|The Netherlands Background|
|Local Research Resources|
The FamilySearch moderator for The Netherlands is Daniel Jones.
Cemetery records are either the original gravestones of the deceased, or else a transcript of them. The first very important thing to note in the Netherlands is that, due to land shortages, most graves are cleared after 20-30 years. The gravestone will usually be destroyed and a new burial takes place in the original space. This means that most people do not have a surviving gravestone. Older gravestones can only exist where a yearly lease is continually paid, or if the cemetery is no longer being used. Jewish gravestones, are, by tradition, never cleared.
- Billion Graves, which covers the whole world, has some records for the Netherlands.
- Online Begraafplaatsen , also in English has more than 1.2 million persons.
- Oorlogsgravenstichting is the official site for the memorials of Dutch victims of war
- GeneaKnowHow contains many links to records from specific cemteries and places
There are valuable transcriptions available of cemetery records in the Netherlands. Those made before World War II mostly deal with the more wealthy classes of people. The records mainly consist of information recorded on gravestones[grafstenen] and monumental inscriptions [gedenkwaardigheden].
Many of the inscriptions on gravestones and monuments (both within the church and in the graveyard) have been transcribed and are found in manuscripts and printed books in libraries. These books also contain coats of arms found in church buildings. The Family History Library has copies of many of these books. Records of the province of Gelderland are mainly found in the following periodical:
- De Wapenheraut (The Crest Herald), vol. 21–23 (1917–1919). (FHL book 949.2 B2w.)
Several of the inscriptions pertain to Jewish cemeteries.
The society Werkgroep Grafschriftenprojekt Nederland (Workgroup Tombstones Project in the Netherlands) began in the early 1990s to inventory and transcribe all gravestones found at church and non church cemeteries. They have published several books.
The books of gravestones and monumental inscriptions are listed in the Place search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:
NETHERLANDS – CEMETERIES
NETHERLANDS, [PROVINCE] – CEMETERIES
NETHERLANDS, [PROVINCE], [TOWN]