At the end of January, Yvette Hoitink warned about the effect a new privacy law here in the Netherlands will have on genealogical research on her blog. About midway through February, she noted on her blog that the official advice came that the population registers from the period 1921-1940 be taken offline. We will possibly not even be able to view them in the archives themselves until 110 years after 1940 – which would make it 2050 until we could view them again.
This means it’s even more important to do the research in these archives now. For me, I had already begun a research block for Salomon Mulder, my great-grandfather, where I use these registers a lot. Therefore I’ve been deep into the population registers the last few days, trying to do as much as I can while it’s all still accessible. (I actually think one of my registers, in Rotterdam, has been removed from the internet already. I can’t find the scan that I downloaded a few months ago…)
Either way, research in the population registers always remind me a bit of the census research I see happening in the US or the UK. Only this is a continuous record during a much narrower time range – the ones I am working the most in right now is the population registers in Leiden in the time period 1890-1924. Because the latter part of the period ends after 1920, I am afraid it will be impossible to access these records as a whole very soon. So I am following all the rabbit trails now. It really is just like a treasure hunt. The index is severely lacking, but as long as you have a starting point (the index often will give you this) you can follow from one record to the next forward and backwards. Very handy and very informative.
If you have population records in the 1920-1940 year range you could do research in, go do it now! If you wait too long, you might have to wait until 2050…
1. Yvette Hoitink, “Quick tip – Download Population Registers from the 1900s While You Can” Dutch Genealogy (https://www.dutchgenealogy.nl/download-population-registers-from-the-1900s-while-you-can/ : [26 February 2018]).
2. Yvette Hoitink, “Advice Association of Municipalities: Take Family Cards Offline” Dutch Genealogy (https://www.dutchgenealogy.nl/advice-association-of-municipalities-take-family-cards-offline/ : [26 February 2018]).