Online records: Het Utrechts archief
Het Utrechts Archief is the website of the provincial archive of Utrecht.
What do they have?
Unlike the provincial websites we looked at so far, Het Utrechts Archief does not have BMD records - these are available in Genlias, and the Utrecht archive does not duplicate them on their own website. They do have several other databases with records and images from Utrecht.
The most interesting database is the notarial archive, with summaries and scans of notarial acts from the city of Utrecht made between 1560-1811. Other databases include an image database with images from (mostly) Utrecht city, an image database with images from the Dutch railway company NS (whose head office is in Utrecht), and a database of films related to the province Utrecht.
Is there an English interface?
There is an English summary (click on English in the navigation menu on the left), but the rest of the website, including the search interfaces, is only available in Dutch.
How do I use it?
Select Zoeken in the navigation menu, followed by the database of your choice. Alternatively, follow the direct links to the databases in this blog post. Fill in the fields, and click Zoeken.
For the notarial archive, fields include Achternaam (surname), Voornaam (first name), Beroep (occupation), Woonplaats (residence), Periode (year from/to), and Naam onroerend goed (name of a house or estate).
For the image databases, Trefwoord(en) (Keywords) is the most important field to fill in. For images you may also want to fill in Datering (estimated year from/to) and Soort beeldmateriaal (image kind): Alle soorten (all kinds), Bewegend beeld (moving images), Cartografische documenten (cartographic documents), Fotografische documenten (photographic documents), Technische tekeningen (technical drawings), or Tekeningen en prenten (drawings and prints). For films, options include Locatie (Location), Jaar (Year from/to), and Videofragment - choose alleen met (only with) to search for films with online footage.
How much does it cost?
There is no charge for using the databases, but there is for publication of images or film fragments (also on a website). Contact the Utrecht archive for details.
The Utrecht archive is working on a new website that will go live soon.
The notarial archive, the image database Utrecht and the film database are not completed - records, images and films are added regularly. Most of the images in the image database are from Utrecht City, in the future images from other places in the province Utrecht are also expected.
The focus of most databases is on the city of Utrecht, information on the rest of the province Utrecht is scarce. It's a pity that the website is not available in English, I hope that will change when the new website launches. A single search interface would be a welcome improvement.
The notarial archive is the core of the website. If your pre-1800 ancestors were from Utrecht City or the surrounding area, and did not belong to the labouring classes, you can probably find some gems in this archive - it contains wills, property deeds, marriage contracts, and property inventories, among others. The website will be less useful for you if your Utrecht ancestors were labourers.