Utrecht traditional dressUtrecht is a province in the middle of the Netherlands. It borders on Gelderland in the east, Gelderland and Zuid-Holland in the south, Zuid-Holland and Noord-Holland in the west and Noord-Holland and Flevoland in the north.

The capital city of Utrecht is called Utrecht as well. Other larger towns are:

  • Amersfoort
  • Zeist
  • Soest
  • Nieuwegein

Genealogy in Utrecht

There were no particular naming traditions in Utrecht that researchers have to take into account. People used regular last names long before the introduction of the civil registration.

Many records of the province of Utrecht are kept by the Utrechts Archief. Most of the marriage records of the civil registration from Utrecht can be found in WieWasWie.

Emigration from Utrecht

People in Utrecht were relatively well-to-do so the province wasn’t particularly struck by any of the big emigration waves. There were quite a few entrepreneurs in the province, so there have been people who emigrated to newly founded colonies or tradeposts all over the world. In the middle of the 19th century, Utrecht members of the seceder church settled in Pella, Iowa.

Online images

There are some online resources for images of Utrecht:


About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Phyllis Miller says

    For many years our family has been researching the ancestry of Wilhelm Van Dyke who was thought to have immigrated to America from Holland in the 1770’s. He married Anna Barbara Moyer/Meyer and settled in Pennsylvania. He was probably born circa 1755. He died in 1806. His father’s name was probably John. We need help on his ancestry as he does not seem to be in any American records before his arrival in Pennsylvania in the 1770’s!

    • Hi Phyllis,
      With a common name like Wilhelm Van Dyke (probably Willem van Dijk in Dutch), it is important to find out as much as you can in US records before even attempting to find him in the Netherlands. There were probably dozens or even hundreds of people named Willem van Dijk in the Netherlands around 1755, probably including several with a father named Jan (Dutch for John) so you need more information. See the article about “How to find my immigrant ancestor in the Netherlands” for some suggestions.
      I’m not sure I understand your last remark. Few immigrants can be found in US records before their arrival, as they only start creating records there after they arrive. Or do you mean that you think he is an immigrant because you can’t find him in US records before 1770? Be sure to check the “van Dijk” spelling as well as Dyke.

  2. Phyllis Miller says

    Hi Yvette,
    Sorry I was not clearer. There are many Van Dyke families in records in New York, New Jersey, and Delaware and I have been searching for his name in other areas. Most immigrants did not come directly to Western Pennsylvania to a newly opened territory. Most lived in Eastern Pennsylvania or another state earlier. The little information we have is from Western Pennsylvania where he settled before his death. We do not know if he just immigrated or was in America for a period of time. I now think perhaps he just immigrated shortly before his Western Pennsylvania time because there is nothing anywhere that we can find. I wondered if Holland has immigration records that perhaps we in America do not have. Our family has searched for many, many years without success. We do know his wife’s name was Anna Barbara Moyer/Meyer. The reason I think his father’s name could have been “John” or “Jan” is because all his sons have that name along with their given name. I do know that in one of his children’s baptism records, he was listed as Wilhelm Wendeck, but perhaps that was the way Van Dyke sounded. I will look for the van Dijk name also. Do you have any other suggestions for this impossible situation?? Thank you! Phyllis Miller

    • Hi Phyllis,
      Emigration records were only kept in the Netherlands since 1848, not in the 18th century. Sometimes you can find emigrants in church membership lists (“to New Netherland”) or in wills of family members who stayed behind, but often emigrants just disappear from Dutch records. These records are all stored at the local level, so you have to know where to look.
      Are there any direct male line descendants? If so, a yDNA test may be helpful. If not, you could try an autosomal DNA test but that far back chances are small that you’ll be able to find out which lines you share with your matches.
      Did the baptism records name any sponsors? They are often close relatives.

  3. Roxann Van Donselaar says

    Helping my husband do family research on the van Donselaar Family Crest or Family Seal or Coat of Arms. Not sure excatly in the Netherlands that the van Donselaar family is from. I’m getting told by older family member that they are from Kempen, Utrecht and Apeldoorn. Any help is greatly appreicated. Thanks

  4. Joanne Timshel says

    I’m doing research on my mother’s parents, who emigrated from Holland to USA in 1912. She was from Rotterdam; he from Utrecht.
    I’m coming to Holland to visit in June this year, and would love to visit places they once lived, or even meet some relatives who are still there.
    I haven’t found much more than I already knew.
    Can you help?

  5. Peiter McCafferty says

    Birth 23 JUNE 1644 • Utrecht,, Utrecht, Netherlands.
    Everyday life. I am distantly related.

    • Peiter McCafferty says

      This is just a marker for future study. Maybe a mark on a map and timeline.

      Willemijntje Almeloveen
      Birth 23 JUNE 1644 • Utrecht,, Utrecht, Netherlands.
      I wonder what a child’s life was like at this time and place.

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