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Online records: Tresoar

The website

Tresoar is the website of the Frisian Historical and Literary Centre, a merger of the provincial archive of Friesland, the Frisian literary museum, and the provincial library.

What do they have?

Lots of sources from Friesland. There are two main databases: After 1811, with birth, marriage and death (BMD) records, and Before 1811, with church books. Other databases include tax registers, pension records, court records, Jewish communities, license plates, emigrants, an index to the notarial archives, Frisian soldiers in Napoleon's army, and databases with background information like maps, occupations, and thesauruses of Frisian names and place names.

There are also databases of Frisian literature, but I won't discuss these on this blog.

An example of the data we can find in the databases on Tresoar: Hendrik Jan Geerts, from Oostermeer, is in 1749 vrijgesel (bachelor), and he bestaat redelijk wel (lives quite well). Tax assessment: 13 guilders and 5 stuivers. Source: Quotisatiekohieren (tax assessments) 1749.

Is there an English interface?

For most of the site, there is an English interface: Click the British flag on the top right. Not all parts are translated yet: Woningkaarten (house cards), for instance, is still in Dutch. As always, the contents of the databases is in Dutch, and that makes some of the databases (e.g. the occupations database) very hard to use if you don't know Dutch.

How do I use it?

Use the navigation menu on the left. Click Genealogy and then Search before/after 1811 to go to the main databases. Select if you want to search birth/baptisms, marriages or deaths. You will not find anything if you leave this blank! Select a region (or search all regions if you don't know the region), fill in a name, and click Search.

Most genealogy databases can be reached by clicking Genealogy, then Genealogy (the top item in the new menu), and select a database on the right hand side. Background information can be found under Genealogy and then Resources.

Some of the databases can also be reached by clicking Directly to > > > and selecting from the list.

For more information use the Help option on the top of the screen.

How much does it cost?

All information on the site is currently free. There are of course charges for ordering copies.

Future plans

I could not find a public statement, but data is still added regularly. Currently, scans of the BMD records of one town (IJlst) can be viewed at the website, hopefully more scans will be added in the future.


Most of the BMD records in the after 1811 database are also in Genlias. The main value of Tresoar is in the other databases: Primary data from the church books in the before 1811 database, and lots of interesting facts in the other databases. An essential site if your ancestors are from Friesland.

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Blogger Miriam Robbins said...

Tresoar is my favorite of the Dutch genealogy and/or archive websites. I have been able to build my family tree back many, many generations with the resources found there. It helps that I have a lot of Frisian ancestors!


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