Accessing Records that are Not Public Yet

Dutch privacy laws are strict and restrict access to recent records. Sometimes, it may be necessary to consult these records because you are researching a person who was born less than 100 years ago, or because you need your own or your families' records for legal purposes. I have written an article on how to obtain certified copies of birth, marriage, and death records. This article will focus on accessing non-public records in a reading room. Why are records restricted? There can be … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Living People are not Easy to Find

Because of strict privacy rules in the Netherlands, living people are not easy to find. In general, records of people born less than 100 years ago are not public. Here are some sources for researching people in the 1900s that may help you to find living relatives. Another option is to take a DNA test. Because Dutch people are careful of their privacy and most already have pretty complete trees, DNA testing is not that popular. See the Dutch DNA testing strategy for tips on maximizing your … [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...]

Sources for researching people in the 1900s

Researching people in the 1900s in the Netherlands can be hard because of privacy regulations. Here are some options for research. Family papers Your family may have papers about recent family members, such as marriage booklets or prayer cards. Newspapers  Check the newspaper website Delpher for newspaper articles. Births, marriages, and deaths were always announced by the municipality in the newspaper, though very short. Family announcements in newspapers may have more information. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Search Family Papers First

When you're researching a line, first check what records might be available in your family. When I was researching my grandfather Johannes Marijnissen, my mother had several interesting records about him: an old passport, his marriage booklet, military discharge papers, an extract of his death record, and family photos. Since my grandfather was born less than 100 years ago, these  family papers provided information that would not have been available to me otherwise. … [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...]

Quick tip – Researching Living People Needs Their Collaboration

Dutch privacy laws are strict and restrict access to records of people born less than 100 years ago. If you are searching for living people, they will be the only ones who can access their records. Their cooperation and permission is also necessary if you want them to take a DNA test for you. See the article on proving my descent from my mother for an example. … [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 – Access to restricted records

Dutch privacy laws restrict access to recent records. As a rule of thumb, access to records that may contain information about living people is restricted. For example, you can only access birth records of people born more than 100 years ago, and you can only access notarial records after 75 years. In many cases, access restrictions are set for the entire series, even when your ancestor is no longer living. Take the Central Archives of Special Jurisdiction for example, the court that … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Records that just became public

To protect the privacy of living people and the security of our nation, access to many records is restricted for a number of years; typically 25, 50, 75 or 100 years. Every year, new records become public for the first time. As of 1 January 2015, the following records became public: Birth records from 1914 Marriage records from 1939 Death records from 1964 This does not mean that all the records will immediately be scanned and put online, just that you can access them at the … [Read more...]