Inspired by a family tree I recently completed for a client,
I'd like to share with you a special kind of surname you may come across
and that is both a blessing and a curse: surnames based on farm names.
If you have been researching your roots for some time, then you may be familiar
with the shift from "fixed surnames" to "patronymics", usually
as you step back from the 1800s into the 1700s. All of a sudden —it seems—
your ancestors shift surnames with each generation.
In the Netherlands, after
1811, all Dutch adopted a fixed surname, as imposed by Napoleon in that year.
Before that, many people were named after their father. And so Pieter, son
of Willem was called Pieter Willems and Jan, son of Pieter Jan Pieters, etcetera.
A bit confusing when first researching such patronymics, once you get the
hang of it they are pretty straightforward and often a great tool when doing
research in a time when records are less informative.
However, in certain parts of the Netherlands, especially in what is now
called Twente and the Achterhoek (the easternmost parts of the provinces of Overijssel
and Gelderland), people preferred farm names over patronymics.
Read rest of article »
Holland America Line passenger list online!
The Holland America Line was the main transporter of emigrants from Holland
to America between 1900 and 1974. The original passenger lists are kept by
the Rotterdam archives. After being inaccessible for over a year now we can
enjoy the reward for our waiting: over 113,000 images of these passenger
lists have recently been made available online through the website of the
Got stuck on your tree? Need help solving a family mystery? Just send me your question!
All questions are answered privately.
"Men hoeft niet te hopen om iets te ondernemen, noch te slagen om te volharden."
(One needs no hope to undertake action, nor success to persevere.)
I of Orange
Know someone who may be interested in Dutch genealogy news?
Forward them this newsletter!