Netherlands Civil RegistrationEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

Netherlands Homepage

Contents

Burgelijke Stand / Civil Registration

General Historical Background

The earliest vital records in the Netherlands were kept by the churches. Civil authorities began recording marriages and often also deaths of nonconformists in 1575. France annexed the country between 1795 and 1811.

On 6 January 1811 the French Imperial (Napoleon) decree served notice that by 1 March 1811 all births, marriages and deaths had to be recorded by the civil authorities of each municipality. The civil officers were made responsible for keeping vital records. Civil registration was accomplished by requiring the people to report all births, marriages, and deaths to a civil registration office [Burgerlijke Stand], located in the municipality [gemeente]. After Napoleon's defeat, the Dutch government continued the civil registration system.

In Limburg and parts of Zeeland, civil registration began as early as 1795, because they had already been conquered by France. They cover the entire population and have one year and 10 year indexes. Civil registration records are the most important source for genealogical research in the Netherlands and are easily accessible.

Index at WieWasWie.nl

A signficant database of extracted civil registration records from all over the Netherlands can be found at WieWasWie or English Version . This is a joint effort of the government archives in the Netherlands. WieWasWie is a database in development. New information is added frequently. It should be noted that it replaces Genlias, which was removed from the web in 2012. The information in WieWasWie is taken directly from the Civil Register, the most important Dutch source for genealogical research. Since 1811 the most important events in the life of every person resident in the Netherlands – birth, marriage and death – have been systematically recorded. Marriage records from all provinces were entered first into the system. Most of the participating archives are also entering records of birth and death. As of April 2015 over 107 million records have been extracted and posted. 

Not all the information contained in a record is included in the index. Only the essential data you need to reconstruct your family tree will be included. Once you find a person on WieWasWie.nl, you can often view the original document by clicking a link on the same page, on Zoekakten or on some of the provincial archive websites such as AlleDrenters for Drenthe or Alle Gronigers for Groningen.

Geboorten / Births

The following information will usually be found in a birth entry:

  • The name of the child.
  • The birth date of the child.
  • The birth place of the child.
  • The name of the child's parents.
  • The residence of the parents
  • The age and occupation of the parents. 
  • The names, ages, occupations, and residences of the witnesses.
  • The relationships of the witnesses to the child, if any.
  • The age and occupation of the parents.
  • It will never say if the child is legitimate or illegitimate.

If a child was born out of wedlock it will  not usually mention a father, even if he is known. If the child's parents do later marry and the father acknowledge the child as his, it will mention this in the margin.At that time the last name of the child will also change from the mother's last name to the father's last name. If the father later acknowledges his child, the child's surname will change to that of his father. Remember this when searching in other records.

Finding Birth records

Step 1. Find where the record is available.

Remember that civil registration is kept by each municipality. Not every town has its own municipality. To find which municipality a town was in, go to that towns page on Zoekakten(see below), and click on 'algemene info". It will give municipalities and the relevant dates.

The following sources should be consulted

  • WatZitErIn lists what is available on WieWasWie for every place in the Netherlands.
  • Zoekakten has images of nearly every Dutch civil registration record. It links to FamilySearch, but breaks down films for easier viewing.
  • Geneaknowhow many contain links to other indexes and family reconstructions

Step 2. Find the entry for your ancestor.

If there are indexes available, use these to search for the record you are looking for. Remember that all indexes have mistakes, so try another index or search manually if you can't find what you are looking for. Otherwise, Zoekakten has images of tienjarige-tafels(ten year tables) and one year indexes. The one year indexes are located at the end of each year's records. Ten year tables are located separately. The names will be alphabetically, though sometimes only the first letter is alphabetized. It will have the date of the record, though not the record number. Parents names will not be given.

If there are several candidates for the person you are looking for, you will need to view each record to ascertain which is correct. If their name is common, e.g. Jan Jansen, this could be a lot of work. If the person you are looking for married, always look at their marriage supplements to find an extracted copy of their birth record.

Eliminate the entries that contradict what you know about your ancestor. Check death records to see if any of the children died before your ancestor did. Check marriage records to see if any of the children married someone other than your ancestor's spouse (but remember that your ancestor may have married more than once).

Step 3. Copy the doucument, record the information.

If viewing via Zoekakten/FamilySearch, download the document to your computer. If viewing an index or transcription, always view the original. Most records on WieWasWie will have a link straight to the image. The original document may contain additional information. Some indexes will inevitability have errors.Make sure you know the sources you used, the year, and the municipality the document is from.

Step 4. Find the entries for each brother and sister of your ancestor.

Once you have the entry for your ancestor, find the entries for your ancestor's brothers and sisters:

  • Search the birth records for entries of your ancestor's brothers and sisters.
  • Search local death records or the birth records from surrounding municipalities maybe check the web-sites), especially if there are gaps of 3 or more years between the births of siblings. Gaps of 3 or more years may indicate there was another child.
  • To make sure you have found entries of all the family members, search death records and birth records of surrounding municipalities for any additional children.
  • Search for children born before the parents' marriage. Children may have been born under the mother's maiden name. Sometimes the father's name is not given.

Step 5. Analyze the information you obtain from the birth record.

To effectively use the information from the birth record, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this the birth entry of my direct line ancestor? Because names are so common, you must be sure you have the correct record.
  • Did more than 3 years pass since the birth of the last child? If so, another child may have been stillborn(check deaths) or born in a neighboring municipality.
  • Did you search 5 years without finding any earlier birth entries of children? If you find no other entries, then begin looking for the parents' marriage record.

Huwelijken / Marriage

The following information will usually be found in a marriage entry:

  • The names of the bride and the groom
  • The ages, residence, birthplace and occupations of the bride and groom. 
  • The date of your ancestors' marriage.
  • The names of the  parents and their residence and occupation, if living.
  • Whether the bride and groom were single or widowed before the marriage.
  • The names of the witnesses, their ages, occupations, residence, and relationship to the bride or groom, if any.

The following records will usually be found in a Huwelijksbijlagen(Marriage supplement)

  • Copies of birth or baptism records of bride and groom
  • Military conscription record of groom, containing name, birthdate, and parents, and sometimes a physical description
  • Copies of death or burial records of deceased former
  • Copies of death or burial records of parents, if the marrying person is under 30(and sometimes if they are over 30)
  • In earlier years(pre 1850), if both parents are dead, and they are under 30, death or burials records of grandparents.

The following records related to marriage also exist

  • Marriage Intentions [Huwelijksaangiften] were made a few days before the first marriage proclamation. The couple were required to announce their intention to marry in the residence of both bride and groom. This allowed other community members the opportunity to raise any objections to the marriage. The intentions give the couple’s names, ages, marital statuses before the marriage, occupations, and residences. From 1811 to 1879 the records were combined with the marriage proclamations in one register. After 1879 they were placed in separate registers. They were not prepared in duplicate and are not indexed. Marriage intentions were discontinued in 1935.
  • Marriage Proclamations [Huwelijksafkondigingen], also called marriage banns, were published for two weeks in a row. They provide the couple’s names, ages, marital statuses before the marriage, occupations, and residences. They also give the names of the parents and their occupations, residences, and marital statuses. Like the marriage intentions, the proclamations were not prepared in duplicate and are not indexed. They were kept in the same register as the intentions until 1879 and were discontinued in 1935.
  • Marriage Consents [Huwelijkstoestemmingen]. Parents were normally present at the wedding and stated that they gave their consent for the couple to marry. If parents were absent, their written permission would be included with the marriage supplements. Beginning in 1913, separate registers were used to record the parents’ permission for the bride and groom to marry.

Finding Marriage records

Step 1. Find where the record is available.

Remember that civil registration is kept by each municipality. Not every town has its own municipality. To find which municipality a town was in, go to that towns page on Zoekakten(see below), and click on 'algemene info". It will give municipalities and the relevant dates.

The following sources should be consulted

  • WatZitErIn lists what is available on WieWasWie for every place in the Netherlands.
  • Zoekakten has images of nearly every Dutch civil registration record. It links to FamilySearch, but breaks down films for easier viewing.
  • Geneaknowhow many contain links to other indexes and family reconstructions

Step 2. Find the entry for your ancestor.

If there are indexes available, use these to search for the record you are looking for. Remember that all indexes have mistakes, so try another index or search manually if you can't find what you are looking for.

Otherwise, Zoekakten has images of tienjarige-tafels(ten year tables) and one year indexes. The one year indexes are located at the end of each year's records. Ten year tables are located separately. The names will be alphabetically, though sometimes only the first letter is alphabetized. It will have the date of the record, though not the record numbers.

Step 3. View the Huwelijksbijlagen(Marriage Supplements).

Use Zoekakten to view marriage supplements. Note the aktenummer(record number), for they are arranged in order of number. In some places the number is placed prominently in the corner of the image on a white card(added by the film taker). In most places each marriage has a title page giving the number, groom, and number of pages(not necessarily the number of images) . Finding the record you are after can be a long process, but it is worth it. As a general rule when searching, each marriage takes 5-6 images. Use this, the month, and the record number(Zoekakten often has the number of marriages that year displayed), to make an estimate of where to look first. Then either look in the corner, or go forward to the next title page, to decide your next move.


Step 4. Copy the doucuments, record the information.

If viewing via Zoekakten/FamilySearch, download the document to your computer. If viewing an index or transcription, always view the original. Most records on WieWasWie will have a link straight to the image. The original document may contain additional information. Some indexes will inevitability have errors.

Make sure you know the source, the year and the municipality the document is from.


Echtscheidingen / Divorce Records

Divorce cases are handled by the district courts. A record of the divorce will be recorded at the back of the marriage register of the municipality where the couple lived at the time of their divorce. For large cities in later years they will be in separate registers. There is sometimes a note in the margin of the original marriage record. Divorces before the 20th century were uncommon.

Overlijden / Deaths

Death records are especially helpful because they may provide important information on a person’s birth, spouse, and parents. Civil death records often exist for individuals whom there are no birth or marriage records for. Deaths were usually registered within three days of the death in the municipality where the person died. If the deceased person was not a resident of that town, often a copy would be sent to that person's residence.

Information you can find in the death record:

  • The names of the deceased
  • The date of  death.
  • The names of the deceased's parents.
  • The names of their' spouse.
  • The age of the deceased at the time of death
  • The place of their birth.
  • The occupation of the deceased.
  • The names of the witnesses, their ages, occupations, residence, and relationship if any.

Remember, married women are always recorded under their maiden surname. The informant’s name (often a relative) is also given.
Information about parents, the birth date and birthplace of the deceased, and other information in a death record may be inaccurate since the person who gave the information may not have had complete information.

Children who died before the declaration of birth was made, are recorded as stillborn and are found only in the death records. This also means that when a child is recorded as stillborn it may not necessarily be true, as a birth had to be recorded within 3 days of birth. In other words, if the child died within those three days, it would most likely not be recorded in the birth records.

When looking for a stillborn child you may have to look in the index under 'L' for 'Levenloos' (stillborn), or under the father's or mother's last name.

Those people who were born without a fixed surname are probably recorded under a different name (like a patronymic surname) in the death records.

Overlijden/ Deaths after 1940

The Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie or cbg has records of everyone who has died since 1940.

Examples of Records

Following are examples of birth, marriage and death records translated from original records:

Civil Registration - births

Number ninety-one

Today, the 6th of August eighteen hundred sixty -three, appeared before us (name of registrar) Frederic Louis Rambonnet, Burgermeester (mayor) , official of the civil registration office of the Gemeente Wijhe; Jan Westerveld, age forty years, day laborer, living in Wijhe, assisted by two witnesses, the first one named Lucas Eikelboom, age forty-nine years, farmer or builder (occupation) , and the second Hendrikus Johannes Christinus van Assen, age thirty-three years, blacksmith (occupation) , living in Wijhe, who has declared before us that his wife Willemina de Weerd, a laborer by occupation on the sixth of this [month] in the morning at three o’clock gave birth to a child of female gender , and to whom the first name of Martha Hendrika is given, from which declaration we have created this record, which, after having been read, is signed by us and the witnesses.


Civil Registration - marriages


Number eighteen

Today, the twenty-ninth of April in the year one thousand eight hundred fifty-eight, appeared before us Willem Christiaan Theodorus van Nahuijs, mayor, official of the civil registration office of the gemeente Wijhe in the public area of the town hall

Jan Westerveld, age thiry-five years, born and living in Wijhe , day laborer, of age son of Gerrit Westerveld, and of Marta Dollemans, by occupation farmers (or builders) , both living in Wijhe, and Willemina de Weerd, age thirty-three years, born in Heerde and living in Wijhe, day laborer, widow of Aalt Huge van de Beek, of age daughter of Hendrik Jan Geerlig de Weerd, and of Jennigje Boldewijn, both deceased

who asked us to perform their anticipated marriage, for which the public announcements had been made in front of the main door of the city hall here, on Sunday, the eighteenth, and Sunday, the twenty-fifth of April eighteen hundred fifty-eight, at eleven o’clock in the morning.

Since no objections to the said marriage were known to us, we have, after the future marriage partners had declared that they would take each other for spouses and dutifully fulfill all their duties, which are associated by the Law with the state of matrimony , declared in the name of the Law that

Jan Westerveld and Willemina de Weerd are united in marriage.

Of which we have created this record in the presence of

Lammert Halfwerk, age fourty-nine years, capenter, Willem Neppelenbroek, age fifty-three years, farmer Jozienus Eduard van Assen, age thirty-two years, employed by the Canton, and Jan Willem Broekhus, age fifty-four years, day laborer, all living in Wijhe, who have signed this record, after it had been read , together with us and the contracting parties.

Death Record

Number twenty-six

Today the seventeenth of March eighteen hundred fifty-seven appeared before us, Willem Christiaan Theodorus van Nahuijs, mayor, official of the civil registration office of the gemeente Wijhe

Jan Westerveld, age thirty-four years, and Berend Gerrits van der Wijk, age forty-three years, day laborers, both living in Wijhe

who have told us that Aalt Huge van de Beek, age thirty-nine years, born in Hattem, day laborer, spouse of Willemina de Weerd, by occupation a day laborer, living in Wijhe, son of Jan van de Beek and Fennigje Kolkers, day laborers living inHattem

living in Wijhe, has died on the sixteenth of this months at three o’clock in the afternoon at his home in the hamlet of Herxen.

Of which declaration we have written up this record, which, after having been read, was signed by us and the first witness; the second one did not know how to write.


Marriage Supplements (Huwelijksbijlagen)

1. Extract of the husband’s birth

Overijssel Province Gemeente Wijhe

Civil Registration

Extract from the birth register of the above-named Gemeente

In the year one thousand eight hundred twenty-two on the twenty-first of the month of December was born Jan , son of Gerrit Westerveld and Marta Dollemans

As extract the mayor , official of the civil registration of the gemeente Wijhe. Wijhe, 17 April 1858


2. Extract of the wife’s birth

Civil Registration

Province Gelderland Arrondissement Arnhem Gemeente Heerde

Extract From the birth register of the Gemeente Heerde was extracted that Willemina, daughter of Hendrik Jan Geerlig de Weerd and Jennigje Boldewyn- married couple- was born on the seventh of April eighteen hundred thirty five crossed out and corrected in the margin to “eighteen hundred twenty five” in Heerde.

[signed by the registrar and certified as a proper copy on the bottom]

3. Militia certificate

National Militia Province Overijssel Certificate

The King’s commissioner in the province of Overijssel declares that Jan Westerveld, born in Wijhe on 21 December 1822, chair maker, son of Gerrit and of Marta Dollemans, by occupation nietdekken is enrolled in the National Militia in the gemeente of Wijhe, that in the lottery he received number 34, and that he is exempt in accordance with the decision made by the military council, which was held at Zwolle, .................... ......................... ................................... .

Given in Zwolle, on 15 April 1858

the King’s Commissioner in the Province

The block on the left of the document, if filled in, provides a physical description of the individual (height, stature, eye/hair color, shape of face, chin etc. )

4. Death certificate of the wife’s first husband

Province Overijssel Gemeente Wijhe Civil Registration

Extract from the death register of the above-named Gemeente

In the year one thousand eight hundred fifty-seven on the sixth of the month of March has passed away Aalt Huge van der Beek, husband of Willemina de Weerd.

Certified by the mayor, official of the civil registration office in the Gemeente Wijhe.

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:


 

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 17 May 2015, at 04:40.
  • This page has been accessed 6,075 times.