Quick Tip – Names are Different in Latin

If your family was Roman Catholic, their church records will be in Latin. These records used the Latin version of names. Since Dutch search engines only find exact matches, you will need to search for these Latin names or use wildcards. For example, my ancestor Jan SmuldersĀ appeared in Catholic records as Joannes. His father Hendrik is called Henricus in Latin. Searching for "Jan Smulders" would not have found his baptismal record, but J* Smulders would have. Even initials can change though; … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Most Catholic names end in -us or -a

Catholic records were kept in Latin, while civil registration records are kept in Dutch (or French, depending on the time). But Catholic families often recorded the Latin version of the name as the official version with the civil authorities as well. Latin names often ended in -us (for men) or -a (for women). So a person who was called Petrus Josephus in the official records, may well have been called Piet in his every-day life. Here are some other names with their Dutch given names. Men: … [Read more...]

The illegitimate, doubly baptized, incestuous orphan

Sometimes you read records and you wonder how much bad luck one person can handle. While doing research for a client I came across the following baptism in a transcription of the Roman-Catholic baptismal records for Venlo in 1750-1760:1 1751 13 november Anna Elisabetha conditionaliter rebaptizata est filia spuria Andreae Ketels et Gertrudis Podor qui sunt consanguinei in secundo consanguinitatis gradu: susce- perunt Jacobus Podor et Anna Elisabetha van Cauwenbergh As all Roman … [Read more...]

Quick tip: check Dutch Reformed records for Catholics

After the Eighty Year War (1568-1648), only marriages performed in the Dutch Reformed Church or before the Eldermen's court were considered legal. This means that even marriages between two Catholic people can often be found in Dutch Reformed church records. This does not mean they converted or pretended to be Dutch Reformed, they just went there to get married. Catholics considered the Dutch Reformed marriage as their civil union. For more information and examples, see always check all … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Always check all versions of a marriage record

In the days before the introduction of the civil registration in 1811 (or slightly earlier in Limburg and Zeeuws-Vlaanderen), the only legally recognized marriages were those performed before the court or by the Dutch Reformed church. Roman-Catholic couples usually married in the Roman-Catholic church as well. Be sure to always check both types of records because one may include more information than the other, as the following example will illustrate. Roman-Catholic marriage record This … [Read more...]

Source: prayer cards

I vividly remember the first time I visited the Central Bureau for Genealogy in The Hague. I must have been about sixteen years old, and had just started doing genealogy. My mom also became interested and went with me. When we checked the catalog, we found that there was an envelope with prayer cards of people named Flooren, my grandmother's maiden name. Within minutes, we held the prayer card of Petrus Flooren, my three-times-great-grandfather. My mom and I were very excited about this find. … [Read more...]