Dutch term – Vrij

Vrij means “free,” as in freedom.

You may encounter the word vrij in different contexts in genealogical records:

  • A vrije persoon [free person] was someone who was not enslaved and who was not a serf.
  • A vrij goed [free property] was a property (typically a farm) that did not have feudal obligations.
  • Vrij van belasting [free of taxes] means that no taxes were levied on the goods.

Freed woman of color, Suriname, 1850s. Credits: Jacob Marius Adriaan Martini van Geffen, collection Rijksmuseum (public domain)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG® is a board-certified genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 30 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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