A Starter Pack for Dutch American Research!
I began researching my Dutch ancestry about 20 years ago. It is the line of my grandmother Eva Bradt. Her 6th great grandfather was the Norwegian Albert Andreissen Bradt (1607-1686) who owned the mill on the Normanskil River in New Netherlands.He lived among the Dutch settlers and his children married within the Dutch community.He was a fur trapper and trader, a land owner,briefly a tobacco grower and by all accounts a tough as nails, litigious character. His brother Arent is the one who shines most brightly in historical accounts, however I find my line to be equally as intriguing.
|The Memorandum Book of Anthony De Hooges has a translation online at the New Netherlands Institute|
As I began researching my Dutch ancestors it became clear that many had gone before me on this task.I have to say that I relied heavily on the meticulous work of some family historians who did the leg work of researching documents long before computer genealogy was one of the countries most popular hobbies.
If you are researching your Dutch American ancestors, here are a few tips and links which my help you to develop your tree. Because this is such a well documented group of people, I recommend starting with Family Associations.
Here are some examples of Family Associations of my Dutch Ancestor Surnames:
Some Family Associations have added Facebook Pages such as these:
Once you find an association that relates to your family line, it is helpful to everyone if you make contact with them and give them the information of your branch of the tree. Some groups have reunions. historical tours and newsletters which can be a terrific source of networking. People who belong to these associations usually have a strong dedication to building and perpetuating the family heritage and I have found them to be very helpful.
There are numerous free book resources on the web such as the National Archives and Google Books which can help with Dutch Genealogy Research. Primary resources are essential for accurate research, but books can bring ancestors to life via anecdotes, stories of adventures and maps or later photos of their homes and lands.Here are some examples of books that relate to Dutch research.
Baptismal and Marriage Records of The Old Dutch Church at Kingston by Roswell Randall Loes
A brief and true narrative of the hostile conduct of the barbarous Katives towards the Dutch nation Translated by E.B. O’Callahan
A History of The Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times by Prof. J. Pearson
The Van Rensealler Family by W.W. Spooner
A History of the Van Sickle Family, in the United States of America .By John Waddell Van Sickle
A History of Deerpark In Orange New York by Peter E. Gumaer
Minisink Valley Reformed Dutch Church Records by the Genealogy Society of Sussex
A History of the Minisink Region by Charles Stickney
|Photo from the book Dutch Houses of the Hudson River Valley by [Helen Wilkinson Reynolds. Depicted are my Van Aken ancestors in the front yard of their home circa 1870 in Esopus,N.Y.|
Search The Library of Congress Photo Archive and you may find a gem like this: A photo of the barn of my 8th great grandfather Johannes Decker.
|Wallkill, Ulster, New York|
There are many free to view websites which are excellent sources for Dutch American research.
Hear Dutch Here
Hear Dutch Here
New York Public Library
The 1609 Exhibition features the "Distinctly Dutch" influence on culture, food, furnishings and more. See the online exhibit Here
Hudson River Historic View Flyover