Netherlands Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Netherlands, Civil Registration, 1792-1952 .

Title in the Language of the Records

Nederlandse Burgerlijke Registratie

Record Description

This Collection will include records from 1792 to 1952.

This collection includes images of the records of civil births, marriages, marriage intentions, marriage proclamations, marriage supplements, deaths, and 10-year indexes. The events are recorded either totally by hand or in partially preprinted books where the information was then entered by hand. This collection of records has been preserved relatively well; however, some older records may have some physical damage. The records are generally in Dutch, Flemish, and French

The collection was assembled from existing records, usually books or ledgers. Sometimes the original record book contained one type of entry, such as births. The books may contain 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 civil registration in the Netherlands at the time of the French occupation in the late 1700s, beginning mainly in the southern provinces. In 1811, the rest of the country began implementing the recording of births, marriages, and deaths using a standard format. Two copies of the records were created; one stayed in the local registration district, and 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.

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

The civil registration records for the Netherlands are a reliable source for genealogical research after 1811. 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.

"Netherlands, Civil Registration, 1792-1952." Index and Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013. Citing Civil Registry. National Archives, Amsterdam.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

These birth records may include the following information:

  • Name of the child
  • Gender of the child
  • Child’s place of birth
  • Date and time of birth
  • Parents’ names, including the mother’s maiden name
  • Parents' occupations, ages, and marital statuses
  • Names of witnesses, who could also be family members

These marriage records may include the following information:

  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Marital statuses
  • Places of birth and ages
  • Place, date, and time of the event
  • Occupations and residence
  • Parents’ names, their residences, and occupations if living
  • Names of witnesses, who could also be family members

These death records may include the following information:

  • Name of the deceased person
  • Date and place of death
  • Gender and age of the deceased
  • Deceased’s place of birth
  • Occupation of the person at the time of death
  • Spouse’s name and occupation, if the deceased was married
  • Deceased’s death place
  • Parents’ names, occupations, and residence if living; if not living, the place of death
  • Name and information of the informant, who could be a relative
  • Names of witnesses, who could also be relatives

How to Use the Record

To search the collection image by image select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate Province
⇒Select the appropriate Municipality
⇒Select the appropriate Record Type and Years Which takes you to the images

It is important to know that in order to search a birth record, one needs to search by the given name of the child, the mother’s maiden name, and the father’s name. 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 noted in the margin of the birth certificate with an indication that the child is “recognized” as theirs. Also, the child’s last name will be changed to the father’s last name. In this case, the child is given the mother’s last name at birth but later on in life will go by 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 who do not have birth or marriage records. 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 see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to 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.

Civil Registration Collections

Related Websites

  • Genver - This website can help simplify getting to the correct location in this collection. (Website is in Dutch.)
  • WieWasWie - A compilation of indexed records from the Netherlands, including some from Dutch colonies, mostly dating from 1811 until the mid-1900s. It is in Dutch, but with an option to view and search in English. While it is not complete as yet, it is extensive and records are still being added. Images for many of the indexed records on Genlias can be found in the collections on

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 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, Civil Registration, 1792-1952", database and digital images, FamilySearch ( accessed 25 March 2011), entry for Roelof Dijkstra and Geertruid Knopers, married 13 March 1891; citing Civil Registrations, inventory number 123.04662; Rijksarcheifdienst, Netherlands.

Digital copies of originals housed in different Provincial Archive Services (Rijksarchief) throughout the Netherlands.