Southern California Genealogical Society

Researching Dutch Ancestors
By Paula Hinkel

For those of us who are researching family lines in the Netherlands, the news just gets better and better. An online database, Genlias, offers keystroke entry to 200+ years of Dutch births, marriage and death records. For true icing on the cake, a recent service has been introduced to make this easy-to-use database even easier and more valuable.


First, let’s look at the Genlias service itself. Then we’ll see how the Genlias Monitor program makes a terrific service even better. ( )

The introduction to the Genlias database is simple. “Genlias is a national Dutch database containing essential information for genealogical research. It is a joint initiative by a number of public archives in the Netherlands. You can use Genlias to find information recorded in official Dutch civil registers. The contributing archives aim to enter all data from the open civil registers in the Netherlands into Genlias in the near future.

The most important Dutch source for genealogical research is the Civil Register. Since 1811 the most important events in the life of every person resident in the Netherlands ­-- birth, marriage and death -- ­have been systematically recorded. All of this data is currently transcribed by volunteers and made available on the Genlias website. Death records from the Civil Register enter the public domain after 50 years, marriage records after 75 years and birth records after 100 years. All records are released in 10-year blocks. Before 1811, the churches (and sometimes local authorities) kept records of baptisms, weddings and funerals. Some of these records are also being added to Genlias.

One of the most interesting sources of information about financial position is the statement of succession. From 1808, all heirs were required to declare any inheritance. Known as a "statement of succession," this declaration was used to calculate death duties (taxes). In certain cases, the name of the deceased and a reference to the statement are being added to Genlias.

Although I don't have any Dutch ancestors in my own family tree, my daughter married into a family from the province of Zuid Holland and I researched the line for my grandchildren. In addition, the ancestors of my life partner, Pieter, were in the Rotterdam, Zuid Holland area for at least 7 generations before Pieter’s father immigrated in 1920. Several Zuid Holland archives have contributed records to Genlias, so the content from this area of the country is rich, extensive, and expanding.

I searched for the Rapmund family name and found several entries, including those listed below.

Source Surname Patronymic First name Role Place Year No./ Date

civil death Rapmund Alida Mother Loosduinen 1909 167

civil marriage Rapmund Maria Mother groom Breda 1856 19

civil death Rapmund Abraham Johannes Deceased Arnhem 1897 321

civil death Rapmund Louis Father Arnhem 1897 321

civil marriage Rapmund Hendrik Groom IJsselstein 1832 5

civil marriage Rapmund Johan Frederik Lodewijk Father groom IJsselstein 1832 5

death duties Rapmund Antonius Henr. M. Deceased 's-Hertogenbosch 1840 30

death duties Rapmund Theodorus Henr. J. Deceased 's-Hertogenbosch 1862 76

Johan Frederik Lodewijk Rapmund is Pieter’s 3 rd great-grandfather. The full listing of Johan’s record contains information on the bride, groom, the bride’s parents, the groom’s parents, and, in this case, even the name of Elizabeth Theodora’s first husband, Cornelis de Bont, from whom she was widowed. Dates and places are also included:

Source Civil Register - Marriage (Father groom)

Archive location Het Utrechts Archief  

General Number of finding aid: 481
Item number: 1004
Municipality: IJsselstein
Type of record: Huwelijksakte
Record number: 5
Registration date: 27-02-1832

Bridegroom: Hendrik Rapmund
Age: 31
Place of birth: Rotterdam

Bride: Elizabeth Theodora Gijbels
Age: 39
Place of birth: Utrecht

Father bridegroom: Johan Frederik Lodewijk Rapmund

Mother bridegroom: Anna Maria Draheim

Father bride: Theodorus Johannis Christilenus Geijbels

Mother bride: Theodora Augustina van Oostrum

Additional information: Zij weduwe van Cornelis de Bont

Recognizing the importance of original documentation, Genlias has even simplified the process of obtaining a copy of the document. The online shopping cart calculates the cost and provides an email link to the archive that holds the document. The requestor must contact the archive to complete the purchase and complete the purchase in Euro dollars.

Yes, it helps to know a few words of Dutch, as the records do have some occasional Dutch words. Those words become familiar after working with the records for a little while, and there are several Dutch research aids available online, in hard copy from the LDS Family History Center, and at the SCGS Library and bookstore.

Genlias Monitor

To improve on an already-excellent service, a researcher has developed a free notification system to monitor Genlias and send an email when the database has been updated with new information on family lines.

Information about your ancestors arrives by email whenever it comes available. It’s in easily accessible formats – Excel spreadsheet formats, GEDCOM for ease in importing data into your genealogy database, PDF for printing, and HTML, to view the results in your browser.

Users begin by defining a search Genlias Monitor site, providing search criteria including family name, location, year and source. Search tips are provided for the new user. If a search returns more than 500 records (the maximum), the user refines search criteria by specifying province, source type or years.

The first time the Genlias Monitor runs, it will find all records that match the search profile. Then periodically the same search is re-checked. If new records are found, a notification will be sent to the user’s e-mail address. Researchers are automatically kept up-to-date on the most important Dutch family lines.

The next time you look for your Dutch ancestors, give Genlias Monitor a try:

powered by FreeFind

Los Angeles Area Resources

The Final Goodbye - Obituary Search Tips

Beginning Genealogy -Part 1
Beginning Genealogy -Part 2

Getting Started #1: First Things First

Getting Started #2: Organization

Getting Started #3: Vital Records Are Vital

Getting Started #4: Census Records

Getting Started #5: Correspondence

Getting Started: Hispanic Research

Point of View: Easy Does It-But Do It!

Point of View: It's Never Too Late for a Timeline

Point of View: The Hurrieder I Go

Point of View: State Censuses Fill the Gaps

Put It In Writing: Holiday Memories

Refresher Course: Archivists and Genealogists    

DNA Testing - Researching Outside the BOX!

Civilian Conservation Corps Records

Techniques and Tips - The Search for Free African American Ancestors

Techniques and Tips: African American Research Resources

Techniques and Tips: In Praise of Probate

Researching Dutch Ancestors

Back to Basics: Libraries: Pure Gold!

Back to Basics: Join the PERSI Generation

Back to Basics: Home and Family--That's Where It Starts

Back to Basics: Look for Other American Censuses

Back to Basics: Naturalization Research Can Pay

Back to Basics: There's a Clue Somewhere (Immigration)

Back to Basics: WPA Historical Records Survey

Back to Basics: Criminal Records

Back to Basics: Using a Research Log

Back to Basics: What's on Your Desk?

Were They Quaker? Shaker? Jewish? Mennonite? Baptist?

There's More to Family History...Than Names, Dates and Places

A Musical Legacy

Telling Your Story with Photos

Finding Anne-Marie

Back to Basics: City Directories

Local Resources - LA as Subject

Problem Solvers: Using newspapers effectively as a source for passenger arrival and departure lists

Norwegian Research

Federal Passport Applications

Taking a Second Look

Members Log-in