The Basics: A Guide
Registries evolved from head tax to fixed population data banks
Last time I mentioned that I would talk about other records that are available. In 1622 in the province of Zuid-Holland a head tax was applied. Not all the registers still exist. These registers, if they exist, are usually to be found in district archives (for example, Woerden, Leiden, etc.). The LDS church has microfilmed several of these records. In these records you find the place where your forebear lived (street and town, if this was the case), the name of his wife and the names of their children. The Quotisatie Kohier taken in 1749 in Friesland is very similar.
By 1829 most parts of the Netherlands had census records. These early census records give little information - names of the inhabitants of the municipality, name of the spouse and number of children (sometimes their names). Also named in these early census returns were the names of boarders and hired people living with the family. In 1850 population registers replaced census records.
The later population registers give lots of information - residence (including district and house number), actual birth dates of each member of the family, death dates, sometimes the marriage dates, date of arrival in or departure from the municipality, religion and occupation of each family member.
If the family moved in, the record usually indicates from where the family came (very helpful if you haven't been able to find them any earlier in that municipality) and if the family moved out the place to which it was going is mentioned. Next time I want to talk about two very specialized records.
One last comment about names. If a grandfather's name had not yet been used and a daughter was born, the daughter was given a masculine name with a feminine ending - for example Jacoba (Jacob, Jacobus), Teuntje (Teunis), Jantje (Jan) and Adriaantje (Adriaan). Next time we will go back to records again.