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Sources for Dutch genealogy

In this five-part miniseries, we will look at the main sources for Dutch genealogy. The originals of these documents are kept in Dutch archives. The last ten weeks, we have focused on online Dutch genealogy in our online records series. We will soon continue this series, but the coming week we will look at the main offline sources. There are good reasons for that:

  • Online records are based on offline sources. Understanding these sources helps you to better understand online records.
  • Online records are often just indexes of these sources. Scans are rarely available online (though that is changing fast now).
  • Because online records are not exact copies, they may contain errors.
  • Because online records are often just indexes, the sources on which they are based will nearly always contain more information.
  • Online indexes will have omissions, as records may be overlooked while indexing.
  • Not all sources are available online yet. Many BMD records of the civil register are now indexed online, but only a fraction of the other sources.

Sources we will look at:

There are, of course, many other sources available in Dutch archives, and we will look at some of these in future posts.

We will try to answer the following questions about each source:

  • Why were they made?
  • What information do they have?
  • Where can I find them?

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