Level 4 Checklist – Property ownership, military service, religion, criminal activity

A few 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 and by level 3, we also have to know their occupations, places of residence, and their children and spouses. To reach level 4, we also need to … [Read more...]

Source – Secret Register of Released Prisoners

A source with an intriguing name is the "Geheim Register van Ontslagen Gevangen" or the Secret Register of Released Prisoners. This register was kept from 1882 to 1896 and included the photos, personal details, and overview of crimes of the prisoners who would be released in the upcoming month even though they were still considered dangerous. This … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Cipier

A cipier is a prison warden or jailer. If your ancestor was a cipier, you may be able to find more information about him in the administration of the prison. You may also find a cipier as the witness in a death record. In that case, your ancestor might have been in jail. You can check prison records to find out more information. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Always check the original record

My client wanted me to find interesting stories about her ancestors. Normally, that would have me scouring newspapers and court records, but only after I find the basic information about birth, marriages and death. The civil registration records are not the first place you would think to look for interesting stories, but sometimes they will give … [Read more...]