If you have ancestors who emigrated from the Netherlands there is a lot of useful advice and information in the genealogy section of the goDutch.com website, including -- The Basics: A Guide Articles about Genealogy ...
Below are quotes from a few articles:
- Genealogy is the basic part of family history. It gives you the names, dates and places. Family history fills out the genealogy.
- Even though genealogy is a hobby for me, I have also incorporated it into my job, teaching. As part of my Grade 11 French course I have the students research their family roots. They have to do at least four generations beyond themselves.
- It was through a 50th wedding anniversary notice that I was able to find where my mother-in-law's maternal grandparents lived and died. From there I was able to trace those particular families back another one hundred years.
- At all times make sure you keep track of the source of your information. If someone (or you yourself) ever want to check the information you will have to know from where it came. Your final information should be kept on proper forms. The information can then be easily photocopied and sent to others who are interested in your family history.
- ... ask at the nearest Family History Centre of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS, also known as the Mormon Church). Call the local LDS church to see where the closest Family History Centre is located.
- There is one other very important organization in the Netherlands, the Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBvG), which forms part of a genealogical/archive complex in the Hague (Postbus 11755, 2502 AT The Hague). This government subsidized organization was established in 1945 to help and advise in genealogical research and to do limited research. For a fee they will do limited research for you.
- When you go back before 1812, you have to know what the religion was of your ancestor. The major churches were the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (after 1815 known as the Nederlands Hervormde Kerk, NHK), the Remonstrantse Broederschap, the Doopsgezinde Kerk (Mennonite) and the Rooms Katholieke Kerk (RK). In the large centres one could also find various other churches, English and Scottish, Jewish, Walloon (French) and Lutheran.
- The best way to record a date is as I have done above - 25 January 1750 (or 25 Jan 1750 -- blog aministrator) . A date such as 12-11-1749 is not very clear. To an European this means 12 November 1749. To most North Americans this date means December 11, 1749.
- A patronymic name means that you have your given name as your first name and your father's given name as your last name, usually with a form of the letter "s" attached, for example, in my case I would be Anthony Jacobs, Anthony my given name, Jacob my father's given name. Jacobs also can appear as Jacobssen, Jacobse, Jacobszn (zn being the short form in Dutch for son), etc. I have seen some cases where three or four of these names have been strung together thereby giving you three or four generations on the father's side.
- Napoleon also had a major effect on genealogy in the Netherlands. In 1806 Napoleon had a law passed that people in the Netherlands had to adopt a last name (family name). In this way he could keep better track of his citizens. Name adoption (naamsaanneming) records start in Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg in 1808. Elsewhere name adoption records commence in 1811 or 1812. Some others were as late as 1825.
- In 1812 my wife's forebear Reinder Jochems adopted the surname, Neef, for all his children - Jochem, Jan, Berend and Wobbigje. Wobbigje, Berend and Jochem's children (Jochem had died in 1806) took on the name Neef. Jan had taken on the name Hoornstra (he lived in a different county). However, by the time 1815 arrived Jochem's children had changed their last name to Vos or de Vos. How confusing!
- Additionally, fires, floods and hostilities are responsible for many records having been lost over the centuries. You will usually find that the minister or clerk responsible for keeping the records will make a note in the register that certain years are missing due to floods, war, etc. Sometimes you will find that a clerk put the records in a safe place and then later couldn't remember where he had put them. Sometimes the records were stolen.
- For the family historian the wills and land transactions give us an excellent insight into our forebear's life.
- If one of the parents was seriously ill, they had a guardian (or guardians) appointed to make sure the other spouse looked after the child/children. In these records you often find the ages of the children. The other important thing about these records is that brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and sometimes grandparents were named.
- If a grandfather's name had not yet been used and a daughter was born, the daughter was given a masculine name with a feminine ending - for example Jacoba (Jacob, Jacobus), Teuntje (Teunis), Jantje (Jan) and Adriaantje (Adriaan).
- I would suggest that you engage a researcher at the Mormon depository in Salt Lake City to do your work if it is not too involved.
- A good guide for research in Switzerland and Germany is Angus Baxter's book "In Search of your European Roots". This book is also an excellent guide to research in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
- As well as the internet there is e-mail. E-mail makes a quick exchange of information possible. Through e-mail and the internet many connections can be made with family previously not known.