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May 29, 2017

Help Reading 17th Century Dutch Church Records

If you have ancestors who settled in New Netherland (now New York) in the 1600s, you will undoubtably eventually find yourself struggling with Dutch words and handwriting. You may even venture into research from the Amsterdam Archives Church Records which have been microfilmed.

Amsterdam Doopregisters (Baptism Registers) follow a fairly consisent format. They show names (sometimes an occupation) of father, mother, child and sponsor(s).

You don't need to read Dutch, you only need to be able to pick out and read the names of the individuals you are interested in. But it is more difficult than it sounds. 17th century letter formations are very different than what we are used to. Dutch names and spellings are something new to many of us as well.

Example from a 17th Century Marriage record from Amsterdam

As I was struggling to learn how to read this early Dutch script, I made up a little booklet which I add to each time I figure out something new.

I use my little home-made guide to help me interpret what I am looking at in these early (1600s) records. Other researchers asked me to send them copies of my notes and examples, so I made up a mini-tutorial.

I am not an expert, I muddle along as best I can, but researchers I sent the tutorial to seemed to find it helpful, so here it is. I hope that if any of you are starting to dig into those distant records you will find this at least interesting if not helpful in some small way.

I'll add to these Blog notes as I get the pages of my little guide scanned. Remember, it's FUN and it's NEW and it can be intimidating but just keep on plowing through one step at a time.

Source of Registers: Amsterdam Doop (Baptism) Registers on Microfilm

Finding an entry on a page of records from 1621

Click on the image for a larger picture, or View larger image. You can also view a larger image here

This is a page of church baptismal records from 1621 in Amsterdam. The entry I was looking for was for Claesje the daughter of Teunis Dircks & Aefje Pieters.

This is a relatively easy page to read compared to some! The handwriting is neat and legible, the filmed record is not dark, and the size of the writing is not too small.

Reading Dutch Script: Studying the letter formations on a page of records



If you need help with Dutch names, you might find my section on New Netherland (present day New York) of some help. Anyone with ancestors from New York in the 1600s may find themselves with Dutch ancestry (which is what got me started on all this!)

It gives examples of Dutch names = English names = Shortened Dutch names (nicknames). It also explains the use of suffixes -je or -tje, -je, -tje, -ie and -ke

To learn the patronymic naming system and the suffixes used there, you might find Understanding Patronymics helpful

Reading Dutch Script: Steps to take when you find an entry of interest



Step 1: Trace the entry as it displays on the microfilm reader

Step 2: Copy the entry

Step 3: Study the letter formations. Figure out what the entry says

Reading Dutch Script: More Letter Formations



Using this same page of church records we can learn other letter shapes and names

Reading Dutch Script: Figuring out even more letter formations

May 27, 2017

Rescue Photo Album 1930s Carillon Quebec page 11

The 11th page of the Flynn family album has some names. The left photo is labelled "Theresa - Fred - Joe" and underneath an address "51 Robert St." The second photo is labelled "Joe age 2 on Robert St."


Please see page 16 of this album when it is available for more information on this family

May 26, 2017

Civil War Photo Album Fowler Merchant Families


This is one of my favourite CDVs (Cartes de Visite) from the Fowler Merchant Civil War era photo album in my personal collection. It was taken during the Civil War - if you look carefully you can see this young lady's snood - a netting worn over the hair at the back of the head. Her hair is carefully slicked down and parted in the center - another sign of 1860s women's hairstyles.

Her bolero jacket was also popular during this time. Also note the dropped shoulders, full sleeves narrowing at the wrist, and the full skirt, but loosely draped, not over a hoop.

The plain background and patterned floor are further clues to help date this photograph. You can see the full Fowler-Merchant Family Photo Album online at Lost Faces.

Surnames: Fowler, Merchant, Keach, Houghton, Lovejoy, Hewitt, Maloney, Tanner, Whitcomb, Sladden, Frazier, Comstock, Gray, Moseley, Center, Lee, Alexander, Fisher, Williams, Cottrell, Burgess

Locations: Cambridge New York, Connecticut, Washington DC

May 24, 2017

Owning a Piece of Someone's Life

Many years ago I bought a book at a local Garage Sale. Inside was the owner's name "Millicent Lynn", and a hand-written genealogy. I knew Millicent slightly, she was an elderly woman in the town where I lived in the 1970s. Millicent was a gentle lovely-looking woman who looked like Helen Hayes and always wore gloves, a dress, and carried a purse over one arm much like Queen Elizabeth. Millicent's son and grandson owned a local business in our small town.

A handwritten inscription inside the book reads "To Cousin Millicent with love from Olive Gay and all cousins at Grenfell Saskatchewan. March 1981" (Millicent was Millicent Lynn, mother of the Mayor of Midland Ontario) 

It was through Millicent's grandson that my husband and I met some some twenty years later. My future husband worked for Millicent's grandson and when I published my first book The Van Slyke Family in America: A Genealogy of Cornelise Antonissen Van Slyke, 1604-1676 and his Mohawk Wife Ots-Toch, I was directed to his office for assistance.



After our marriage I discovered that my husband owned an antique cupboard that once belonged to Millicent. He also owned the WW1 army helmet that once belonged to Millicent's husband, and a very old black top hat inscribed inside the band with Millicent's husband's name (George Lynn).

With all these connections and treasured objects in our home, I began to feel that we owned a little piece of Millicent and George's lives, and that to complete the circle we needed to find out more about their lives and ancestors.

With that in mind I set out to find Millicent and I'm happy to say that I found her arrival in Canada from England on the Ship Metagama in 1919 as well as many other voyages back and forth between England and Ontario. Millicent arrived at St John New Brunswick on 17 February 1919. It looks like she had $50.00 on arrival, and she was headed for her mother-in-law's in Penetanguishene Ontario

This is George Lynn's WW1 helmet that is part of my husband's WW1 Collection. I also found George's WW1 Attestation Papers and many census and vital records for George, his parents, his grandparents and so on back to 1814.

Now I feel that the journey is complete and I will pass this coincidental genealogy on to Millicent's grandson.

May 23, 2017

Announcing Four New Family Tree Books

I'm excited to announce my four new family tree books now available on Amazon. If you have Caspall, Laming, Hubbard, or Wildbore ancestors from Kent England you may find these books of interest.




The Wildbore Family of Kent Englandby Lorine McGinnis Schulze
 8.5x11". $6.99 28 pages

This book follows 4 generations of descendants of George Wildbore and his wife Alicia Pamphlett (nee Sackett) who married in Minster, Thanet, Kent England in 1571.


The Hubbard Family of Kent England by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
26 pages. 8.5x11" $6.99

 Isaac Hubbard married the widow Mary Ducy in St. James in Dover in 1698.This book follows Isaac and Mary's descendants down four generations through their son Isaac, their grandson Philip, their greaat-grandson Philip and their great-great-granddaughter Milly Elizabeth who married John Caspall.


The Laming Family of Kent England
by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
 8.5x11". $6.99 24 pages

The Laming family is found in Thanet and Minster Kent England for over 200 years. This book follows six generations of descendants of William Laming born circa 1610 and his wife Mary Culmer.


The Caspall Family of Kent England
by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
40 pages. 8.5x11" $11.99

 The Caspall family can be found in Kent England with John Caspall's birth circa 1710-1717. This book follows the descendants of John Caspall and his wife Mary Prigg for six generations. John was from Stonar Kent but he and Mary baptized all their children in Sandwich Kent. Other locations where Caspall families lived include Folkestone and Ramsgate.

May 21, 2017

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 44R Letter

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain.
Letter from G. H. Wilkinson
The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page.

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos"

May 20, 2017

Rescue Photo Album Carillon Quebec page 10

This page is labelled "Carillon 1931" The photo on the left is labelled "Mrs. A. Pope" but it is not clear if this relates to all three photos or not.