Quick tip – Spelling variations

In the past, there was no concept of official spelling. Do not rule out that a record is for your person just because their name is not spelled the way you think it should have been. In the Netherlands, spelling of surnames should have been fixed since 1811, but errors occurred even later. We tend to think of the written word as the canonical version, but in the past it was the spoken word. The written version was just a derivative. And don't forget that many of our ancestors were illiterate … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette – How to record names with different spellings

I was tagged in a Facebook post asking how to deal with variations of surnames in your genealogy software. Genealogy software typically requires us to choose one name as the default to use in reports and lists, and allows us to enter alternative names. I use three different strategies to select which name to use as the main name, depending on when the person was born. I record other names and major spelling variations as alternative names. Born after the civil registration The civil … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Common Spelling Variations in Dutch names

If you can't find the name you're looking for, try a spelling variation. Most Dutch search engines only find exact matches, so playing around with variations and wildcards may be necessary to find the person you're looking for. Knowing the different spellings of certain sounds in words can help. Examples of spelling variations Element Example k, kk, or ck Hoitink, Hoitinck Bakker, Backer Van Dijk, van Dijck Dirk, Dirck o, oo Gosens, Goosens Noteboom, … [Read more...]

Quick tip: there is no letter y in the Dutch alphabet

The Dutch alphabet has a letter ij, not a y. Dutch names with a ij typically get spelled with a y in English, for example Dijkstra/Dykstra, Wijnveen/Wynveen. Next time you're having problems finding a person in a Dutch search engine, check that you've used the Dutch spelling. … [Read more...]