Workshop Dutch Genealogy


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Dutch genealogy Yvette Hoitink Sheboygan County Historical Research Center April 9, 2012

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Quick introduction round What is your name? How long have you been doing genealogy? What is your Dutch connection? What would you like to learn during this session?

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Overview of workshop Basic sources: civil registration, population registration, church records Beyond the basics: legal records, property records, military records Finding your immigrant ancestors Tips per province Using Genlias and WieWasWie Search tips

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Basic sources: Civil registration

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Burgerlijke stand – civil registration Registration of births, marriages and deaths by the municipality Introduced in 1811 (parts of Zeeland and Limburg: 1794/1796) Public: births > 100 years, marriages > 75 years, deaths > 50 years Originals kept at provincial and local archives Online index: /

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Geboorteakte – birth record Date, time and place of birth (often including the address) Names of the child and the parents 1 person registering the birth, usually the father. Otherwise another person who attended the birth (midwife) 2 witnesses, usually neighbors or family members. Unmarried mothers: check margin for note. If she married, the child is often recognized by the groom and this is noted in the margin of the birth record. Date of record within 5 days of date of birth.

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Huwelijksakte – marriage record Names, ages, occupations, places of birth and residence of groom, bride Names, occupations and places of residence of the parents (or indication that they are deceased) Names of previous spouses Date and place of marriage 2-4 witnesses, usually family members Note: Official marriages can only be performed by the municipality. Since 1811, church marriages have no legal status.

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Huwelijksbijlagen – marriage appendices Documents submitted as proof before a marriage, e.g. Extract of birth records of bride and groom Extract of groom’s military record Extract of previous spouse’s death record Extract of parents’ death record Extract of birth records of any children born before the marriage that are recognized by the groom Notary deed of consent of absent parents Witness statements about births or deaths that cannot be proven by documents

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Overlijdensakte – death record Date, time and place of death (often including the address) Name, occupation, age, place of birth of the deceased Names of spouses and parents 2 persons registering the death, usually neighbors or family members Stillborn children (born after 24 weeks of pregnancy) have death record but no birth record Date of record within 5 days of date of death

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Basic sources: Population registration

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Bevolkingsregister – population registration Registration of who lives where, kept by the municipality Similar to a census that is being kept up to date Introduced nationwide in 1850 (Gelderland: 1837) Originally: 1 double page per address. Registers renewed every 10 years. Since 1918: 1 card per family per municipality Since 1939: 1 card per person, nationwide Since 1994: digital administration Available at local archives, not many available online.

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Bevolkingsregister – what info? Overview of who lived together Address(es) Per person: Name, occupation, religion Marital status, relation to head of household Place and date of birth Date of marriage or death (if occurred during current register) Date and place of previous/next municipality if they moved  In case of emigants: “Amerika”

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Basic sources: Church records

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Doop-, trouw- en begraafboeken (DTB) (church records) Main source for births, marriages and deaths < 1811 Most church records start between 1600 and 1700. In 1811, churches were required to submit their DTB records to the government Original records kept by provincial or local archives Roman catholic records are kept in Latin, protestant records in Dutch. No national database: some records made available online by individual archives or genealogists

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Doopboek (baptism book) Name of the child Names of the parents, earlier records sometimes only list the father Date of the baptism, usually a couple of days after the birth. Birth date is often not recorded, especially in early records. Names of the witnesses (often family members) are sometimes recorded as well

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Trouwboek (marriage book) Names of the bride and groom Places where they come from and/or where they live Marital status (single or widowed) Names of the parents may or may not be included. Often only the father is named. Date of the publication of the banns, usually 2-3 weeks before the marriage The marriage date may or may not be included Names of witnesses are sometimes included

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Trouwboek (marriage book) If only one date is mentioned, this is often the date of the marriage banns, not the actual marriage date. Both bride and groom had to publish the banns in the town they lived. If they had moved in the last 6 months, they had to be published in the previous town as well. This means some marriages can be found in multiple towns/books.

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Begraafboek (burial book) Name of the deceased (sometimes only a nickname or description like “Mr. Jansen’s son”, “old lady Jansen”, “Mr. Jansen’s maid”) The date of burial Sometimes: date of death In case of children of wives the name of the father/spouse is often mentioned

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Beyond the basics: Legal records

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Notarieel archief (notary records) Notaries are lawyers that may register deeds involving voluntary legal actions. Examples: wills, property sales, pre-nups Nationwide since 1811 But some provinces (Zeeland, Holland) had them as far back as the 16th century Original records kept at provincial archives, mostly not available online

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Rechterlijk archief (judicial records) Since 1811: Criminal cases (e.g. theft, manslaughter, arson) Civil cases (e.g. guardianships, bankruptcy) Before 1811: Voluntary records too in regions without notary lawyers (e.g. wills, property sales, prenups) Originals kept at provincial archives, mostly not available online Friesland: Achterhoek:

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Beyond the basics: Property records

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Kadaster (property registration) Registration of ownership and use of land, used for taxation, introduced in 1832 Whole country divided into counties, sections, plots Records available at the Kadaster office or the provincial archives 1832 situation: Plot reconstruction for different provinces:

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Beyond the basics: Military records

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Conscripted men Conscription introduced by Napoleon in 1811 Every year, all 18-year-old men are registered Reasons to be excused: Medical condition 2 brothers that had served Only son of a widow (breadwinner) All the others entered a lottery to determine who was drafted You were allowed to have someone replace you Service lasted for 5 to 8 years!

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Finding conscripted men Marriage appendix has ‘Certificaat Nationale Militie’ that shows whether the groom was conscripted. Often includes a physical description! Growing index of local registers of conscripted men available at (free index, paid scans)

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Other military records Military service records available at Nationaal Archief in The Hague, mostly not available online Partial indexes on some of these records available at (indexes that start with ‘landmacht’ (ground forces) or ‘marine’ (marines) ) with scanning on demand option (paid)

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Finding your immigrant ancestors

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Emigration sources Bevolkingsregister Provincial lists of ‘landverhuizers’ gahetNA, Passenger lists of ships Arrival registration in US ports Castle Garden, Ellis Island, US census records

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Where did your immigrant ancestor come from? Use Genlias/WieWasWie or family name database to see where name is common Use characteristic of names, including parents, children, siblings Use emigration patterns

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Family name database Hoitink (2007)

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Examples (made up) Can you guess where these people came from? Gerrit Jan Hesselink, to Clymer, NY in 1854 Douwe Reitsma, to Holland, MI in 1890 Sara van Bortel, to Oostburg, WI in 1846 Ludovicus Gerardus Maria van den Heuvel, to Little Chute, WI in 1850 Harmina Beernink, to Pella, IA in 1847

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Tips per province

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Gelderland – good to know Mainly Dutch Reformed/Protestant, some Afgescheiden / Christian Reformed and Catholics. People were named after the farm they lived on, surnames became fixed in 1811 Many farmers used to be serfs, which was only abolished in 1795. Serf records can go back to late Middle Ages

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Gelderland - sources Church records: many transcriptions available on Genealogiedomein, Provincial archives: Gelders Archief, includes index on church records Local archives: Erfgoedcentrum Achterhoek en Liemers, includes index on some population registers Many sources available at the SCHRC

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Zeeland – good to know Mainly Dutch Reformed/Protestant, also large communities of Afgescheiden / Christian Reformed. Virtually no Catholics Bombing of Middelburg in WWII destroyed many older records, including many church records < 1811. Civil registration still complete because there are 2 copies Large parts of land claimed from the sea Many families of French (Huguenot) origin

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Zeeland - sources Provincial database Zeeuwen Gezocht (looking for Zeelanders) – has indexes: Civil registration Church records Emigration lists Provincial archives: Zeeuws Archief, Newspaper database, including Sheboygan Nieuwsbode: Many sources at SCHRC

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Friesland – good to know Mainly Dutch Reformed/Protestant, also large communities of Afgescheiden / Christian Reformed. Virtually no Catholics Frisian is a separate language, second official language of the Netherlands besides Dutch. Most older records are in Dutch. Most people did not have a surname until 1811. They used patronymics (“Jan Rinderts”). Name taking records of 1811 are a great source of information.

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Friesland - sources Alle Friezen – has index of civil registration and many scans Provincial Archives – Tresoar: Church records <1811 (indexes) Name taking records 1811 (including scans) Tax records (indexes)

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Using Genlias and WieWasWie

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Genlias – Free access to index of civil registration since 1997 Product of the joint provincial archives Archives organize indexing the originals, which is done by volunteers 1-1-12: 16 million records – 64 million names 4 mln. births, 3 mln. marriages, 8 mln. deaths, 1 mln. other Not complete!

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Genlias  WieWasWie Genlias is technically obsolete Wishes of users and participating archives : Online access to scans Wider range of sources Development of business model to recuperate some of the operating costs New website to be launched this month: WieWasWie (WhoWasWho)

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WieWasWie – New features: Wider range of sources Access to scans (paid) Building family trees online Saving favorites Sharing results with family members Background information on research No English version?

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WieWasWie – business model Index will remain free Subscription needed to access scans Basic collection (civil registration): about $40 per year Including special collections: about $70 per year Free 14 day trial available

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Search tips

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Search tips - names Many Dutch names have prefixes like “te”, “de” or “van den”. These are considered a separate part of the name. Do not include prefixes in the last name search box. Names are sorted by their main part first, then by their prefix. In the results, you can find Ten Pas under P. “Pas” will come before “Ten Pas”. Official records use maiden names only. Search for a married woman’s death record by using her maiden name.

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Search tips – exact matches Unlike and other US sites, most Dutch sites give exact matches only. Each search term acts as a filter.  The more you fill in, the less you find! Often, you can fill in names of two persons. This is very effective. Fill in the last names of two spouses to find their marriage and any births, marriages and deaths of their children.

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Search tips - dates Dutch dates are formatted dd-mm-yyyy. 2-5-1912 means 2 May 1912. The first date in a birth or death record is the record date. The actual date of birth or death can be several days earlier and is mentioned further in the record.

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Other online sources Geneaknowhow - Links to all online sources: National Archives – Groningen provincial database: Drenthe provincial database: Dutch genealogy homepage: includes Achterhoek emigrant database

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Questions? Contact me at (Slides available there)

Summary: Explanation of the most important sources to research your ancestors from the Netherlands

Tags: genealogy dutch netherlands emigration immigration ancestors

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