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Online records: Genlias

Please note: This article refers to the Genlias project. This project was discontinued at the end of 2012. Its successor is WieWasWie.nl. You can read more here.

The website

Genlias is probably the largest and certainly the most important database of Dutch genealogy records. It is a joint project of the Dutch national archive and many provincial, regional and local archives, as well as the national archive of the Netherlands Antilles.

What do they have?

Birth, marriage and death records from many Dutch places, from between 1811 and the early 20th century, as well as some records from church books from before 1811. Genlias is a work in progress, and currently far from complete, but already contains over ten million records, naming almost 43 million people.

In addition to Dutch records, they also have birth, marriage and death records from the Netherlands Antilles.

Is there an English interface?

Yes: The search interface and information pages are available in Dutch and English. Click on English, at the top.

The records in the database are in Dutch.

How do I use it?

Read the search instructions on Genlias, or the Genlias article on the Trace your Dutch roots website.

How much does it cost?

Using Genlias is free. In many cases, it is possible to order copies of the records, charges for these vary.

Future plans

Genlias is ambitious: They aim to enter all data from the open civil registers in the Netherlands into Genlias in the near future, supplemented with a number of additional sources. Also countries that have or had a constitutional relationship with the Netherlands will be invited to participate.

But the ambition extends even further. Research into family trees is an active historical study that provides answers to the following questions. How did our ancestors live? What did they do for a living? Were they rich or poor? Such a quest into the past can be a real 'historical sensation'.

See the Genlias ambition page.

Conclusion

If your Dutch ancestors left The Netherlands in the 19th or 20th century, and you have some basic information on them, Genlias is the best place to start tracing your Dutch roots. For the 18th century and before, it is probably less useful, even though there are some earlier records in their database.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Miriam said...

Genlias was the first Dutch archives website I ever used, and I was so thrilled to discover it! This was way back in the day when you had to have a user name and password to access the information. Much of their data was from the Province of Friesland, so I was able to really utilize the site for a while until I discovered Tresoar, with all its additional information.

 

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