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...]

Quick tip – Use Past and Next Places in Population Registers

Population registers are a wonderful way to trace where our ancestors were living between 1850 and 1920. The registers give an overview of the people in the household. If someone moved into the household, the register should indicate the previous place of residence. If they moved within the municipality, the previous place will be indicated as their former address or the book and page number. If the person came from elsewhere, it will list the name of the municipality or … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette – What happened to the population registers from the 1900s?

Several readers have asked me about population registers from the 1900s that they used to be able to view, but are no longer available. In May 2018, a new privacy law was introduced that was more strict about sharing information about people who may be alive. As a result, the Association of Municipalities in the Netherlands (VNG) recommended to take the population registers offline, and the archives association BRAIN recommended that they only be made public after 110 years. As a result, most … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Dates in Population Registers May Be Incorrect

If you're using population registers, keep in mind that these registers were often copied from older registers and may contain copy errors. The birth dates mentioned in them were often not written close to the time of birth, and the informants may have made mistakes. If you find a birth date in a population register, always verify that information using other records. More reliable sources for birth dates are birth records or baptismal records that were created shortly after the birth, with … [Read more...]

Column – Privacy

Today, a new privacy law went into effect: The General Data Protection Regulation, or its Dutch implementation, the "Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming." The new law requires a solid foundation for processing data of living people, especially when it concerns special personal data such as race or religion. The new law has larger fines, and requires better processes to prevent data leaks. Genealogists already know we have to be careful when sharing information about living people. We are … [Read more...]

Advice Association of Municipalities: Take Family Cards Offline

Last week, I recommended downloading population registers from the 1900s while you can. This week, the Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeentes [Society of Municipalities in the Netherlands] issued an official recommendation to archives and municipalities to take the family cards for the period 1921-1940 offline, followed by the advice of the archives association BRAIN to limit the public availability of these records to 110 years, so my advice is even more urgent now. These cards are part of the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Download Population Registers from the 1900s While You Can

In May 2018, a new data protection law (AVG) will go into effect in the Netherlands. This is causing many archives to reconsider their privacy policies. Some archives have published population registers from the period 1918-1939 online, and are now taking them offline again since these may contain information about living people. The Apeldoorn CODA archives have already done so. Unfortunately, that will also limit access to the information about people who are deceased, which is the majority … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Mind the Chronology of a Population Register

When using population registers, pay attention to the different dates. A page in a population register shows who lived in a house during a period, usually ten years or so. Just because the people are listed in the same household, does not mean they actually lived in that house at the same time. Population registers have columns for birth, marriage, death, arrival, and departure. It can help to plot all these dates on a time line to see who was living in the house when. For example, you … [Read more...]

Dutch Genealogy Webinar – Questions about Records

During the webinar "Researching Your Dutch Ancestors," the viewers had the most interesting questions. I got to address some of them during the webinar, but thought they all deserve a reply so I'm dedicating this post to answer some more. There were so many great questions that I will have inspiration for several follow-up articles, so please stay tuned and follow this blog or newsletter to read them all. In this first article, I will answer the questions about records in the … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Population registers are like movies

Population registers can be difficult to understand, because one page can have information about people at different times.  This can be especially confusing for people who are used to dealing with census records. Here's an analogy that might help you: Census records are like snapshots, population registers are like movies. Population registers record what is going on with a family over a period of time, usually about ten years. By reading the lines from top to bottom, you will see who … [Read more...]