The Basics: A Guide

The Basics: A Guide is a super comprehensive guide to researching your Dutch genealogy. This far-reaching expose on family ties will provide you with tips and details on how to find your Dutch roots. The author, Tony Hofstee is a contributing editor to the Windmill Herald.

Table of Contents

The Basics: A Guide

Chapter 5

LDS Centres and Dutch Civil Registries Resources

Last time I mentioned some ways of obtaining information from the civil registration records. Most civil registration records of the Netherlands have been microfilmed by the Latter Day Saints (LDS, Mormon) church. These records cover births, deaths, marriages and census. The LDS church has available the records from 1811 to 1912 and in some cases 1932.

The microfilms can be ordered at the Family History Centre (FHC) of the nearest LDS (check your telephone directory or ask the reference department at your library) for a nominal cost (at the moment about $4.50 for a four week period). It takes about two weeks for the ordered microfilm to arrive from Salt Lake City. There is no other cost to use the church's facilities. Of course, one could always make a trip to Salt Lake City and save the cost of ordering in the films. The FHC also has several other genealogical tools available.

Each centre has a computer which includes the International Genealogical Index (IGI, over 10 million names), the Ancestral File and the FHC library catalogue. The IGI covers the whole world. It contains names that have been submitted by members of the church and names that have been extracted from various church/parish registers. If you can not find any of your ancestors on this file it does not mean that your ancestor didn't exist, it only means that no one has entered any information on your ancestor. The Ancestral File is made of member and non-member submissions. It has many names that are also on the IGI but also many others. If you find an ancestor on this file you can contact the submitter because her/his name is attached to the submission. The library catalogue shows all the records that are available for your area of interest. It also lists family histories, pedigrees and books about the area in which your ancestor lived.

To obtain information from your ancestral town/municipality, write to the De Ambtenaar van de Burgerlijke Stand, Gemeentehuis (City Hall) and the name of the municipality. It is a good idea to send along a US money order of about $20 to cover their costs. They will inform you if you owe any extra. I would recommend that you send all the information that you have and request them to send you an estimate of what the search is going to cost, otherwise you might get an unpleasant surprise, a large bill. Many civil registration records have been transferred to the central State Archives in the provincial capital cities. If you can not get the information you need from the municipality then you may have to contact the State Archive. I will list the archives in a future chapter. Once again get an estimate before asking them to do research for you.