So you found out that your immigrant ancestor is Dutch. Perhaps you notice that the websites that you normally use don’t have many Dutch records. Where do you go go next? Here are my favorite free websites to find records of our Dutch ancestors. All these websites provide free access to indexes, although some will charge to access or download scans.
WieWasWie [Who Was Who] is the largest genealogy website of the Netherlands. It has indexed records and links to scans from many archives throughout the country.
Familysearch, the website created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has many scans of Dutch records online. Only a part of them are indexed. This site is especially useful if you already know the date, but want to find a scan of the record. Convenient waypoints, organized per location, can be found on the Dutch website Zoekakten.
A separate People search engine allows you to search in the many indexed genealogical records at Archieven.nl. If you’re lucky, you will be able to click through to the scans. Some of these indexed records are available in WieWasWie, but not all.
If you search the archives section with the finding aids, keep in mind that the archival descriptions are in Dutch, so you won’t find many hits if you search for English terms. Try searching for a name of a town instead.
Websites of archives
Most original records are kept in archives: city archives, regional archives, provincial archives of national archives. All of these organizations have their own websites and many of them provide online access to their holdings, as scans and/or indexes. Some of these online records are also presented at WieWasWie, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, try the website of the archives.
You can find a map of all the archives in the country at the Archiefwiki, a Dutch website. Click on a marker to go to the page for that archive and then search for the “Website” link.
Digital Resources Netherlands and Belgium
The website Digital Resources Netherlands and Belgium has links to online records, transcriptions and indexes, regardless of who published them. This includes large series of digital photographs taken by volunteers of original records in the archives. The website is organized by province. Many of the links will lead you to the sites mentioned above, but you may discover some quirky source at a website you never heard about.
What are your favorite sites for Dutch records?
Have you found genealogical records from the Netherlands on other websites? Please share your tips in the comments.