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Readers' questions

In this post I try to answer some questions from my always overflowing mailbox.

The first question is from Norma: "Jan Brouwer married Aleida Hoveling somewhere in the Netherlands in the 1890s. Their daughter always proudly proclaimed she was Fries."

If they married in Friesland, both Genlias and Tresoar should have the wedding listed. I can't find the wedding in either, so they probably married elsewhere. What I did find in Genlias was the death of their daughter Kathariena: Kathariena Brouwer, daughter of Jan Brouwer and Aleida Hoveling, wife of Karl August Schulz, born in Waltrop, Germany, age 36, died on 18 December 1937 in Hengelo (near the German border). Maybe the Brouwers lived (and married) in Germany around the turn of the century? At least one daughter was born there.

Beth wants to know what the registration date means on a marriage in Genlias: Is this the actual wedding date, or the date of the registration that possibly took place days later?

Since 1811, all Dutch weddings take place at the registrar, who will register the wedding on the spot. So the registration date is the wedding date.

Deb asked if there is any information about small businesses in 1910-1925. She wants to know more about the bicycle business in Groningen that her family owned.

There certainly is, but most of it is not online. You may have to visit the Groningen archive. Since 1921, all companies have to be registered in the company register of the chamber of commerce, so start by searching their archive. Also check regional newspapers and court records.

There are also a few online resources you can try. The phone book of 1915 is online. Also search at the website of the Groningen archives, the image database Groningen, and, of course, Google.

Elza stated: I've started my research a few months ago, discovered much and even possible family, however many of those people do not answer any questions that may clear up the situation, I feel as if they want nothing to do with me or my surname, come from Germany, settled in Holland, however even Dutch archives cannot seem to offer much information on that particular branch. I don't know what my options are anymore, how do I connect if I have no proof?

First of all, family research takes years, not months. You need patience and perseverance. You have already discovered much, and now you should slowly expand that knowledge, one step at a time.

Many recent events are not available in Dutch archives yet, either for privacy reasons or because the registers are still in use. The best source for recent family events are the family advertisements in newspapers that Dutch families tend to place in case of death, but sometimes also birth or marriage. The Central Bureau of Genealogy (CBG) have a large collection of newspaper cuttings, partly available online (for a fee). You can consult the complete collection in their study room in The Hague. Read also my earlier article about the CBG website.

The National Library of The Netherlands has most Dutch newspapers. They are busy scanning, and soon you will find many Dutch newspapers online (see Databank of Digital Daily newspapers).

I will answer more questions next month. Send me a message or leave a comment if you have a question that you want me to answer. Try to be specific in your question: The more specific the question is, the more useful the answer can be. If you just give me a surname all I can do is give you very general advise or point you to Genlias.


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Blogger Gijs Hesselink said...

Genlias provides still another record: Aleida Hoveling lived in Heseper-Twist (a German village very close to the Dutch border) when her daughter Maria Gesina Hoveling was born in the Dutch town of Emmen on January 10, 1892. Father unknown. Aleida was 22 years of age then.

Blogger Gijs Hesselink said...

Genlias provides still another record:
Aleida Hoveling's daughter Maria Gesina Hoveling was born in the Dutch town of Emmen on January 10, 1892. Aleida lived in the German village Heseper-Twist which is located very close to the Dutch border. The father was unknown.

Blogger Henk van Kampen said...

Thanks Gijs.

Norma e-mailed me and told me she found another 1898 birth in Alle Groningers. Together with the 1892 birth you found (and assuming both Aleida's are the same person) that means a marriage between 1892 and 1898, probably in Germany.


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