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Guide to Netherlands ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

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The periodical Gens Nostra of August/September 2010 has a special edition which contains of passports for travelers issued in Rotterdam from 1745-1783 It has 56 pages of names and places of people who travelled within the Netherlands, Europe and beyond.

Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal/Woordenboek der Friese taal online!

See: Dictionary of the Frisian language

Genealogy courses: Learn how to research from an expert in The Netherlands courses.

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Getting started with research in the Netherlands

When you have Dutch ancestors you are one lucky person as many records have been put on websites that are available to all at no cost.
For more information please look below in: Research Tools   

Between about 1550 and 1811, the main source for Netherlands Genealogy is Church Records. After 1811, the main source is Civil Registration.

After 1850, Population Registers and Censuses can also be useful. Military Records are also useful after 1811.

Church records and Civil Registration are available free through FamilySearch and some population registers are free online elsewhere.


Netherlands Map from Research Guidance.jpg

The capital city of the Netherlands is Amsterdam, but the government buildings are located in Den Haag (The Hague) where the Noordeinde Palace, from where reigning King Willem-Alexander performs his duties.


The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces, the last one - Flevoland - was created from part of the former Zuider Zee/IJsselmeer on 1 January 1986.


The second tier of jurisdiction and the one most relevant for genealogy, especially after 1811, is the gemeente (municipality). There are currently 393 of them, down from about 1200 in 1811. Links to pages listing municipalities and the towns within them can be found on the page for the relevant province.

Research Tools

Some sources in determining place of origin

Trace Your Dutch Roots

BYU Research Guide for The Netherlands

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

Other Websites

Research at the CBG We can help you to search for information about your ancestors in the Netherlands. For advice please contact us. You may find some specific information in the following downloadable brochures:

Searching for Your Ancestors in the Netherlands. CBG brochure When you find an ancestor from 'Holland' or ' The Netherlands' you would be curious if additional information existed in Dutch sources. The Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie can help you to search for that information about your ancestors in the Netherlands.

Personal Record Cards and Personal Record Lists CBG brochure Personal Record Cards were introduced in the Netherlands in 1938 and used to register information on every inhabitant of the Netherlands regardless of nationality. Since October 1, 1994 the population registration in the Netherlands is automized. The personal record card was replaced by so called Personal Record Lists. Since this Central Register of Deceased Persons contains a lot of important information for genealogical and biographical research purposes, the CBG is allowed to provide information on written request.

List of Dutch Genealogical Researchers. CBG brochure Experienced Dutch genealogical researchers can help you to search for additional information in Dutch records.

Latest update: 8 April 2015

The Website Digital Resources Netherlands and Belgium contains hundreds of links to all kinds of resources. Their sister site "Van Papier naar Digitaal" contains images and transcriptions of Church records and pre-1811 censuses for many places throughout the Netherlands.

FamilyTreeSeeker is an index to (Dutch) family trees on the web. Those are trees on personal sites, and community sites like Genealogie Online (mentioned below).

Genealogie Online - publish your family tree for free, search for your ancestors

Build Your Online Family Tree, Share Your Family History And Learn More About Your Ancestors

WieWasWie (WhoWasWho) is the official website for Dutch civil registration records. It is the most comprehensive genealogical database in the Netherlands, containing births, marriages and deaths from 1811, as well as some Military Registers, Church records(pre 1811), and Family Notices in newspapers. Archives in all the provinces participate in this website to publish indexes and sometimes even scans of their records. More than 104 million names have been indexed as of February 2015.  

Zoekakten was created because it is not always easy to find images of Civil registration and Church records on FamilySearch, since one film can contain more than one set of records and can have thousands of images. When you select the locality, record type, and time period, the site opens the image viewer at the proper page, saving researchers a lot of time. The site is in Dutch, but it links back to this wiki for help on the Dutch language. Note that is replaces Genver, which closed down in 2013.

Since 1993, this site has helped people of Dutch descent research their Dutch ancestors.

Many articles explain the research opportunities in the Netherlands, both offline and online. Other articles give background information about Dutch history in general and emigration in particular. Special attention is given to online research, with many links to useful websites.

This website is brought to you by Yvette Hoitink, a professional genealogist in the Netherlands who specializes in researching Dutch ancestors for people around the world.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries Encyclopedias may provide information on all branches of knowledge or treat specific topics comprehensively, usually in alphabetically arranged articles. They often contain information of great interest for genealogical research, including articles about towns and places, prominent people, minorities, and religions. They can give information about diverse subjects, such as record-keeping practices, laws, customs, commerce, costumes, occupations, and archaic terminology.

The Family History Library has general-knowledge encyclopedias from the Netherlands (in Dutch) along with Dutch-English and English-Dutch dictionaries. The encyclopedias and dictionaries are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under THE NETHERLANDS - ENCYCLOPEDIAS AND DICTIONARIES.

The following is a good Dutch dictionary:

Title Cassell's English-Dutch, Dutch-English dictionary = Engels-Nederlands, Nederlands-Engels woordenboek Kramer, Jacob, 1802-1869. Kramers' Engels Woordenboek Call Number 439.31321 Ca272 Publication London : Cassell, 1982 New York, New York : Macmillan Publishers Limited Physical xiv, 602, vii, 729 p. ; 19 cm. ISBN/ISSN 0025229400 Title Also Known As Cassell's Dutch dictionary Engels-Nederlands, Nederlands-Engels woordenboek English-Dutch, Dutch-English dictionary Kramers' Engels woordenboek

Dutch-English online dictionary

See the 3 FamilySearch Tutorials on "Reading Dutch Written Records" 

Research Strategies

Introduction to the Netherlands Search Strategies

Record Selection Table

  • (helpful tools and resources, gazetteers)
  • (language dictionary, handwriting guide or tutorial, etc.)

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  • This page was last modified on 21 August 2015, at 01:53.
  • This page has been accessed 149,459 times.