Quick tip – Newspapers as gateway to other records

Newspapers sometimes announced important events in our ancestors' lives. Knowing that an event took place can lead you to other records. Examples: A family announcement may lead you to birth, marriage, or death records. An announcement of a public auction of real or personal goods may alert you to possible notarial records. A call for creditors to come forward may alert you to a bankruptcy. A notice by a company that someone is no longer their agent may alert you to company … [Read more...]

Quick tip – It’s All About the Dash

When we research our ancestors, it's easy to focus on the vital events. When was a person born, when did they marry, when did they die? If we're not careful, this reduces our ancestors to names and dates. Take my ancestor Johannes Marijnissen (1806–1844), for example. That dash between his birth and death date represents a full, though short, life. A life in which he went to school long enough to be able to write, married, lost his mother, had children, lost a child, lost his wife, married … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Learn about places from newspapers

You can learn a lot about the places where your ancestors lived from newspapers. You can see what was going on, read about Dutch settlements and find out about the people who were living there. Many Dutch newspapers have been digitized by the Royal Library and are available at Delpher. Select "Kranten" [newspapers] to search the newspapers for the name of the town where your ancestors lived. Their selection includes several Dutch newspapers in North America in the 19th century. See Dispatch … [Read more...]

Quick tip – More newspapers in Delpher

The newspaper website Delpher has had a major update. 79 new (old!) newspapers have been added, including: Algemeen Handelsblad 1875-1909 Apeldoornsche courant 1861-1924 Arnhemsche courant 1851-1950 Bredasche Courant 1914-1950 Curaçaosche Courant 1840-1881 Middelburgsche Courant 1801-1837 Nederlandsche Staatscourant 1870-1950 Tubantia 1872-1942 See the PDF with the update for a complete list of newspapers … [Read more...]

Dispatch from Deuel

In the nineteenth century, there were several Dutch language newspapers in North America. The Dutch were spread all over the Mid-West, looking for opportunities to buy good farm land at a cheap price. These newspapers formed an important link in those migration chains, where people shared news about their colonies and the people who lived in them. Several of these Dutch newspapers have been digitized and are available via Delpher. You can search them for the names of your ancestors, but also … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Search Dutch Newspapers at Delpher

The Koninklijk Bibliotheek, the Royal Library of the Netherlands, is making Dutch newspapers, books and magazines availble for free at Delpher. Delpher has the following sections: Boeken basis [basic books] Boeken Google [Google books], books scanned in collaboration with Google Kranten [newspapers] Tijdschriften [magazines] Radiobulletins [radio bulletins] Searching Delpher Good things to try are: Full name of your ancestor in quotes, e.g. "Arend Kastein" Name of your … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t count on obituaries for common people

In the Netherlands, there has never been a tradition for writing obituaries for common people. After a person died, richer families posted a an announcement in the newspaper, but that usually did not contain much biographical information either. For most people, there would not have been any announcement in the paper. Read more about finding family announcements (familieberichten). … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Search for common OCR errors

As genealogists, we often search pictures of texts, for example when we use newspaper websites like Delpher. Often, automatic character recognition techniques (OCR) have been used to convert the images to searchable text. These techniques aren't perfect, especially with poor quality ink, old fonts or digitized microfilms. The mistakes that OCR techniques make are somewhat predictable: an m gets recognized as rn, an e as a c, and an l as a 1. By searching for the versions with and without a … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Familieberichten

Familieberichten are family announcements, ads people placed in the newspaper to inform the readers of births, marriages or death. They are often less informative than obituaries but can help to provide background information and serve as illustrations. Read more about family announcements. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – List of Newspaper Archives

Eric Hennekam has compiled a list of online archives of Dutch newspapers. The list and most of the website he refers to are in Dutch, and so are the newspapers themselves, but this will give you some idea of the range of information out there. The European Library is also working on a portal to provide central access to Europe's historical newspapers. A preview is available now. This website has an English interface, although the underlying newspapers will still be in Dutch. … [Read more...]