Dutch records that are public as of 1 January 2019

Happy New Year everybody! Many record series have schedules that determine when they become public. Here are some of the civil registration records that have become public today: Birth records from 1918, which includes my maternal grandfather Johannes Marijnissen. Marriage records from 1943, which includes my maternal grandparents … [Read more...]

Commemorating the Dead

On 5 May 1945, the Germans capitulated and World War II was over for the people of the Netherlands. Every year on the fifth of May, we celebrate our freedom. But before we can celebrate, we need to commemorate. Because our freedom came at a price. About 200,000 Dutch men, women, and children lost their lives during World War II. More than … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Onderduiker

An onderduiker literally means "under diver" and is somebody who went into hiding. The term was used during World War II to indicate Jews and other people who went into hiding to avoid deportation to the German concentration camps. The most famous onderduiker was Anne Frank, who went into hiding with her family in the annex of the building where … [Read more...]

Dutch records that are public as of 1 January 2018

Happy New Year everybody! Let's take a look at some of the records that have become public today: Birth records from 1917, which includes my maternal grandmother Catharina Flooren. Marriage records from 1942, which includes my grandparents Hendrik Hoitink and Gesiena Wilhelmina Woordes. Death records from 1967, which includes my … [Read more...]

World War II Records about Putten Raid Found by Volunteers

Volunteers who are indexing 1950s death records from Gelderland have come across several records relating to the deportation of a large part of the male population in Putten during World War II. The Gelders Archief published a blog post about the find. Here is an English translation of the article (with permission). Volunteers find death records … [Read more...]

Five Resources for World War II Research

It can be hard to find out what happened to your family in World War II, since it was often not talked about. Here are some resources that may help you. Newspapers (Delpher) The newspaper website Delpher has many digitized newspapers from World War II and afterward. Some things to look for: Names of your ancestors during the war Names of … [Read more...]

Quick tip – List of Dutch pilots in the RAF and FAA

During World War II, several Dutch pilots joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Fleet Air Army (FAM) to help liberate the Netherlands. The Department of Defense website has a list of all these men. List of Dutch pilots in the RAF and FAM (click through to the PDF).   … [Read more...]

My Attempt to Free Anne Frank’s Diary

This year marked the 70th anniversary of Anne Frank's untimely death. Under Dutch law, works by an author are in the public domain on 1 January following the 70th anniversary of the author's death. This means that Anne Frank's diary should be in the public domain as of 1 January 2016. However, the Anne Frank Fonds claims that her father, Otto … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Dodenherdenking

Dodenherdenking means commemoration of the dead. On May 4th, we commemorate all the war victims since the outbreak of World War II. The next day, on May 5th, we celebrate our liberty. The dates are chosen because 5 May 1945 was the day of the German capitulation, which ended World War II in the Netherlands. On Dodenherdenking, the whole country … [Read more...]

Finding collaborators in World War II

With the 70th anniversary of our liberation coming up next week, I thought I would discuss one of the most important record groups for research into World War II. During World War II, several Dutch citizens collaborated with the German occupation: some joined the National Socialist Movement (NSB), others betrayed Jews or were romantically … [Read more...]