Netherlands, Zuid-Holland Province, Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Access the records: Netherlands, Zuid-Holland Province Civil Registration .

Title in the Language of the Records

Zuid-Holland Burgerlijke Stand

Record Description

The events are recorded either totally by hand or in partially preprinted books where the information is then entered by hand. This collection of records has been preserved relatively well. Some older records may have some physical damage; however, the data can still be extracted.

An alphabetical index is present at the end of each year for each type of event in most books. The index lists the principles involved, the date of the event, the number in the year the event was given, and the approximate page number on which the event is recorded.

The collection was assembled from existing records, usually books or ledgers. Sometimes the original record book contained one type of entry, such as births. Sometimes, the book contained multiple record types, such as births, deaths, and marriages. Therefore, as you search the records, you will find a mixture of record types even though the heading mentions only one type of record initially. The heading may change as you search the specific collection to reflect the variety of records it contains. Thus, searching in marriages may lead to both marriage and divorce records. The same will be true when searching divorces.

The French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, introduced the civil registration in the Netherlands at the time of the French occupation in the late 1700s, first in the southern part of the country later in the rest of the country. Since March of 1811, the local civil authorities in Zuid-Holland began recording births, marriages, and deaths using a standard format. Two copies of the records were created; one stayed in the local registration district; the second was sent annually to the district court. The district court created the “ten-year” indexes and eventually deposited the records and ten-year indexes in the provincial archives. 

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

This collection of civil records from the Zuid-Holland Province covers the years 1811 through 1942.

The civil registration serves to officially record the events of birth, marriage, and death in a person’s life. These records serve for statistical purposes and, in the earlier years, were also used for military drafting.

The civil registration is the most accurate source for record search after March 1811 in Zuid-Holland. For events prior to March 1811 it is best to search church records.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

Burgerlijke Stand. Netherlands, Zuid-Holland Province, Civil Registration. Rotterdam Municipal Archive, Netherlands.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in births records:

  • Name of principal
  • Gender of principal
  • Place of birth
  • Date and time of birth
  • Parents’ names, including the mother’s maiden name
  • Occupation, age, and civil status of parents
  • Names of witnesses, who could also be family members

Key genealogical facts found in marriage records:

  • Names of bride and groom
  • Civil statuses of bride and groom
  • Places of birth and ages
  • Place, date, and time of the event
  • Occupation and residence
  • Parents’ names, residence, and occupation if living
  • Names of witnesses, who could also be family members

Key genealogical facts found in deaths records:

  • Name of principal
  • Date and place of death
  • Gender and age of the deceased
  • Place of birth of principal
  • Occupation of principal at time of death
  • Spouse’s name and occupation, if the deceased was married; otherwise her/his death place
  • Parents’ names, occupation, and residence if living, if not it gives the place of their death
  • Name and information of the informant, who could be a relative
  • Names of witnesses, who could also be relatives 

How to Use the Records

To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒ Select the Municipality ⇒ Select the Record type and date range which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

When looking for a birth record, search by the given name of the child, the mother’s maiden name, and the father. Children are never labeled as “illegitimate,” but the mother is noted as being “unmarried.” If the father and mother of the child later marry, it will be mentioned in the margin of the birth certificate as well and that the child is “recognized” as theirs. The child’s last name will now have been changed to the father’s last name as well, so the child is born with the mother's last name, but later will go on in life with the father’s last name. If you believe a marriage took place but cannot find a record of the marriage, search records of intent to marry. Take note of the marriage entry number; you will need this to locate the marriage supplements, which are the documents filed by the bride and groom in support of their application to be married. Civil death records often exist for individuals whom there are no birth or marriage records for. Married women are recorded under their maiden surname.

Known Issues with this Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection, please read the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, feel free to report them at Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Web Sites

Genver 2 - If you encounter difficulties in going directly to the correct location in this collection, this website (in Dutch) will get you there.
Genlias - This site is a compilation of indexed civil records from the Netherlands, including some from Dutch colonies, mostly dating from 1811 until the mid-1900s. It is in Dutch, but has an option to view and search in English. While it is not complete as yet, it is extensive and records are still being added. Many of the images for the indexed Zuid Holland records on Genlias can then be located more easily in this browsable database.

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Netherlands, Zuid-Holland Province, Civil Registration, 1811-1942", digital images, FamilySearch ( accessed March 28, 2012), Broek > Geboorten (births) 1843-1848 > Image 6 of 114, entry for Margaretha Smorenburg, born 8 February 1843; citing "Netherlands, Zuid-Holland Province Civil Registration 1811-1942", images, FamilySearch, from Rijksarchiefdienst, Netherlands, "Netherlands, Zuid-Holland Province Civil Registration, 1811-1942". Netherlands, Rijksarchiefdienst, FHL microfilm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.