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New Netherland, New York Genealogy
GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH IN THE NETHERLANDSby Eric Hennekam
Note: A part of this article was published In 'Families', Ontario Genealogical Society, vol.26.no.2, May 1988
IntroductionThis article offers a summary of the sources available in Holland to genealogical researchers. To be able to do genealogical research well, it is important to work step by step. In Holland numerous institutions are involved with genealogy. At the end of this article you will find a list of addresses of the most important of these archives and specific genealogical institutions.
Civil Registration (1811 to present)Civil registration began in c. 1811 by order of Napoleon Bonaparte during the French occupation of Holland (1795-1813). At present every township's secretary makes all civil registrations in duplicate. There are four different kinds of registrations:
The forementioned registers are filed in country, township and regional archives for the period 1811-1912. The council of each township chooses the archive in which to file the civil registers, so that the researcher often has to travel through the whole country to see the registers for the different townships. Usually one can look through them for a fee. It is also possible to get photocopies of the documents. The registers mentioned under 1, 2 and 3 have been made accessible by means of the ten-year tables. These are alphabetical indices of surnames, made over ten-year periods each.
Appendices to Marriage DocumentsThese appendices concerning the marriage document (see 2 above) have to be prepared by the civil registration officer of the township where the wedding is taking place. The officer will judge whether all requirements for marriage are met. These appendices are an important source for the genealogist. They contain copies of the birth registrations of the bride and the groom, or, for the period 1811-c.1855, copies of the baptism registration. Through these papers the researcher often discovers the religion of the couples, which is important for further research. Furthermore, copies of the death certificates of the parents (if applicable) and of earlier partners will be found in the appendices. Other sources that might be included are proof of adulthood, medical examinations, and in the beginning of the nineteenth century, proof from the military commandants that the groom has fulfilled the requirements of the Law of the National Militia.
Population Registration (1850-1920)From 1850 to 1920 the townships kept population registrations. These registers are usually in order of street and house numbers and provide the names of the persons living at each address mentioned. When people moved, their information was scratched through and the new occupants were listed right under the previous ones.
Besides the date of registration the population registers contain the names of all the members of a family and individuals, their sex, date of birth, place of birth, religion, marital status and occupation. Even when people emigrated, it is mentioned in the population registration. From 1920 to c. 1938 the population registers were replaced by socalled family cards, often giving the same information. From 1938 to the present a personal card is made for every person living in Holland, regardless of his or her nationality. These personal cards contain a wealth of genealogical information, such as the names, the dates and places of birth, marriage and death of the person concerned and his partner in marriage, his children, addresses, names and usually dates and places of birth of the parents etc.
At the end of every year the personal cards of deceased persons go to the Central Bureau for Genealogy (see address list) . Copies of the personal cards are available for a fee. When somebody moves abroad his card is filed at the Rijksinspectie Bevolkings- registratie (State Inspection Population Registration) in The Hague.
Church Records (c.1545-1811)In the period before 1811 the pastors of the various churches kept registers of baptism, marriage and death (DTB registers). The oldest registers, which are form parish of Deventer, Maria-church, date back to 1545. The starting dates of these registers vary by church and township. The book "Repertorium DTBII(Concise Repertory of Dutch parish registers), issued by the Central Bureau for Genealogy in 1969, contains a complete list of the registers in the archives. The book has an introduction and an English and German explanation for the abbreviations. Many registers were handed over to the civil authorities in the French period (1795-1813).
To read the DTB registers you often need a palaeographic back- ground. The handwritten papers, often in Latin, from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are very hard to read, making research very time-consuming. Fortunately many archives are now preparing indices with all the information from these DTB-registers.
ImmigrationDuring the many religious wars in Europe in the previous centuries, large groups of foreigners came to Holland. The principle groups of immigrants were:
Colonization and EmigrationThe three most important periods for Dutch colonization and emigration are:
Other SourcesBesides the forementioned genealogical sources there are many more sources to be found in the archival institutions in Holland that are interesting for the genealogist. A short description of the main sources follows:
SummaryIt is impossible to mention and describe precisely all the available sources in a short article.
For the genealogist it is important to know that a copy of a large part of the DTB registers and the civil registers of Holland are filed on microfiche at the Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
The Central Bureau for Genealogy also has a large collection of microfiches of the above mentioned and other genealogical sources. If you want more information about archival research in Holland, you can write or E-mail me a letter stating all the information you have. I will answer your letter or give to the institution best equipped to answer your questions.
My address is:
3584 GH Utrecht
Eric sends this update to his articleAnother 'new' website is from the National Dutch Archive. In the future it will be the most important for genealogical research, because they got money from all the Europe countries for publication all 'marriages records between 1811 and 1911'. In 2001 this project is ready. Website address: http://www.archief.nl
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