Trace your Dutch roots

Your bi-monthly guide to finding your Dutch ancestors

About this newsletter

Bi-monthly newsletter on Dutch genealogy research. Issue #3. Publication date 9 December 2006.

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Welcome to the December issue of this newsletter.

In this issue:

The next issue is planned for the second week of February. Topic suggestions may be sent to

Amsterdam City Archive closing temporarily

The Amsterdam City Archive will move to a new location. The current location at the Amsteldijk will close 22 January 2007. The City Archive will reopen on its new location on 24 April 2007. There are no announcements yet in their newsletter or on their website about the amount of service they intend to provide during the three months they are closed - I assume they can be reached by phone or e-mail, but service will be limited.

More information (in Dutch) on Het Gemeentearchief verhuist (The City Archive moves).

Website of the month

Every newsletter we will discuss a resource for Dutch genealogy that is available online. This month: Digital resources Netherlands and Belgium.

A huge amount of Dutch genealogical information is available on the internet, usually for free. From mega-projects sponsored and executed by Dutch archives to transcriptions of two-pages documents hidden somewhere on someone's personal website, information on your ancestors can be found anywhere.

Digital resources Netherlands and Belgium provides an index to source transcriptions and indexes to sources (but not family trees). Resources are listed by province, and grouped by town, so you need to find out where your ancestors lived first.

Find your ancestor's province in the navigation menu on the left, then click internet below the province name for online resources (or disk for resources that are sold on disk). The list starts with provincial and regional sources, and then goes on to list local resources. You probably want to check out all the provincial resources, and all resources available for your ancestor's town. Don't forget to check out the neighbouring towns and villages!

Many gems can be found on these pages. I will list just five of them, chosen more or less randomly:

  • Province Zuid-Holland, Rotterdam: A list of men from Rotterdam that served in Napoleon's grande armée in 1812.
  • Province Limburg, Nunhem: Index files about the fortune of the cloister Sint Elisabeth van Reguliere Kanunnikken van Sint Augustinus, 13th-18th century.
  • Province Utrecht, Dwarsdijk: Condition of the harvest of 1795.
  • Province Gelderland, Winterswijk: A list of emigrants to America from Winterswijk and surrounding villages in the period 1840-1883.
  • Province Noord-Holland, Beverwijk: A list of able-bodied men from 1653.

Genealogy in Zuid-Holland

Tracing your roots online in Zuid-Holland is harder than in other provinces, because many towns and cities do not participate in Genlias. In other provinces, Genlias records are generally added and maintained by the provincial archives. Zuid-Holland, however, does not have a provincial archive (provincial records are maintained by the National Archives in The Hague). It is up to the local and regional archives to decide whether to take part in Genlias or not.

Places that are not represented in Genlias include major cities like Rotterdam, The Hague, Leiden, Delft, and Gouda. These cities have their own database of civil register records. Other towns participate in regional projects. Places that do not take part in Genlias and do not have their own online database (or participate in a regional project) will eventually be added to Genlias by the National Archives.

Of the 86*) municipalities in Zuid-Holland, 53 have at least some records in Genlias, 21 do not have records in Genlias but do participate in another project, and 12 do not yet have civil register records online. My article Genealogy in Zuid-Holland contains a complete list. For the latest information on Zuid-Holland records in Genlias, check out Archives in Zuid-Holland and Genlias and Actual content (both on the Genlias website).

Further reading:

Useful links

*) Count of 1 January 2006. Current count is lower because of mergers.

Season's greetings

The editors of Trace your Dutch roots wish you Prettige kerstdagen en Gelukkig nieuwjaar, Merry Christmas and a Happy new year.

©2006 Henk van Kampen. All rights reserved.