Dutch term – Machinist

A machinist is a person who operates heavy machines. The occupation started to appear in records in the nineteenth century. Originally, the term was used for all kinds of machines, including in factories. Over time, it became used for machines related to transportation, such as the train driver or the engineer on board of a ship. Hat tip: @Lena via Discord. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Olieslager

An olieslager is an oil miller, someone who works in a mill that presses vegetable oil, for example from rapeseed. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Huisvrouw

Huisvrouw means housewife. Originally, the term was generically used for wife or goodwife. This could include women who had occupations, like midwives or laundresses. In the 1900s, the term shifted to mean a woman who did not work outside the home, including stay-at-home mothers. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Wolvenjager

A wolvenjager was a wolf hunter. Some towns offered a bounty for killed wolves, or employed a wolvenjager to kill wolves that were attacking lifestock. This was so successful that wolves were extinct in the Netherlands for more than a century. In recent years, they have found their way back to the Netherlands and several packs are now living in the country again. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Grondwerker

A grondwerker (literally: ground worker) was a digger. Diggers could be employed by builders, to dig foundation trenches, or by canal builders. It was hard, low-paying work. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Dienstmeid

A dienstmeid is a maid servant. The tasks of a¬†dienstmeid depended on the wealth of the family, the presence of other servants or a housekeeper, and whether she worked on a farm or in the city. Tasks typically included cleaning, laundry, setting the fireplaces, etc. Richer households might hire a separate washing woman or cleaning lady, but in many households, this was all the task of one servant. On a farm, a dienstmeid would also be expected to milk the cows, take care of the other animals, … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Find all Population Registers

As part of my Level-Up Challenge, I realized I had not completed the research into the population registers of my second great-grandparents, Hendrik Hoitink and Johanna Piek. I had one register only, showing them with their children, but had not bothered to find all of them from cradle to grave. Based on my assessment, that made my research into them a level 2 (vital statistics only). To level up, I needed to find the missing population registers. One of these registers, from the time they … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Dominee

A dominee is a minister, a protestant clergyman. The word comes from the Latin dominus which means "mister" or "lord." Dominees can be found since the reformation in the 1500s. Most of the north-western parts of the Netherlands became Dutch Reformed, while many of the south-eastern parts remained Catholic. Dominees can be found in different types of protestant churches, including Dutch Reformed churches, Christian Reformed churches, Mennonite churches, Anabaptist churches, and remonstrant … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Klerk

A klerk is a clerk, a civil servant. Sometimes you will see¬†klerk ter secretarie, which means a clerk at the administrative office of the municipality. You will often find clerks acting as witnesses in civil registration records, especially birth and death records. The informant of a death or birth record needed to have personal knowledge of the birth or death, but there was no such requirement for witnesses. They were often people who happened to be at town hall, such as clerks, though in … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Onderwijzer

An onderwijzer was a teacher at a primary school. Appointments of teachers of public schools can often be found in the municipal administration or town records. Appointments of teachers of religious schools can often be found in the records of the church.   … [Read more...]