Yvette Hoitink and Other Dutch Presentations at NGS Conference in Michigan, May 2018

I am so excited to have been invited to give three presentations at the National Genealogical Society conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan in May 2018. I will be talking about three topics:

  • Dutch Genealogy 101: Finding Your Ancestors from the Netherlands (Wednesday 2 May 2018, 2:30 PM).
    Dutch vital records are available online and indexed. Learn how to use these records to find your ancestors from the Netherlands.
  • For Family, Faith, and Fortune: Emigration from the Netherlands in the 1800s (Thursday 3 May 2018, 9:30 AM).
    Thousands of Dutch immigrants settled in the Midwest in the 1800s. Learn about their struggles in the Netherlands and the stories about their emigration.
  • Dear Me: Writing Research Reports to Yourself (Saturday 5 May 2018, 4:00 PM).
    Brick wall or do-over? Write a research report to yourself to organize your thoughts, document your findings, and meet the Genealogical Proof Standard. This lecture is in the Skillbuilding Track of the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Other Dutch lectures

Several other presenters will also give presentations about Dutch topics:

  • Janet Sjaarda Sheeres, “Tracing your Dutch Immigrant Ancestor from Home to Here” (Wednesday 2 May 2018, 4:00 PM)
  • Mary Risseeuw, “Tragedy of the Phoenix: A Ship Disaster in Lake Michigan” (Thursday 3 May 2018, 2:30 PM)
  • Jill Morelli, “Glory to God! Dutch Christian Reformed Church: Online, Parish, and Archive records” (Friday 4 May 2018, 8:00 AM)
  • Mary Risseeuw, “Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin: Dutch Colonies in the Mid-1800s” (Friday 4 May 2018, 11:00 AM)
  • Janet Sjaarda Sheeres, “Single Dutch Woman Immigrating to America: Where She Came from and Where She Settled” (Friday 4 May 2018, 4:00 PM)
  • William T. Ruddock, “Colonial Research: New York and Dutch” (Saturday 5 May 2018, 8:00 AM).

None of the Dutch lectures overlap, so you can go to them all 🙂

In total, there are more than 200 presentations to choose from. Many of the other presentations are also relevant for Dutch research, for example about using DNA evidence or strategies for researching immigrant ancestors.

Dutch Genealogy Meet-up

It promises to be a great conference for those of us who are interested in Dutch Genealogy and I hope to meet several of you in person. I plan to organize a meet-up with readers of this website and will announce the details via this blog, the Dutch Genealogy newsletter, and the Dutch Genealogy Facebook page a few weeks before the conference.

Mark Your Calendars

So please mark your calendars and come to Grand Rapids, Michigan from 2 to 5 May 2018. You can combine it with a visit to the Tulip Time festivities in nearby Holland, Michigan (5-13 May 2018).

For more information about the conference, go to the NGS Conference Website where you can see the program. Registration opens 1 December 2017. I hope to see you there!

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 25 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Shirley Crampton says:

    Yvette, have they told you that the Dutch were one of the largest groups to settle West Michigan? Many days the obituaries in the Grand Rapids Press are mainly for people with Dutch surnames. I will definitely be at your presentations. My husband’s ancestors are Venelkassen and Van Ess from Overijsel, Netherlands.
    Hope to meet you in Grand Rapids.

  2. Yvette,
    This looks fantastic. And Mary is presenting about the Phoenix! I’m going to see if I can make this conference.

  3. Doris Waggoner says:


    There’s also a sizable, though smaller, cluster of Dutch-Americans on Whidbey Island, in Puget Sound in Washington State.

    My full-Norwegian aunt married into one of these Dutch families. Her husband was one of 12 surviving children in a family named Koetje. His father and uncle each had that many children, and on a fairly large island with a rather small rural population, they made up a fairly large fraction. I’ve traced his father back several generations, and they were in Michigan for several generations. Another local cousin just did his DNA and was not surprised to find he’s first cousin to both my brother and myself, but don’t have other results back yet. All 3 of our mothers were sisters. But the one who’s got results back was surprised to learn he’s got more Scandinavian in him than Dutch, and a fair slice from the Iberian Peninsula. We talked about the fact that the Vikings left their genes all over Europe. And during the 16th and 17th c. the Spaniards tended to rule Holland. So those results are not really surprising. When my brother first got his results almost a year ago, he was only 38% Scandinavian. Now he and I are both 56% Scandinavian. I suspect that happens as more people put their data into the mix. One warning I’m learning to give people is not to get hung up on the exact percentages, but to look at the people you’re matched with. That’s why we do DNA, after all. It has to be a combination of the DNA and traditional genealogical research. That’s what will be so fun in your project to see if you can link yourself to Eleanor of Aquitaine!


  4. I am so looking forward to this!! The conference as a whole, but also love the idea of a Dutch meet-up. Let me know if I can help. (although I am not local, so can’t do anything directly ahead of time)

    Trouble is — sometimes there is something else I really want to go to at the same time as a Dutch topic! Might try to get to the library also. In all the times I have been there lately, I have not been to GR library.

    • There are some must-see presentations scheduled opposite me that I will have to miss. Such an abundance of excellent opportunities. Thankfully, we can buy the recordings afterward if we missed anything. I look forward to seeing you there!

  5. Ray Noble says:

    My mother is 92 and lived in Rotterdam from 1930 to 1946 We will try our best to meet you Ray Noble Also how did Nederland come to change to Netherland in the USA and my mom came to USa

    my mother is still alive in Howell MI and we will try our best to be at the presentations. she lived in Rotterdam from 1930 to 1946.while your in the USA1 how did Nederlanden become Netherland in the USA and my mother spoke Nederlander in Rotterdam but when she came to the USA she was told she spoke Dutch

  6. Will your recording be sold afterwards? I hope to make the get together.

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