Locations Groningen - Friesland - Drenthe - Overijssel - Flevoland - Gelderland - Utrecht - Noord-Holland - Zuid-Holland - Zeeland - Noord-Brabant - Limburg - Amsterdam - Rotterdam - Den Haag - Netherlands Antilles - Surinam - Australia - Canada - Germany - Ghana - Taiwan - USA
Topics Baptists - Dates and times - Dutch food - Dutch history - Dutch language - Dutch names - Emigration - Early Dutch settlers - Ellis Island - Holland America Line - New to Dutch genealogy - Newsletter - Online genealogy - Pitfalls - Sources - Wilhelminakade - Wie was wie


Church books at FamilySearch

FamilySearch, the genealogy website of the Mormons, had scans of the civil register for a while now. Recently they also started adding scans of pre-1811 church books: Baptisms, marriages, burials, membership lists and more. Currently available are the provinces Groningen, Drenthe, Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, Utrecht, Noord-Brabant, and Zeeland (seven out of twelve provinces).

The scans are made from microfilms that the church had in their collection. They are not indexed and have to be browsed image by image, similar to browsing the films themselves.

To find them on the FamilySearch website, click Continental Europe and browse to Netherlands. While you are there, have a look at the many other resources on their website - there's bound to be a few that are useful for your research.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Online records: Amsterdam population register

The Amsterdam city archive added two new databases to its websites: The population register 1851-1853 and the population register 1874-1893. The index of the latter is not complete yet, but will be soon.

The population register 1893-1939 (also known as the family cards) was already online.

Searching the indexes is free, but there is a charge for viewing and downloading scans.

The new databases are currently only available through the Dutch website.

If you plan to search the population register, be aware that many first names are abbreviated, e.g. Johs means Johannes. Use wildcards when searching, or only use surnames.

Warning: Population registers are not primary sources of BMD data and are known to contain errors.

Read more about population registers.

Labels: , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Online records: Family cards of Rotterdam

The website

The Digital Family Tree of Rotterdam is the database of the city archive of Rotterdam. We looked at this database before, e.g. in 2008, in the article Online records: Rotterdam city archive. Earlier this year the archive added a great new resource: Scans of family cards (1880-1941) from Rotterdam, with an index!

What do they have?

Today we look at family cards, though the database has a lot more. Family cards are part of the population register. Originally, the population was a census-like register that was kept up to date. Because each page could have lots of updates and changes, the register could get messy. In 1880, Rotterdam changed their register to a card system, with one household per card: the family cards. These were easier to keep up to date, as cards could easily be replaced if they were full or messy.

In 1939 the family cards were phased out in favour of a new system, and by 1941 the cards were obsolete.

The cards are now archived in the Rotterdam city archive. They are scanned and indexed, and available online.

Family cards have lots of interesting information about a household. It lists all household members. New members of the household were added at the bottom, members that left were crossed out, usually with a remark about where they went. For each person listed you will find items like date of birth (and possibly death), maiden name (if applicable), address, occupation and religion, and any additional information that the city wanted to register about its citizens.

The images below are the front and back of the family card of Leendert de Kooning, father of the celebrated Dutch-born painter Willem de Kooning (who is listed twice on the card, under numbers 7 and 8).

Is there an English interface?

Yes, if you follow this link the search interface is English. Additional information, search results and of course the scans themselves are still in Dutch, though. You can use my genealogy dictionary to help you interpret the scans.

How do I use it?

Select Population register (and deselect the other options), fill in a family name and optionally a first name, and click Search. Browse through the search results and click the one that interests you. Click View the scan.

The scan will open in a new window. There are buttons for zooming in and out, for rotating the image, for printing and for downloading.

How much does it cost?

Nothing. Even viewing and downloading scans is currently completely free!

Future plans

I assume the family card project is completed. There will be other scanning and indexing projects in Rotterdam, though.

Conclusion

This is a great resource if you have Rotterdam ancestors in the late 19th or early 20th century.

Labels: , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Parental marriage consent

Until only a few decades ago, spouses under thirty needed parental consent for their marriage.

Normally, the parents were present at the wedding and signed the wedding certificate to express their consent. The wedding certificate may contain phrases like alhier aanwezig en consenterende (here present and consenting), or [zij] hebben ons verklaard in dit huwelijk toe te stemmen ([they] declared to give permission for this marriage).

If one of the parents was dead, this will be stated in the marriage certificate, and only the other parent had to consent. The marriage supplements will contain an extract of the death record of the deceased parent. If both parents were dead, the grandparents had to consent. If they, too, were dead, the marriage supplements should have more information on both the parents' and grandparents' deaths (occasionally the information was also copied into the marriage certificate). In earlier marriage acts, though, you are more likely to find a statement that the grandparents have been dead for a long time, and that nobody knew anymore where and when they died. In this case, the spouse did not need parental consent.

Marriage certificate

This image is a part of the marriage certificate of Jacobus Frederikus Winter and Johanna Helena Maria Hoogenbosch. It states the mother of the bride was deceased, and the father of the bride was not present. To give his permission, he had to visit a notary who would then create an act of permission. The marriage record states toestemmende bij authentieke akte, consenting by authentic (notarial) act. This act should be included with the marriage supplements.

If the parents of one of the spouses did not consent, it was possible to request the county court to consent on their behalf. This happened to Jacobus Frederikus Winter, in the marriage certificate above. He had to go to the county court, and the court granted consent on behalf of his parents (in theory the court could also refuse consent, but I am not aware of any case where that happened). The marriage record states that consent is obtained by court intervention (the above marriage act contains the statement voor wier toestemmingen de tusschenkomst van den kantonrechter is ingeroepen, for whose consent the intervention of the county court is invoked). The marriage supplements should have an extract of the court decision.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Reader's question: From Holland to Australia in the 1960s

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.

Scott asked me:

Could you suggest other on-line sources that can aid me in searching for my Partners grandparents whom migrated to Australia in the 1960's, as Genlias doesn't have them listed I just need their parents and I could go from there.

Marriage acts become public after 75 years, so you won't find any marriage acts from after 1934 on Genlias (or elsewhere on the internet). I expect your partner's grandparents married later than that? Most post-war archives are not accessible (and not published on the internet) due to privacy regulations. The usual way to reconstruct a family tree over this period is from memory or with family papers from the family's archive.

There are a few things you can try:

  • Do you know when and where they married? You should be able to order a copy of their marriage act from the town hall in the municipality they married (for a fee). If you know the town, you can find the municipality on the regional genealogy section of this website. You may have to prove you are related and that your grandparents passed away - contact the town hall for details. If you know when and where they were born you may also try to obtain a copy of their birth act in the same way. Both the birth and the marriage act will list the parents.
  • If your partner's grandparents migrated back to The Netherlands and died here, you should order their persoonskaarten from the Central Bureau for Genealogy (CBG).
  • Search the collections of the CBG, in particular their collection of birth, marriage and death announcements (partly available online).
  • A final tip: Don't forget to ask relatives. Someone is bound to have some document that provides a clue. Does your partner (or their family) still know relatives here in Holland? If so, write (or call) them!

If you have any further question, contact me or leave a comment below.

Related articles:

Photo: Farewell of emigrants to Australia, 1953. Spaarnestad Photo/SFA001009985, on flickr The Commons.

Do you also have a question about Dutch genealogy that you want me to discuss? Leave your question in the comments below this post, or use the contact form.

Labels: , , , ,

1 Comments:

Blogger harryt557 said...

Are there websites or archives avaliable to access dates and ships Dutch passengers took when leaving the Netherlands for America?

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newsletter: Familieberichten

People often announce important events, like birth, marriage, or death, in print. This can be in the form of newspaper advertisements (deaths are usually announced this way), or printed cards that are sent out to family and friends (wedding invitations and birth and death announcements fall in this category). Many families have a collection of this type of ephemera. They are commonly known as familieberichten (family messages) or familie-annonces (family announcements).

Familieberichten is the topic of the feature article in the next issue of the Trace your Dutch roots newsletter. The newsletter is due early next week. Subscribe now if you want to receive this newsletter by e-mail.

Previous newsletters are still available at the newsletter archive.

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Tienjarige tafels

Tienjarige tafels

Tienjarige tafels (ten-yearly tables) are contemporary indexes on the civil register. These tables used to be the only way to access the BMD records of the civil register, but with the large number of modern (usually online) indexes created in the last few years, they have become less important.

Why were they made?

Because it's hard to find a record in the civil register if you don't have an index. At the end of each year, the registrar created an index for that year, usually at the back of the folio with the records. But if the year for an event was not known, it could still be difficult to find the record someone was looking for. Therefore every ten years an index over the previous ten years was created, usually in a separate folio. The first one was created in 1823, covering the years 1813-1822.

Nearly every municipality created tienjarige tafels for its BMD records, but there are exceptions. In The Hague, for example, there is a single table for marriages from 1811-1852 (but births, deaths, and marriages after 1853 are indexed in tienjarige tafels).

What information do they have?

Indexes on birth records usually contain the name of the child and the date the record was created, and often the sequence number of the record. Note that the date in the index is not necessarily the date of birth! The child is indexed under the surname he had at the time of birth. If he was born before the marriage of his parents, that will be the mother's name, even if he received his father's name at the marriage! Therefore, if you can't find a birth in the index, search also for the mother's surname.

Indexes on marriage records will have the names of both spouses, the date the record was created, and often the sequence number of the record. The date listed is usually (but not always) the date of the marriage, as nearly all marriage records were created during the marriage. Usually you can search the index on the name of either spouse, but in some places (e.g. The Hague) the tables are only indexed on the man's name.

The indexes on death records have the name of the deceased, the date the record was created, and often the sequence number of the record. Note that the date in the index is not necessarily the date of death!

The tables are sometimes sorted alphabetically, but more often sorted on the first letter, and per letter sorted on date. On the image above (click to enlarge) the table is sorted on surname, and per surname on date.

Note that the tienjarige tafels are merely an index. Use them to find a record, and never as a source by themselves!

Where can I find them?

At the same place as the BMD records of the civil register. Like the BMD records, the tienjarige tafels were created in duplicate, one copy for the town hall and one copy for the district court. You will find the tables with the registers in the provincial archives, and in local or regional archives. There are microfilmed copies of many tables in the study room of the Central Bureau for Genealogy in The Hague and in the collection of the LDS (usually available for consultation in family history centers worldwide).

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Sources: Marriage supplements

Huwelijksbijlagen

If two people wanted to marry, they had (and still have) to supply a few documents. These documents, the huwelijksbijlagen (marriage supplements) were kept with the marriage acts of the civil register.

Why were they made?

Before a wedding, the registrar had to verify the couple was indeed allowed to marry. They had to be of a certain age (in the 19th century that was 18 for the groom, 16 for the bride), they should not be married already, if they were under 30 they needed permission from their parents, men must have fulfilled their military obligation. A couple that wanted to marry had to supply the necessary documentary evidence.

What information do they have?

At least birth certificates of the bride and groom (or baptismal certificates, if they were born before 1811). Usually, there is also a document stating the groom has fulfilled his military obligations (which either meant he has completed his military service, or he was not drafted).

If you're lucky, there can be many other documents. If the parents were dead (and the spouses were under 30) you will find the death certificates of the parents (and maybe even of the grandparents, as they had to give permission if the parents were deceased). If the parents could not be present, they could give their permission in an act made up by a notary, this act will be included with the marriage supplements. If the parents refused to give their permission, the couple could apply for a court decision, allowing them to marry without parental permission, and an act drawn up by the court will be part of the marriage supplements. If one of the spouses married before, they had to supply a death act of their previous spouse (or a divorce act).

Other documents are rare. Marriages between certain relatives were only allowed with dispensation from the king, you may find a royal decree granting this permission (this was needed, for example, when Stephanus Johannes Pardoen married his aunt Theodora Margaretha Wilhelmina Pardoen). If no birth or baptism act could be obtained, there may be an acte van bekendheid (act of acquaintance), drawn up by the court and signed by four witnesses, stating that the subject of the act is who he claims to be.

Where can I find them?

Marriage supplements were kept by the district courts, and are now at provincial archives (for the province Zuid-Holland they are kept in the Nationaal Archief in The Hague). You can find the addresses of the provincial archives on the regional pages on the Trace your Dutch roots website. Only in a few cases will you find them elsewhere, e.g. the marriage supplements from Rotterdam for the period 1812-1852 are on the website of the Rotterdam city archive.

In a few cases, the marriage supplements are lost. The archives of the courts of Hoorn and Alkmaar, for example, were lost by fire in 1890. Losses include the marriage supplements of the region. Marriage supplements of the The Hague and Leiden region were lost in March 1945, when the British air force accidentally bombed the Bezuidenhout region in The Hague.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

A second look at the population register

We looked at the population register (bevolkingsregister) before, but there is a lot more to tell about this register than I could in an introductory blog article.

In this article we will have a look at a few other aspects of the population register:

  • Population registers list addresses, but not necessarily as street name and house number. We will have a look at the addresses you may find.
  • The Remarks column may give you some exciting clues for further research.
  • There are many abbreviations used in the registers, especially in the remarks and religion columns. I will explain some of the most frequently used abbreviations.
  • Gezinskaarten are sorted alphabetically on name, earlier registers may be sorted differently. We will have a look at how the registers are sorted.
  • And finally, we will see how the population register was (and is) maintained.

I will assume you already know a few things about the Dutch population register, if not please read my earlier article The population register.

Addresses in the population register

The population register nearly always contains addresses, but not necessarily in a recognizable form. In early registers houses are numbered per district, and an address will often be a letter (for the district) plus a number: A134 is house 134 in district A. Villages and small towns sometimes use numbers only. Sometimes you will also find the street name on the register, but often the district and sequence number is all you have.

The population register often contains a table (usually called concordans, concordance) to find the street and house number from a district and sequence number. The concordance is part of the population register, so you will find it at the same place as the rest of the register.

Later registers contain a street and house number. If a family moved, the address was striked out and a new address was added. Some families, especially from the labouring classes, moved a lot, and the address section on the register can be messy, sometimes indecipherable.

Keep in mind that the addresses in the registers and concordance may have changed: Streets have been renamed or renumbered, and sometimes disappeared. Occasionally, new streets get the same name as a former (or even existing) street.

Remarks column

The remarks column sometimes contains surprising facts about your family, or put you on the trace of a family story you would not have found otherwise. A few things you may find in the remarks column:

  • Bankruptcy, with the dates the bankruptcy started and ended, and the court that pronounced the bankruptcy.
  • Emigration, sometimes with destination.
  • Imprisonment, sometimes with the name and location of the prison, and the court that passed the sentence.
  • Insanity, maybe with the name and location of an asylum.

Abbreviations

When you study the population register, you will discover there are lots of abbreviations used, especially in the Remarks and Religion columns. We list the most common ones.

Abbr.MeaningTranslationRemarks
AKAparte kaartSeparate cardOften used on gezinskaarten, when one of the household members left to start his own household.
BDBuitengewoon dienstplichtigExtraordinary conscriptConscript that will not be called up for active service
DDoopsgezindBaptistFound in the Religion column
GDGewoon dienstplichtigOrdinary conscriptConscript that has been/will be called up for active service
geennoneFound in the Religion column
HHoofdHeadSometimes found in the occupation column. It means that someone is his own boss, either self-employed or a business owner.
HHuwelijk, GehuwdMarriage, Married
hvhuisvrouw vanwife of
inw.inwonendlive-in
IRInvaliditeitsrenteDisability benefitBenefit from a (compuslory) disability insurance for employees, introduced in 1919
LSLandstormmember of the LandstormThe Landstorm was an army reserve of volunteers who could be called up in case of mobilization. Existed from 1918 until 1940.
NGNederlands GereformeerdDutch ReformedFound in the Religion column. Found in early registers, later replaced by NH. Note: You may also find Nederduits(ch) Gereformeerd, this is the same church.
NHNederlands HervormdDutch ReformedFound in the Religion column. NH is the same religion as NG. NH is a more modern name.
NINederlands IsraelitischDutch IsraeliteThe religion of most Dutch Jews. Found in the religion column.
OOndergeschiktesubordinateSometimes found in the occupation column. It means they are an employee.
OOngehuwdNot married
OROuderdomsrenteold age benefitBenefit from a (compuslory) disability insurance for employees, introduced in 1919. It paid employees who became disabled or reached the age of 70 (later 65) a small allowance.
PKPersoonskaartSometimes found in the remarks column of a gezinskaart. It means a persoonskaart was created for this person.
RC, RKRooms Catholiek/KatholiekRoman CatholicFound in the Religion column
SScheiding, GescheidenDivorce, Divorced
vo, vowvertrokken onbekend (waarheen)departed unknown (destination)
vocvertrokken onbekend [waarheen], controledeparted unknown [destination], inspectionan inspector (or census taker) discovered that someone did not live at the registered address anymore, and it is unknown where they are now
VTVolkstellingCensusThis usually means some information was updated because the census taker discovered it was out of date

Sorting of the register

The first registers are sorted on address (district and sequence number, usually not on street name). You will often find several families listed at the same address (and thus on the same page), either because they shared a house or because they lived there successively. There is usually a contemporary index on family name.

Later registers are sorted on family name, but usually only on the first two or three letters (this varies from town to town), so Smid will sort before Snoek, but not necessarily before Smits.

Gezinskaarten are nearly always sorted alphabetically on family name.

There are often contemporary indexes on people with a different surname than the head of the household (like wifes, stepchildren, live-in parents in law). Usually these indexes are also sorted on the first two or three letters of the surname, sometimes also on the full surname.

If the head of the household is a married or widowed woman, she will usually be sorted under her husband's name, even though her maiden name is listed in the register.

The population register (with the exception of the gezinskaarten) consisted of bound volumes, so it was not always possible to insert a family at the correct place. Sometimes there are supplements to the population register where these families are listed. If you can't find a family in the register while you know they should be there, check the supplements and the indexes.

Maintaining the population register

After my previous article on the population register, Miriam Midkiff asked how the registers were maintained.

In most places, the population register started in 1850 and was based on the 1849 census. To keep the registers up to date, people were (and still are) required to register births, deaths, marriages, and address changes with the municipality. Occasionally, the register was updated after an inspection, which may have taken place because there was a suspicion someone had left. Other institutions would also inform registrars of certain events: information about divorces, bankruptcies, and imprisonments, for example, would come from the courts of justice. National censuses took place roughly every ten years (until 1971). The information was then used to update the population register.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Sources

In March, I posted a series of articles discussing the most important sources for Dutch genealogy: The BMD records of the civil register, the population register, persoonskaarten, and church books.

Over the next two weeks, I will post a new, slightly more advanced, series of articles, taking a second look at some of the sources we talked about before, and discussing a few additional sources.

This series will contain the following articles:

  • A second look at the population register
  • Marriage supplements
  • Tienjarige tafels
  • Notarial archives
  • Court archives

Labels:

2 Comments:

Blogger Miriam said...

I'm really looking forward to it, Henk!

By the way, your Dutch readers whose ancestors' relatives immigrated to the United States and your American readers with Dutch ancestry will be interested in learning that FamilySearchLabs has recently added digitized images of Michigan vital records for the years 1867 through about 1925 (depends on the type of vital record). Western Michigan was heavily settled by Dutch immigrants.

 
Blogger Henk said...

Thanks for the tip, Miriam. I'll have a look.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newsletter: Offline Dutch genealogy

With the wealth of genealogical information available online nowadays, it is easy to overlook offline sources for our research. But the amount of information online - large as it may be - is only a fraction of what is available to us offline.

The topic of the feature article in the April issue of the quarterly Trace your Dutch roots newsletter is Offline Dutch genealogy. The article discusses topics like doing research in The Netherlands, genealogical collections, literature research, and family papers.

The newsletter is due later this month. Subscribe now if you want to receive the newsletter by e-mail.

Previous newsletters are still available at the newsletter archive.

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Church books

This is the fifth and last part of our Sources for Dutch genealogy series.

Church books

Churches started registering baptisms and marriages in the 16th century. Many of the earlier registers were lost, but they generally still exist from the mid-17th century onwards.

The most important churches were the Dutch Reformed Church (the state church in the time of the Dutch Republic) and the Roman Catholic Church. Protestant church books are usually in Dutch, catholic church books in Latin.

The church books are the main source for Dutch genealogy research in the 17th and 18th century.

Why were they made?

Churches wanted to keep track of who belonged to their church and who did not, especially after the reformation (when there were multiple churches). Church membership, confirmation and baptism conferred certain rights: within the church (e.g. in the Dutch Reformed church you can only partake in the communion after your confirmation), but also outside the church (many official functions were only open to members of the Dutch Reformed Church).

What information do they have?

The most common of the church books are the books of baptisms (doop). A book of baptisms lists the date of the baptism, the name of the child, usually the gender, the names of the parents (in the oldest books the name of the mother is often missing), and the names of witnesses. Only since late in the 18th century have churches listed dates of birth. In general, Catholics baptized their children within 24 hours, while Dutch Reformed children were baptized on the first or second Sunday after birth.

Two groups of people did not baptize their children: Baptists, who only baptize adults, started registering births in their membership books in the 18th century, and Jews often did not register infants at all.

Marriages had to be performed before the magistrate or in the Dutch Reformed church. Members of other religions would often marry in their own church as well as in the Dutch Reformed church1). So you should always check the marriages of the Dutch Reformed church, even if your ancestors were Catholic.

Marriage books may list marriages (trouw), but more likely they will list marriage registrations (ondertrouw). The books usually list the date (which may be the marriage registration date, sometimes the marriage date is listed as well), the names of the spouses, whether the spouses were single or widowed, the names of witnesses, and usually their place of origin.

Funeral books are less common then baptism and marriage books, but also exist for many places. They usually list just the name and the date of the funeral.

The Dutch Reformed church also kept membership books, which lists confirmed members. It usually lists the name of the member, often the date they became a member, and how they became a member (either by confirmation or by transferring membership from another Dutch Reformed church).

Where can I find them?

Around 1811, church books were confiscated to form the basis of the new civil register. These confiscated church books are still state property and can be found in local, regional or provincial archives. If you want to consult them in a Dutch archive, you should check with the archives where they are kept: locally or in the provincial archive. Some archives have started making the church books available online. There are microfilmed copies of many church books in the study room of the Central Bureau for Genealogy in The Hague and in the collection of the LDS (usually available for consultation in family history centers worldwide).

Church books created after 1811 still belong to the churches. Some are kept in local or regional archives, but many are still kept by the churches, and often difficult to access.

A few examples

This image (click it to enlarge) is an extract from the marriage book of the Dutch Reformed church in The Hague (a print-out of a microfilmed copy):

den 23 Maart Paulus Pardou J.M. zijnde van de gereformeerde Religie met Johanna Pieterse J.D. zijnde van de Roomsche Religie en beyde wonende alhier

It describes the marriage of Paulus Pardou, Dutch Reformed (zijnde van de gereformeerde Religie, being of the reformed religion) and Johanna Pieterse, Roman Catholic (zijnde van de Roomsche Religie, being of the Roman religion), on 23 March 1777. This is the marriage date, the marriage registration took place on 17 November 1776. I don't know why the marriage took place so long after the registration, usually there is only a few weeks between registration and marriage. Note that the year is not visible on the scan, I had to find out the year by browsing back in the marriage book to January 1.

Try to read and understand the text on the scan, you should be able to do so after reading my transcription and English summary (refer to my Dutch genealogy dictionary if necessary).

Our next example is an extract of the Roman Catholic baptism book of Nijkerk, listing the (two) baptisms of October 1764. The book is in Latin, but as there is hardly any text that should not be a major problem. The first entry is the baptism of Hendrick, son of Bernardus Thomassen and Jantje Peters. Witness was Aeltjen Thomassen. The second entry is the baptism of Gijsbert, son of Lammert Hoeting and Aeltjen Gijsbers. Witness here was Gijsbertjen Gers.

1)An exception was made for members of the Walloon church, who could perform their own marriages.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Persoonskaarten

This is the fourth part of our Sources for Dutch genealogy series.

Persoonskaarten

Persoonskaarten (litt. person's cards, sing. persoonskaart) are the successor of the gezinskaarten we discussed earlier, and part of the population register. They are sufficiently different, though, to warrant a separate post.

These cards are the main source for post-war genealogy research in The Netherlands.

Why were they made?

There were some problems with the earlier family cards. Registrars had to create a new card when the family moved to another town. It was quite common for elder children to leave home (e.g. for a temporary job), and return later, sometimes several times, before they left home for good. Each time, they had to be removed from their parents' card and a new card had to be created, and when they returned their card had to be removed and their names added again to their parents' card. Because of all the copying from one card to the next, a lot of errors were made.

The persoonskaart had to solve these problems. For each person, a card was made after birth. The card was kept at the town hall. If someone moved to another town, their card was sent to their new town.

Persoonskaarten were used until 1994, when they were replaced by a computer-based registration.

What information do they have?

A persoonskaart lists a lot of information about a person: Name, date of birth, address, occupation, names and dates of birth of parents and spouses, religion, marriage dates, and (on the back) names and dates of birth of the children.

Where can I find them?

The cards of people deceased between 1939 and 1994 are kept at the Central Bureau for Genealogy (CBG), but they cannot be consulted. The only way to access them is by ordering copies. These have to be ordered in writing from the CBG. Current charges are €3.55 per card, plus an unspecified surcharge for sending them abroad. Contact the CBG for details.

Note that the CBG only holds cards from people who lived in The Netherlands at the time of their death, and not from people who emigrated and died abroad.

You can also order copies for people deceased after 1994. In that case, you will get a computer print-out. These become available in the second year after someone's death (for someone who passed away last year, the print-outs become available early next year).

On these copies, some data will be withheld. In particular, religion and addresses are usually missing, as are any sensitive remarks (e.g. a bankruptcy or imprisonment).

Nowadays, occupation and religion are not registered anymore in the population register.

An example

Let's have a look at the image (click to enlarge). It is the persoonskaart of Willempje Prins (1856-1942). It seems the original card is rather damaged, the vertically typed information on the far right states the reason: Brandschade door oorlogshandelingen (damage by fire caused by acts of war). Some cards were damaged (or lost) during the second world war, and this card is one of them.

At the far top there is the date 9Apr40 (9 April 1940), this is the date that the data on the card was compared to Willempje's birth act. After the cards were introduced in 1939, all cards were checked against the birth acts. Because of that, the cards contain very few errors.

The top row (fields 3-7) lists the name (Willempje Prins), date and place of birth (26 September 1856 in Huizen), the nationality (Ned[erlands], Dutch), the religion (not copied), and the occupation (zonder, without [occupation]). On the next row, the names of her the parents: Pieter [Prins] and Geertje Westland. Dates and places were left blank. Parents' birth dates are are usually not checked against acts of the civil register, so they may contain errors, or (as in this case) be absent.

The next row is for spouses. There is room for two spouses, if someone married more than twice the other spouses will be listed on the back. Willempje married only once, to Gijsbert Wiesenekker. The card lists the date of birth of Gijsbert (7 August 1855 in Huizen, province N[oord]H[olland]), the date of the marriage (4 February 1876 in Bussum), and the date the marriage ended (11 M[aa]rt, March, 1924). The O behind the latter date stands for Overlijden, decease: The marriage ended by death. In case of a divorce (scheiding), there would be an S behind the date.

The bottom half is for remarks and addresses. This part is only copied for older cards. On 8 (or 18?) June 1892, Willempje moved from Huizen to Bussum, address Veldheimerlaan 45. The remark dated 15 December 1941 is about her P[ersoons]B[ewijs], ID card, that became compulsory in 1941 (during the nazi occupation). Willempje's ID card had serial number 15475.

On the right is a block that is never copied when you order copies. On that spot, the death date is typed in (9 December 1942 in Bussum, this is typed in when your copy is made), and there is a short disclaimer.

Willempje had no live-in children when her card was made in 1939, otherwise they would have been listed on the back.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

The population register

This is the third part of our Sources for Dutch genealogy series.

The population register

The population register (bevolkingsregister) is similar to a census, but kept up to date. It was introduced nation-wide in 1850, but already existed in several places before that. The population register was maintained by the municipality.

Why were they made?

Nationwide censuses have taken place on a regular basis since 1828. However, information in censuses outdates quickly, and local magistrates needed a better system to keep track of their inhabitants.

What information do they have?

Population registers contained the same information as earlier censuses, but it was kept up to date.

For each household, you can find the names of the people in the household, with their dates and places of birth (in the oldest registers sometimes only the ages), occupations, religions, and family relations. Outdated information was removed (usually by crossing it out), new information was added all the time: New-borns were were added, the deceased were removed, and people who left the household were moved to another page.

Early registers were ordered by address, later registers by family name. But registers were kept in bound volumes, so it was not possible to add pages at the right location, and after a while the pages were out of order. There is usually a contemporary name index (and sometimes address index) to find information in the register.

Once in a while the register became too full (or too messy), and a new register was started. Data from the old register that was still relevant was copied into the new register, and the old register was archived away.

Because of all the copying, the population registers contain many errors. You should always check names and birth and death dates with the BMD acts of the civil register.

Around 1900 (earlier in some places, later in others), a new, loose-leave system was introduced: the so-called gezinskaarten (family cards). A full (or messy) page could easily be replaced, or an additional page could be added. These cards contain the same information as the earlier bound volumes, and when you look at scans or microfilmed copies, you may not even know you are dealing with gezinskaarten.

The gezinskaarten were replaced by persoonskaarten in 1939, this is the topic of the next post. Stay tuned!

Where can I find them?

Population registers can be found in local or regional archives. For towns without a local archive that do not participate in a regional archive, the registers can be consulted in the town hall. The Central Bureau for Genealogy has microfilmed copies of the population registers of many towns in their study room in The Hague. Unfortunately, population registers are rarely available online, and the LDS has filmed only a few registers.

Labels:

2 Comments:

Blogger Miriam said...

Hi, Henk,

How often were these registers updated? Was it done on a regular basis, like every New Year or every summer? Or were updates made as the registrars were informed of them?

How was new and updated information gathered? Were the citizens required to go to an office and give the new or updated information, or did the officials visit every home?

This is great information; thanks for educating us!

 
Blogger Henk said...

In most cases, they were updated as registrars were informed. People had to register events like births, deaths and changes of address at the town hall (actually, we still have to do that). The court would also inform registrars of certain events (e.g. divorces, bankruptcies, imprisonments). Registrars also made spot checks, but I'm not aware of any official guidelines for these checks. And once every ten years there was a national census, so that was also a good time to verify all information in the population register.

Of course, in small villages everyone knew everything about everyone, so the registrars also knew when it was time to update the registers.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

The BMD records of the civil register

This is the second part of our Sources for Dutch genealogy series.

The civil register

The civil register was introduced in 1811, after the annexation by Napoleon's French empire (some regions in the south were annexed earlier, so the civil register was also introduced earlier there). By French law, births and deaths had to be reported to the registrar within a few days, and the registrar would create an act of birth or death. All marriages had to take place before the registrar. A church marriage was not legally valid anymore, and indeed forbidden unless the couple married before the registrar first.

The Netherlands regained its independence when the French empire collapsed only a few years later, but the civil register, with its BMD (birth, marriage and death) acts, remained.

Early acts were written in French (in small towns and villages you may find acts in Dutch as well, probably because there was no French-speaking registrar to be found), later acts in Dutch. The structure of these acts is quite consistent over time and from place to place. With practice, it is possible to understand these acts even if you don't speak Dutch (see Reading and understanding Dutch birth acts). My Dutch genealogy dictionary contains many words and phrases you are likely to encounter in BMD acts.

Why were they made?

BMD acts of the civil register were created by the government, to keep track of births, marriages and deaths. One of the reasons for the civil register was conscription (also introduced in 1811): Birth and death acts proved how many (and which) men were of the right age.

What information do they have?

Birth acts

Birth act of Johannes Adrianus Pardoen

Births were often registered by the father. He had to bring two witnesses, usually relatives or colleagues but sometimes clerks who happened to be present (they were witnesses of the registration, not of the birth).

The birth act contains the name, gender and birth date of the child, and the names of its parents. For an example, see Reading and understanding Dutch birth acts.

The name of the child registered in the birth act is the official name of the child, even if it contains an obvious error. It would remain his/her official name throughout life. A name change (e.g. because of adoption, or legitimization of a child born out of wedlock after a subsequent marriage) is only valid if it is annotated on the birth act, so it is always possible to find out someone's official name from the birth act. Note that a woman's name does not change by her own marriage: She may use her husband's name, but officially she will always keep her maiden name as registered in the birth act.

Birth acts cannot be consulted until at least 100 years after creation.

Marriage acts

Marriage acts are the most interesting of the acts of the civil register, because they contain a lot of information: Names, ages, places of birth, places of residence and occupations of both spouses, names of the parents, whether the parents were still alive and if so, their places of residence and their occupations, names, ages, occupations and places of residence of the four witnesses. Witnesses were often close relatives or friends of the couple, though there are also many marriage acts where the witnesses were clerks or constables who happened to be at hand.

The couple had to supply documentary evidence of a few things, so genealogical data in the act is quite reliable. The documents they had to hand over (huwelijksbijlagen, marriage supplements) were archived too.

Marriage acts and supplements cannot be consulted until at least 75 years after creation.

Death acts

Deaths had to be registered by two people (they had to be men until well into the 20th century) who had first-hand knowledge of the death. In early acts the men were usually relatives, later it was often the undertaker and his assistant.

Death acts contain the name of the deceased and the date of their death, and (when known) the names of their spouse and parents and their occupation. Names of parents in 19th century death acts are often unreliable, especially if they passed away a long time before the act was made or if the deceased came from another city. Often, the registrar just wrote down what the declarants told him without checking.

Death acts do not list the cause of death.

Death acts cannot be consulted until at least 50 years after creation.

Where can I find them?

Acts were made up in duplicate. One copy remained at the town hall, the other copy (and the marriage supplements) was sent to the district court. The town hall copy often ended up in local or regional archives. If a town does not have a local archive and does not participate in a regional archive, the acts should still be kept at the town hall. The acts sent to the district court are now in provincial archives.

Many acts are now indexed online, e.g. in Genlias. There are microfilmed copies of many acts in the study room of the Central Bureau for Genealogy in The Hague and in the collection of the LDS (usually available for consultation in family history centers worldwide).

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

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?

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Trouwboekje

Introduced in the late 19th century, the trouwboekje (marriage booklet) has been handed out to married couples for over a century, as a proof of their marriage. If your Dutch ancestors emigrated in the early 20th century (or later), you (or one of your cousins) may well have their trouwboekje in your family archive.

Most married couples carefully kept their trouwboekje, and took it to the registrar when registering the births (or deaths) of their children. The booklets contain the details of the marriage (date and place) and basic genealogical data of both spouses (official names, place and date of birth, names of the parents), and have space to fill in the names, births and deaths of the children, and the deaths of the spouses. The booklet contains several pages with the regulations for birth and death registrations and registration in the population register.

These documents never had an official status (there is no legal basis for them), but they were often used as identification, or proof of age or marriage.

You will find these booklets only in family archives, and not in state archives, family history centers or the internet.

The photos below show the pages of the 1904 marriage booklet of Hendrik van Kampen and Geertje Wiesenekker.

Labels:

2 Comments:

Blogger Miriam said...

Thank you! I learned something new. I willhave to contact other descendants of my Dutch immigrant ancestors to see if anyone has any trouwboekjen with their family documents.

 
Blogger Henk said...

You're welcome, Miriam. I hope you'll succeed in locating them.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

1811

In 1810, The Netherlands were annexed by the French empire of Napoleon. This did not last long (the French empire collapsed after the failed Russian expedition of 1813), but it did have lasting consequences. French law was introduced in 1810-1811, and generally remained in place after 1813. For genealogists, 1811 is the turning point because of the introduction of the civil register.

Some of the changes relevant for Dutch genealogy research:

  • The most important change from a genealogist's point of view is the introduction of the civil register on 1 January 1811. Since that day, all births, deaths and marriages have to be registered by the local government. The civil register is the main source for Dutch genealogy research in the 19th and early 20th century (for privacy reasons, most 20th and 21st century records are not accessible).
  • In 1810-1811, church registers were confiscated by the government, to be used in place of the civil register for the years before 1811. These church registers are still government property and readily available in Dutch archives (and on microfilm in many family history centers). They are the main sources for 17th and 18th century research. Post-1811 church registers are usually still church property and often hard to find and access.
  • Surnames became required and fixed. Surnames were in use long before 1811, but there was often no fixed spelling, and no requirement to use the father's surname. In the rural areas of the north and east, people often had no fixed surname at all, but used patronyms, nicknames, or the name of the farm they lived and worked on. Since 1811, everyone gets the father's surname (or mother's if she's unmarried), and surnames can only be changed by royal decree or court order.
  • Conscription was introduced in 1810 and existed until 1996.

These changes are just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to discuss these and other 1810/1811 changes in the comments below.

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Record precise locations as they were

In his post Tips from the Pros: Record Precise Locations as They Were (on Ancestry's 24/7 Family History Circle blog), George G. Morgan states:

"For each of your ancestors' vital dates (birth, marriage, and death), always record the precise location as it existed at the time of the event. That means listing the town, the county or parish, and the state for U.S. events. For foreign locations, the town, province, and county should be recorded."

So, what would you need to record for The Netherlands? Not the county - that may be extremely important for genealogical research in e.g. England, but it does not make sense for The Netherlands.

Since 1813, The Kingdom of The Netherlands (excluding overseas territories) is divided in provinces (currently twelve), which are divided in municipalities. For events after 1813 you need to record the place (town, city, village, hamlet, etc.), the municipality, and the province.

From 1810 to 1813, The Netherlands were part of the French empire. For events in this era, most people nowadays record the province and municipality as it was after 1813.

The years 1795-1810 were rather volatile. Places are usually recorded as they were before 1795.

Before 1795, the Dutch Republic consisted of seven provinces with voting rights (Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelre (or Gelderland), Friesland, Groningen and Overijssel), one without voting rights (Drenthe), and occupied territories in the south (parts of Brabant, Limburg, and Flanders). For events in this period, record place and province. For some places, you may need extra identifying information because there are multiple places with the same name.

Recording places as they were at the time is less important for The Netherlands than it is for some other countries, as the current location of major genealogical records is nearly always decided by the current municipality and province a place is in, and usually not by the jurisdiction it may have been a part of in the past. So always try to find out the current municipality and province as well.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Times in Dutch acts

Dutch acts usually contain the time of birth, death or marriage. In the 19th and early 20th century, times were usually rounded to the nearest half hour, and written in the 12-hour notation. After that, times became more precise, and the 24-hour notation was used.

Whole hours are easy to understand, you only need to know the first twelve numerals: één (or een), twee, drie, vier, vijf, zes, zeven, acht (in older acts also agt), negen, tien, elf, twaalf. You can also find these numerals in any Dutch dictionary, or in the Dutch genealogy dictionary. The time will often be written as om .. uur, ten .. uur or ten .. ure: om zes uur, ten zes ure , at six o'clock.

Half hours will have the word half before the numeral of the next hour, and the word uur is sometimes dropped. So om half zes and ten half zes uur (litt. half six) both mean at half past five, and not at half past six!

Modifiers used to distinguish between a.m. and p.m. can be voor de middag, des voormiddags, des voordemiddags (litt. before midday) for a.m., and na de middag, des namiddags, des nademiddags (litt. after midday) for p.m., or they contain the part of day: des nachts (at night), des ochtends or des morgens (in the morning), des middags (in the afternoon), des avonds (in the evening). The prefix des is occasionally (in modern Dutch usually) abbreviated to 's.

Some examples:

des middags ten twaalf uurnoon
des morgens ten negen uur9 a.m.
des namiddags ten acht ure8 p.m.
des namiddags te half drie ure2:30 p.m.

Labels: , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home