Quick tip – Check notaries in neighboring towns

If you are looking for notarial records, be sure to check in neighboring towns too. Unlike civil registrations or court records, there was no requirement to go to the notary in your own town. Sometimes, people lived in the countryside and the notary of a neighboring town was more convenient. Your ancestor could also appear in notarial records in … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Was there a prenuptial agreeement?

In some cases, couples made a prenuptial agreement when they married. Often, this was the case when at least one of the spouses had assets to protect, or when one of the spouses was richer than the other. The typical arrangement was that if one of them died without children, that person would receive a sum of money while the survivor kept the rest. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Veiling

A veiling is an auction. You can sometimes find announcements of auctions in the paper, for example if a family is about to emigrate and is auctioning off their household items they won't take with them. Such an auction would be called a boelgoed in Friesland. Sometimes, notarial or voluntary court records were created to record the conditions and … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Notaris

A notaris is a notary. In many parts of the Netherlands, notaries were the record creators for many aspects of our ancestors' lives, for example when they wanted to draw up a prenuptial agreement, a contract to sell property, a work contract, or a will. See the article about notarial records for more information. … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Life events may create notarial records

Many notarial records are unindexed and can be time-consuming to go through. But notarial records were often created because of a life event that we can find in other sources.┬áIn a small town with just one or two notaries, it can pay off to browse the notarial records around that time. In towns without a notary, these types of records can be found … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Dutch Ancestors Left Few Last Wills

Our Dutch ancestors rarely had a last will drawn up. Most were too poor to have any goods to leave behind. But even people who did own property often did not feel the need to have a last will, since they were happy with the default arrangement under the law. The wills that do exist can be found in notarial records (in areas and periods where … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Use notarial records

Notarial records are a great source of genealogical information. They can contain prenuptial agreements, business contracts, last wills, and estate divisions, giving you an insight into your anecstors' lives and family. Not all areas had notaries before 1811, in which case you can find these sources in local court records. A growing number of … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Inventories are Usually for Both Spouses

If you find an estate inventory of a deceased married person, beware that the property in the inventory is usually for the couple, not just the property that belonged to the deceased spouse.  If there was no prenuptial agreement, the husband and wife jointly owned all their property. The inventory would usually appraise all the property, of … [Read more...]

Source – Notarial records

Notarial records are created by a public notary and serve as legal proof of the information contained in the record. Information in notarial records Examples of the types of records you can find in notarial archives are: Real estate transactions (sales, conveyance) Debts Obligations Auctions Prenuptial agreements Last wills … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Did your widowed ancestor make a settlement?

If a widow or widower with young children wanted to marry again, often they first had to make a settlement with their minor children so they received their share of the deceased parent's inheritance. These records can be helpful to prove family relationships, to get insights into the economic circumstances of the family, and to find out about … [Read more...]