogy in the Netherlands and the US

On Facebook, Linda Roos asked me about the differences between genealogy in the Netherlands and the United States. That topic warrants a longer reply than I gave her on Facebook, so here we go! 1: Quality of sources In the Netherlands, we have an abundance of high-quality sources. Since 1850, we have had the population register, recording who … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Mind the Gap

One of my clients hired me to help solve his brick wall. The marriage record indicated the ancestor was born in the same village as where he married. The client found two people by that name who were baptized there, but both married other people and could not be the person he was looking for. He was wondering if the ancestor could have come from … [Read more...]

Five Things I Learned From Working With Archivists

During the past twenty years, I've had the pleasure of working with some wonderful archivists on a range of projects, both in my previous job as IT consultant and project manager at the National Archives and in my current occupation as professional genealogist. I'm not an archivist myself, but picked up some useful tips from them. 1: Context … [Read more...]