Quick tip – Your ancestors may appear in inventories

Estate inventories and guardians’ accounts often contain information about the daily lives of our ancestors. They can tells us what they owned and whom they did business with. If your ancestor was in trade, he may appear in the inventories of some of his clients. This can give you more insight into his business.

Depending on the time and place, you can find estate inventories and guardians’ accounts in the voluntary court records, in orphan chamber records, or notarial records.

Example: Guardian’s account in 1699

On 9 September 1699, Herman ten Haeve gave an account to the court of Lichtenvoorde in Gelderland of the costs he made while administrating the estate of the children of the late Jan Elekinck, of whom he was the guardian.

An entry of 25 April 1699 tells how he hired Hermen Pieck to repair the house that belonged to the children, and to supply bricks, chalck, roof tiles, floor tiles, pebbles and other supplies, as well as plaster and repair the house, for a sum of 49 guilders and 5 stivers.1

Hermen Pieck is my eighth great-grandfather. I knew that many Pieck men were carpenters, and this account tells me that he was too. It tells me that he was not just a carpenter, but an all-round builder who could also do bricklaying, plastering and tiling.

Guardians' account

Guardian’s account mentioning Hermen Pieck


  1. Manorial Court (Lichtenvoorde, Gelderland), guardianship papers, 1678-1728, call number 117, account of Herman ten Haeve, 6 September 1699; digital images, FHL film 861259, Familysearch (https://familysearch.org/search/film/007989044 : accessed 4 September 2016).
About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, MLitt, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist, writer, and lecturer in the Netherlands. She has a Master of Letters in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee, and holds the Certification of Genealogist and Qualified Genealogist credentials. Yvette served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists and won excellence awards for her articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. Yvette has been doing genealogy for over 30 years. She helps people from across the world find their ancestors from the Netherlands and its former colonies, including New Netherland. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Marvin Weinberg says

    I enjoy your posts.. One side of my family (Calo and Senior ‘Cronel) goes back to the 1800’s.


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