Yvette Hoitink, MLitt!

Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, MLitt, CG, QG

Today I graduate with a Master of Letters in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. My grades allowed me to graduate with Distinction, the highest award that the university bestows.

I started my studies during lockdown in 2020. I am not one to grow indoor tomatoes or bake sourdough bread, so I went and did a master’s instead. This degree was completely via remote study, which made it a perfect choice for me. The Netherlands does not offer academic programs in genealogy, so pursuing a master’s remotely in Scotland was a great alternative. During the first year, I had a fellow student at home since I was also homeschooling my son. I studied part-time, and kept working as a professional genealogist the rest of the week.  For the first two years, I also worked one day per week as IT consultant for the National Archives of the Netherlands.

Dundee offers a variety of modules. The modules I chose were:

  • Understanding and Reading Latin
  • Skills and Sources for Family and Local History in England
  • House History
  • Skills and Sources for Family and Local History in Scotland
  • English Palaeography and Diplomatic
  • Heraldry
  • Archive Management: Principles and Practice
  • Dissertation

In total I did 190 CE, 10 credits more than the 180 required for the master’s. The Latin and Heraldry modules have already proven useful for my Eleanor of Aquitaine project. All the modules not only deepened my knowledge of those specific topics, but also gave me a broader understanding of how to study communities as a whole, and to present my findings in an academic way.

As my undergraduate studies were in computer science and business information technology, pursuing a history degree was quite a shift. The expectations and the way skills are tested were very different. Another challenge for me was the British English language, as English is my second language and most of my genealogical studies and writing to date have used American English. But I learnt (!) to deal with that too. There was the occasional blooper (who knew that 1 sheet means 2 pages?) but overall, I did well.

My dissertation was titled “Emigration from Winterswijk to America Between 1844 and 1878: Causes of the Emigration from a Border Town in the Netherlands.” I have been studying the individual emigrants from the area around Winterswijk for over thirty years. Over 2000 people emigrated from the village, of a population around 7500. This dissertation allowed me to research and understand the reasons behind this emigration wave, and why it disproportionately affected Winterswijk. I hope to turn this my research into a book, but that will not be for a while. I will be busy with client projects, including several research projects, an heirloom book, and the New Netherland Settlers project.

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. Patty Hankins says


  2. Gray Stabley says

    Congratulations! What an accomplishment!

  3. B.E. Broekhuizen says

    Van harte gefeliciteerd Yvette, maak er een dankbaar gebruik van.
    Je oude schoolmeester
    Barend-E. Broekhuizen

  4. Congratulations, Yvette! Well done. I am looking forward to reading the conclusion of your Eleanor of Aquitaine project.

  5. O William Bruins says

    Congratulations on your accomplishment.

  6. Congratulations!

  7. You’re such an asset to the Dutch genealogy community! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Congratulations!

  8. Congratulations, Yvette. What an accomplishment!

  9. David Morehouse, CG says

    Well done!

    Is Dundee still offering this degree, or were you in the final intake? I was unable to find any reference at the university’s website.

  10. Paul Lucas Fohr says

    Congratulations Yvette on achieving your MLitt. You are a great source of knowledge of Dutch genealogy. One of your research hints led us to finding my biological great grandfather, and subsequently, a whole new family branch.
    I look forward to reading your newsletter every week.

  11. Mieke Hawner says

    Congratulations, Yvette. What an impressive achievement!

  12. Wesley Johnston says

    Excellent work — congratulations

  13. Angelique Nota-Kruize says

    Gefeliciteerd Yvette!
    Wat een geweldige prestatie, dit bereiken naast werk en lesgeven.
    Fijn dat je studie al vruchten heeft afgeworpen, ik kijk uit naar de ontknoping van je blog over Eleonora van Aquitanië.
    De lijn naar Schotland via Brabant-Boulogne-Blois-Dunkeld-Alpin…..Kenneth MacAlpin, idee voor een volgend project in de toekomst?
    Eerst maar even bijkomen en genieten van deze prestatie.
    Dankjewel Yvette voor je geweldige werk.
    Groetjes, Angelique Nota-Kruize

    P.s. maak je ook een boek over het Eleonora project ? Ik zou het heel graag kopen.

    • Angelique Nota-Kruize says

      Nog even een aanvulling:
      Ik ben een nazaat van Jan Laureijs de Oudere Colen, voorouder van mijn beide ouders, broer van Aleid Laureijs Colen, jouw voorouder in generatie 13.
      Gr. Angelique.

  14. Congratulations Yvette!

  15. Gary Bouwkamp says

    Congratulations, Yvette. That’s impressive.

  16. Lex van der Linden says

    Gefeliciteerd Yvette, petje af voor dit resultaat !!

  17. Sherrie Parr says

    Congratulations! You have inspired me and helped me find so many of my ancestors!! You are a very special lady!! Thank you, thank you!

  18. Congratulation. I think it is nice that you are a smarty. I am a nerd with a PhD. I think you choose great areas for geneology research. There is a Dundee university in New Zealand. I do not know if they have an online masters. I think doing on line is great. If I was starting over I would nt have become a professor. I taught at Lincoln collage in New Zealand. They held some classes at a pub I do not drink. So it did not do much but students like to get to know teachers. I hope the masters leads to lots of interesting work for you and and to your income. Thank you for the news letter I read something in every addition.

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