Do you have ancestors from the Netherlands?
If so, an incredible resource is now available to increase your chances of success in your family history research. New records that can help you find your Dutch ancestors are searchable on FamilySearch.org for the first time ever in the “Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Miscellaneous Records” collection.
These new records have increased FamilySearch’s collection of Dutch names from 4,074,736 indexed names to over 55 million—almost 14 times what it was before.
If you have Dutch ancestry, there’s never been a better time to dive into our record collection and find your family!
Tips for Finding Your Ancestors in New Dutch Records
- Start by searching for your ancestors in the “Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Miscellaneous Records” collection. You can search with just a name, or narrow your search by including life events (birth, marriage, death) or relationships (spouse, parents, or other relatives).
- Use the blue record hints you see in your tree to help you find these newly added names. These records can lead you to information about your ancestors’ parents, siblings, or children—people you may not have in your tree yet.
- Birth, marriage, and death records are some of the best resources to find and verify vital information. They can also help you discover other important facts, like names of parents or other relatives, occupations, or addresses, which can lead you to other helpful records.
- Don’t worry if you don’t speak Dutch—these records are easy to search and attach to your tree. But, if you need help with any Dutch words you encounter, check out the Dutch Genealogical Word List on the FamilySearch Wiki.
- Be aware of local naming traditions. Before 1811, there was no legal requirement to have a hereditary surname. People in the northern provinces of the Netherlands used patronymics derived from the father’s name, while some people in the east of the country named themselves after the farm they lived on. Understanding the naming traditions for the region where you are doing research helps you to know which names to look for.
- Huwelijksbijlagen [marriage supplements] are documents that a bride and groom had to submit to prove identity and eligibility to get married. They often included birth records, proof that the groom fulfilled his military duties, and the death records of any predeceased spouses or parents. These records are a great place to look for information on your ancestors and can often point you to other records to look for as well!
- You can find the scanned images of these records by clicking “Visit Partner Site” when reviewing record information. This will bring you to the Open Archives website, where you will see a thumbnail to click through to a scan of the original record, presented at the website of the archive that supplied the information.
For more information on the new Dutch records available on FamilySearch, read the following articles.
New Records and Resources to Discover Your Dutch Ancestors
How to Find Your Ancestors in Dutch Records
Gifts from My Dutch Heritage
How to Search the FamilySearch Site