January 28th, 2012

Johannes Sijmons Bakker

I've been having some fun at AlleFriezen, finding (and/or confirming) dates for people that I was having trouble with in genlias.

A pause to explain what that meant: AlleFriezen has digital images of the Civil Registry books for some of Friesland and a search engine on top of that. Genlias has transcriptions of the Civil Registry books for some of the Netherlands and a (better) search engine on top of that. Transcriptions are awesome, however, sometimes information is present in the images (and the original) that does not get transcribed. So I might have a bunch of death records in Johannes Bakker in genlias that _might_ be my Johannes Sijmons Bakker, but no way to be sure if the spouse/parents fields are not filled in.

I've found several death records that I didn't have for people in my paternal grandfather's ancestry (great grandparents and above, plus collaterals -- I think I blogged about how excited I was to find Aebe Smit's death certificate and how shocked I was at how late he died). Most recently, I found the death record for Johannes Sijmons Bakker, where I was puzzling over where he was born. I eventually thought to just go through the place name list in genlias for Friesland, where I found it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itens. Bakker broke my Friesland rule! He was born more than 7 miles away from where he lived and died (this is funny but it isn't a joke) -- and the information is all in one record (born in Ytens, lived in Pingjum) so if there's a mistake it isn't mine.

Yes, that is Frys

I was trying to decipher some handwriting on an entry in the Dutch Civil Registry. I do okay with some of this stuff, because I've developed some domain knowledge, but I really suck at reading old handwriting, especially the very flat kind. Also, the strategy in the registry (at least this one) seems to be to write to a certain point and then continue on the next line without any sort of punctuation like a dash or hyphen to indicate a word break.

Nevertheless, I'd figured out that the mother's first name was "Marijke" and it was an old enough record on an old enough person that there didn't seem to be last names for either parent, just first name and patronymic. I was reasonably certain the mother's patronymic was "Feddes" but I figured I'd google it, because people like to reuse names so if Marijke Feddes was a reasonable name in Pingjum in the early 19th century, _someone_ is walking around with it now.

Sure. Someone is [actually not true. Someone is researching a Marijke Feddes from the 17th century. Or thereabouts. On a Frys genealogy forum. *sigh*] But if you google a name that distinctively Frys, and you have .nl turned on in your google preferences, you _will_ find yourself reading a post that is not English and not Dutch. It's really bad when you kind of _can_ read it, but it's confusing, because it takes a second or two to work out what language you're reading it in.

Tresoar and AlleFriezen

I've known for a while that you can get older record sometimes out of tresoar, that is, church records of births/baptisms/marriages/deaths rather than civil registry entries. However, it's been very hit or miss in looking for anyone in particular, because it's almost exclusively patronymics at that point so if you don't know a lot about the person you are looking for you are screwed.

But I got lucky today. I was trying to pry Sjoerd Sybes Veeman's parents out of a death record in the civil registry, and I was having trouble reading his mother's patronymic (first name was obviously Pietje). Sheer dumb luck handed me his parents' marriage record in tresoar, and I knew it was the right people (Boksum? In that decade? Not likely to be two of them), and Pietje's patronymic made sense of the handwriting (Rinnerts -- I was not going to figure that one out on my own).

This is weirdly fun. Pietje is my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother. If I did that correctly. I've been really lucky with AlleFriezen, picking up several parents out of death records that I didn't think I'd ever get online.