Dutch term – Nettenboetster

A nettenboetster was a female worker who made or repaired fishing nets. It was typically a job for young girls in fishing villages to supplement the family's income. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Hoedenmaker

A hoedenmaker is a hat maker. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Mangelhoudster

A reader asked me about the term mangelhoudster. It literally means "keeper of a mangle." The mangle would be a dvice to put laundry through to dry and flatten it. The occupation is mainly found in and around Amsterdam. It could be that the mangelhoudster owned a mangle that others could use for a fee, or that she was a laundress herself. I have tried to find more documentation about the occupation but did not find much. An entry in the J.B. Glasbergen's Beroepsnamenboek [occupation's book], … [Read more...]

Level 3 Checklist – Occupations, residence, children, spouses

Two months ago, I issued my Level-Up Challenge, challenging you to assess how complete your research is. By level 2, we know the names of our ancestors and where and when they were born, married and died. To reach level 3, we also have to know their occupations, places of residence, and their children and spouses. In this blog post, I will explain which sources I feel I need to have found or searched for in order to say I have reached level 3. Occupation I want to find at least one source … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Hollandgänger

This week's term isn't Dutch at all, it's German. Hollandgänger literally means Holland-goer. It's a German term to describe seasonal workers who would come to the Netherlands to work. They'd walk to the Netherlands in spring, work here all summer, and then return to their families in Germany in the autumn. Most of these people were poor farm laborers from Westphalia, Münsterland, Osnabrück, or East-Friesland. Some of these workers met their partners in the Netherlands and stayed here. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Opzichter

An opzichter is an overseer. If you find that your ancestor was an opzichter, that can be a clue to find more records about him. Opzichters were hired by various organizations like hospitals or prisons. In former Dutch colonies, you can find overseers on plantations or managing enslaved people. The organizations the overseers worked for may have created records that shed more life on your ancestors' lives, or for the people they oversaw. If you are looking at a death record and the … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Baljuw

A baljuw [bailiff] was an official who represented the ruler of the region and had the highest jurisdiction. They usually received a fixed salary and a share of the fines. Other terms for this function are drost or drossaard.  Baljuws were appointed by the ruler. You can sometimes find these appointments in the records created by the ruler, such as the lord of a domain or the count or duke of the province. … [Read more...]

English translations of French occupations

During the French occupation in the Netherlands (1795-1813), many of the official records were written in French. Here are some of the occupations you can find in the records, with their English translations. Accoucheur > Obstetrician Adjoint > Aldermen Adjoint-Maire > Interim mayor Advocat > Lawyer Agriculteur > Farmer Aide > Aide Amurier > Weapon smith Apoticaire > Apothecary Apprentif > Apprentice Armurier > Weapon … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Beroep

The beroep is the occupation of your ancestors. Knowing the beroep not only gives you some insights into your ancestors lives, but can help you in your research since different occupations created different types of records. See the article How to Find your Dutch Ancestor's Occupation for more information. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Landmeter

A landmeter is a surveyor. Landmeters were not only called in to record new borders, but also when there was a dispute about borders or property ownership. Their records can often be found in town records or in the court records. … [Read more...]