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 … [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 … [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 … [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 … [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 … [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 … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Recent information is not online

If you're trying to find information about people born in the last century, you won't find much online. Dutch privacy laws restrict access to records of people born less than hundred years ago. To access these records, you will need their consent or proof of death. Information doesn't come online the minute it's 100 years old either. Not all … [Read more...]

Quick tip: privacy laws

Privacy laws in the Netherlands are very strict. The law does not permit publication of information about people who may still be alive without their consent. As a rule of thumb, information for people born less than 100 years ago is not public and should not be available online. The same applies to official records. Birth records are public … [Read more...]

How to order my own birth certificate from the Netherlands?

Almost every week, I get a question by someone who needs help obtaining his birth certificate from the Netherlands. Often, these are people who were born in the Netherlands but moved away and now need a birth certificate to get married or apply for citizenship. Since this is not a service I provide, I thought I'd explain how you can order your … [Read more...]