The Basics: A Guide
Errors more common in records of people who moved to another area
After doing some research recently I decided it likely would be helpful to share the information with our readers. This column deals with errors in dates on civil records. Just as there are several errors in Canadian and English census records where some people lied about their age or that the recording clerk simply made a mistake, there are just as many examples to be found in Dutch civil records. Here are some of the classic errors that I have found.
On November 5, 1820 the marriage of Cornelis de Haan, widower of Sijgje van Riet, age 44, son of Hendrick de Haan, deceased, and Marrigje Nielmeijer, age 68, with Lijsje Roseboom, age 28, born Bodegraven, daughter of Hendrick Roseboom, age 67, and Hilligje Hogeboom, age 59, takes place in Loenersloot. In the supplements to this marriage is found a copy of the extract of the baptism of Lijsje in Bodegraven on the 19th of February 1792. This would make her age 28 correct at time of marriage. However a check of the baptismal register of Bodegraven shows another Lijsje of Hendrick Roseboom and Hilligje Hogeboom born in 1795. On going through the taxes on marriages and burials for Bodegraven, I found that on the 21st of March 1792 Hendrik Rooseboom registered the death of his child Lijsje. Either Lijsje didn't remember how old she was or the clerk didn't bother asking her and didn't check the records in Bodegraven very well.
These types of errors seem to happen quite often when a person goes from one community to another. Here is another example. Zacharias Hofstede was baptized on 2 August 1772 in Woubrugge but the census and civic register for Alphen aan den Rijn (where Zacharias lived after 1807) shows that he was born on 4 August 1775. However there is no Zacharias born on that date and his age at death in 1842 (70) shows that he was born in 1772.
A census in Delft states that Cornelis Maartens Hofstede was born 23 February 1763 in Woubrugge but he was actually christened in Woubrugge on 1 March 1767. The census also states that his wife was born on 12 April 1763 in Nieuwewetering but she was actually christened on 9 April 1767. This census also states that Cornelis' mother Aaltje de Vos was born in Zuid-Waddinxveen on 22 December 1738 but she was actually christened on 1 January 1741. In 1738 her parents Daniel Willems de Vos and Maria Jans Radder had another child but not an Aaltje.
Census records can be very helpful to find place and date of birth but in certain cases they can be very misleading. If you see that the person has come from another place make sure that the information listed in the census is correct. Unfortunately, this can not be checked sometimes because the records from the other town are not available.
In my next column I will write about what one can expect to find in the diaconate records of a church.