Dutch term – Bladeren

Bladeren means to browse, to turn the pages of a book. You may encounter the term on a button or link when you are using a genealogical website where the index is attached to the whole book rather than to the specific page. By clicking "Bladeren," you will open the book and can look up the page using the details in the index. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Use “PROX” in Delpher

Delpher is the website where you can find newspapers, magazines, and books published in the Netherlands. Because of the huge amount of sources on this website, you will often get many results. You can do a more specific search by searching for two terms that must appear near each other with the PROX parameter. Examples: Hoitink PROX Nijkerken (combining the last names of an ancestral couple) Hoitink PROX Winterswijk (last name + place of residence) Hoitink PROX Berkstraat (last … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Patronymics are Often Misindexed

Before 1811, in some parts of the Netherlands, people went by patronymics only. These are names derived from the father's name, like Jansen = son of Jan and Pietersen = son of Pieter. Let's say we have a baptismal record mentioning a child named Dirk, son of Jan Pietersen. No last name or patronymic was indicated for Dirk. His father would be indexed as Jan Pietersen, but Dirk himself could be indexed in a genealogical database three different ways: Dirk [no last name] Dirk Jansen … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Use the Dutch Genealogy Search function

Do you have a question about Dutch Genealogy? This website contains almost a thousand articles about Dutch sources, terms, and research strategies. Try searching for your term in the search box in the top right corner of the website. Examples: English versions of Dutch first names Using search engines How to find my immigrant ancestor in the Netherlands How to find the father of an illegitimate child How to capitalize Dutch names with prefixes Cheat sheet for records after … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Repeat Searches Periodically

If you search a database and don't find the record you're looking for, try again later. Many databases get periodic updates or corrections, so a record that cannot be found today may be added tomorrow. For example, the people database at Archieven.nl often has new records as a result of indexing projects or because new archives decide to host their digital records there. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – It’s Never Been Easier to Verify Information

Did you find your ancestor in an online index or tree? It has never been easier to verify the information using original records. Here are five places where you can find images of online records. WieWasWie, database with civil registration records and much more. Not all have images attached. Requires a subscription to view the images. Persons index at Archieven.nl, database with indexes and images from many archives in the Netherlands. Open Archieven, contains indexes and scans of … [Read more...]

Quick tip – That index may not be complete

If you are using a genealogical database such as WieWasWie, beware that the record you are looking for may not be in the index. Either it may not exist (anymore, if ever), or it may not have been indexed yet. Most indexes provide a table of contents that show which records have been included. If you don't find the record you are looking for, check the contents to make sure that the record should be there. If the record should be there, and you can't find it despite searching for … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t search too broadly too soon

If you are stuck, it is tempting to start searching broadly. You might use Google or a national database like WieWasWie to see where your ancestors' name pops up. However, this strategy often does not give you the result you're hoping for. You may find dozens of namesakes all over the country, without any way to tell if any of them is your ancestor. Or, even riskier, you may find just one namesake, and be tempted to conclude that this must be the one. However, the index may be incomplete, so … [Read more...]

Quick tip: try spelling variations

Even after the introduction of the civil registration, but especially in earlier records, there may be spelling variations of a name. A woman may be called Elizabeth or Elisabeth, her last name might be written as Jansen or Janssen. Especially since most Dutch search engines only find exact matches, it is important to try different spelling variations or use wildcards. A search for Eli* Jans* would have found all four variations of the name. If you can't find a person, also search for … [Read more...]

Dutch term: Uitgebreid zoeken

The words uitgebreid zoeken mean "advanced search" (literally: elaborate search). You will often find the term on websites with genealogical databases where the "uitgebreid zoeken" link will take you to a search form with more options to formulate your query. Beware that most search engines only find exact matches, so don't fill out too much information. … [Read more...]