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The Dutch East India Company (VOC) had been set up in the early seventeenth century to maximise Dutch trade interests in the Malay archipelago. By 1700, a colonial pattern was well established; the (VOC) had grown to become a state-within-a-state and the dominant power in the archipelago. Its method of indirect rule was to survive it. After the bankrupt company was liquidated on 1 January 1800, its territorial possessions became the property of the Dutch government.
For most of the Dutch East Indies history, and that of the VOC before it, Dutch control over these territories was tenuous; only in the early 20th century did Dutch dominance extend to what was to become the boundaries of modern-day Indonesia. Although Java was under Dutch domination for most of the 350 years of the combined VOC and Dutch East Indies era, many areas remained independent for much of this time including Aceh, Lombok, and Borneo.
The invasion and occupation of Indonesia during World War II, brought about the destruction of the colonial state in Indonesia, as the Japanese removed as much of the Dutch state as they could, replacing it with their own regime.
A four-year guerrilla war led by nationalists against the Dutch on Java after World War II, along with successful diplomatic maneuverings abroad, helped bring about independence. The Republic of Indonesia, officially proclaimed on August 17th, 1945, gained sovereignty four years later.
Dutch Genealogy in Indonesia
The Family History Library has a large film collection of Europeans in the Netherlands Indies which includes baptisms, marriages, deaths, wills, notarial records, etc. It is the FHL collection of PC Bloys van Trelong Prins. The record is written in Dutch.
Another collection is a list of European inhabitants of the Netherlands Indies, now Indonesia, annually from 1864-1902. It also includes names registered in civil births, marriages and deaths. Fiche #6002149 (155 fiche) is also written in Dutch.
Many Dutch citizens were given pensions by the Netherlands for their service in Indonesia. These records have also been filmed by the Family History Library on 10 rolls of film. This collection is called the "Registers of Indonesian pensions:1815-1940". It is written in Dutch.
See the 3 FamilySearch Tutorials on "Reading Dutch Written Records"
For more records in the Family History Library, go to the Family History Library Catalog and do a Locality search:
INDONESIA - CIVIL REGISTRATION
INDONESIA - MINORITIES
INDONESIA - CHURCH RECORDS