Place talk:Netherlands


Netherlands Place Names [8 September 2009]

I decided to begin a conversation on this talk page due to the recent interest in Netherlands place pages - by more people then myself User:JBS66 :>)

  • I'm not sure if this appears on a WeRelate help page. Dallan, please correct me if I'm wrong...
  • WeRelate place pages are given a title, but within the page, you can list many alternate names and other municipalities that town belonged to. Towns change over time, but we try to title place pages how they were around the year 1900.
  • This does not mean your page needs to display the exact same title. Here's what I mean. Take Place:Woerden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands as an example. It is titled Woerden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands because that is where it was around 1900. But, if you have a person who died in Woerden in 1990, you may want to have Woerden, Utrecht, Nederland on your Person page. Here's how to do that:
    • In the Place field on the Person Page type in:
Woerden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands|Woerden, Utrecht, Nederland
  • Then, you can have Woerden look the way you want to on your page, but it will still link to the same Place Page.
  • You can do this for any location, just follow the format: WeRelate place title|Your place name.--Jennifer (JBS66) 11:13, 15 January 2009 (EST)

It probably doesn't, but it's a great explanation. If you would add it I'd appreciate it.--Dallan 18:30, 16 January 2009 (EST)

Conversations from other pages [14 January 2009]

Abbreviations & Alternate Names [16 January 2009]

Country/Province Abbreviations & Alt Names
               added on 15 Jan 2009
NetherlandsNL, NLD, Nederland
Groningen GR
Friesland FR
Drenthe DR
Overijssel OV
GelderlandGE, GL, GLD
Noord HollandNH
Zuid HollandZH
ZeelandZE, ZL, ZLD
Noord BrabantNB
LimburgLI, LB
FlevolandFL, FLD
  • Conversation with User:Bergsmit about WeRelate's procedure for titling place pages. Pages are named where they were around the year 1900, within reason. So, even though Place:Workum, Friesland, Netherlands is currently located in the gemeente Nijefurd, it is titled Workum, Friesland, Netherlands. Then, you can indicate that it is currently located in Nijefurd by adding that in the Also located in field on the Workum page. See Place:Baard, Baarderadeel, Friesland, Netherlands as an example.

Geneanet (geneaweb) uses for the Netherlands NLD. Is that also here usefull ?--Bergsmit 06:57, 14 January 2009 (EST)

Yes, I've added that and a couple more above. I'm waiting for input from User:Dallan before I add these to the place pages.--Jennifer (JBS66) 07:19, 14 January 2009 (EST)

Yes, please do add NL, NLD, and Nederland as alternate names for Netherlands. And go ahead and the 2-3 letter abbreviations for the provinces as well. (And if you'd like to add common 2-3 letter abbreviations for other countries, that would be nice also.)

All done. I did not see any other countries whose abbreviations matched NL, or NLD.--Jennifer (JBS66) 09:16, 15 January 2009 (EST)

In general, the only thing we need to be careful of when adding abbreviations is the following: people in the US often omit United States from their place names, and since the majority of the places in uploaded GEDCOM's are in the US, when there is ambiguity US state abbreviations need to take precedence. This implies two things:

  • If the GEDCOM processor sees a place of just "FL", it will continue to match it to Florida, not Flevoland, even after you add "FL" as an alternate name for Flevoland. But "NL" should match to Netherlands and "FL, NL" should match to Flevoland about 6 hours after you add the abbreviations for them.
  • Country abbreviations cannot be the same as US State abbreviations. (Province abbreviations can be the same as US State abbreviations, with the caveat about US State abbreviations taking precedence.) If there is a country abbreviation that is the same as a US state abbreviation, please don't add it. For example, "AL" is an abbreviation for Albania and Alabama. So that "AL" continues to match to Alabama, please do not add "AL" as an alternate name for Albania. If this becomes a problem, I can see if I can improve the place matcher.
FYI, from a quick examination, there are 25 U.S. states whose 2-letter abbreviations match commonly used 2-letter country abbreviations. While many of these country are lesser used, thus far, in WeRelate, there are a couple that might be of future concern: California/Canada (CA), Argentina/Arkansas (AR), Delaware/Germany (DE), Illinois/Israel (IL), Indiana/India (IN)...
Thank-you for creating that list of conflicts. I've been meaning to do that but never got around to it. Amazingly, nobody has ever complained about the California/Canada conflict. I'll watch out for these conflicts; it's good to know where the areas of concern are.
Dallan, do you have any concerns that place matching is dependent upon an alt-name field that is user-editable? Could/should this be kept more behind-the-scenes?--Jennifer (JBS66) 09:16, 15 January 2009 (EST)
It's not just the alt-name fields; changes to the also-located-in places, the place type, renaming place pages, and adding new place pages all affect the place matching. I'm concerned about this as well, but it's sure nice for people to be able to make some changes and have their changes start to take effect just a few hours later. And nearly all of the changes are positive. Periodically we run a "regression test" that matches a certain set of place names and compares what places they match to now with the places they used to match to. Currently this test requires manual intervention. Thinking about it, I think a solution may be to run this test automatically one or more times a day and send out an alert in case any of the matching places change.--Dallan 18:30, 16 January 2009 (EST)

That's it! I appreciate the work that you are all doing to improve place matching for Netherland (Nederland) place names!--Dallan 18:43, 14 January 2009 (EST)

Current Reorganizing Projects

Friesland, Netherlands

  • I (User:JBS66), have undertaken renaming & reorganizing the villages in Friesland, Netherlands. I recently renamed nearly all of the towns in the form Village, Gemeente, Friesland, Netherlands. Gemeente being where the village was around the year 1900.
  • I have not yet completed adding in the Also located in information into these pages. Working down the hierarchical list [1] (only for Friesland), I have completed through Dantumadeel.

Other Netherlands Provinces [17 January 2009]

  • If you look at the FHLC page for Baard, it shows that is was part of the gemeente Baarderadeel. Does the rest of the Netherlands follow the pattern Village, Gemeente, Province, Netherlands? Or, would it be acceptable to keep Village, Province, Netherlands for the remaining provinces?

Because more and more former gemeenten are going together, there are new gemeenten with more inhabited places. I use them as follows: inhabited place, gemeente, province, Netherlands--Bergsmit 06:56, 14 January 2009 (EST)

IMO municipalities change way too much, so I would rather leave out the gemeente part, unless it's really needed, i.e. when you have two villages with the same name in the same province.

Can you imagine writing Utrecht, Utrecht, Utrecht, Nederland? It's the capital of my province, and it looks rediculous this way.

Even provinces are impractical sometimes. When I lived in Woerden, it was part of Zuid Holland. Now it's in Utrecht, and its coordinates are still the same.--Enno 15:24, 14 January 2009 (EST)

Thank you for the Woerden example. When I looked up that town here on WeRelate we have Place:Woerden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands and Place:Woerden, Utrecht, Netherlands. I see now they are the same place. I will merge these two pages.--Jennifer (JBS66) 10:34, 15 January 2009 (EST)

Most times I think it's easier to leave out the province alltogether. We're a small country, and the number of duplicate towns is very small. The only ones I can come up with right now are Hengelo, Overijssel, and Hengelo, Gelderland, but there may be a a couple of other ones.

Keeping the province (or any part of the place hierarchy) as part of the title helps match places in the following way. If someone lists a place in their GEDCOM as "town, province, Netherlands" and we have a Place page for the town titled as "town, Netherlands", we won't be able to match it. The place matcher works "outside-in": First it looks for the outermost place, then looks for the second-to-last place within the outermost place, and so on. So in the example above it would first find "Netherlands," then it looks for "province" within Netherlands. If it can't find "province", then it creates a red link: "town, province, Netherlands". Alternatively, if we have a Place page titled "town, province, Netherlands" and someone has just "town, Netherlands" in their GEDCOM, the place matcher finds the town just fine: it first finds Netherlands, then looks for "town" anywhere within Nethlands, finds "town, province, Netherlands", and matches it.
Having said this, I don't know anything about Netherlands geography. If provinces are a relatively new creation (A lot of European countries have been redo-ing their place hierarchies lately), then it's probably best to leave them out. It's really a question of what levels records were located in, and what levels people are likely to put in their GEDCOM's.--Dallan 18:30, 16 January 2009 (EST)
Most European provinces and states are way older than the ones in the U.S. and Canada, but they have also changed more often in the past few centuries, especially in Germany and Eastern Europe.
Anyway, if the place matcher works as you describe, it makes most sense to include the province/state in the official place name list, since it will match place descriptions like Amsterdam, NL anyway.
While I can't speak for my fellow Dutch genealogists, I do think that the percentages of place names with and without provinces are both significant enough to take care of, and your place matcher does, so I see no problem there. There in another thing however, and that is that many people may just have Amsterdam, like me, because they concentrate on their own origins. You can ask them to add the country part before they send their GEDCOM's, or add an extra option to the import software so one can specify a default country if there is none in the place itself.
--Enno 09:51, 17 January 2009 (EST)
This is a great idea. One of the goals of the new gedcom uploader is to present a list of unmatched places in the GEDCOM and give people a chance to select the correct places for them before the pages get created.--Dallan 11:30, 18 January 2009 (EST)

Are there province specific resources that would help people who are not familiar with your country? Are there resources for Noord-Holland that are different than Drenthe? If yes, I would suggest keeping the structure of town, province, Netherlands for the provinces other than Friesland.
In my research about Friesland families, I noticed there are genealogical resources that are province specific such as,, and Also, for Friesland, I noticed there are gemeente specific resources as well. In Tresoar, it is very helpful to know which gemeente a person came from to limit your search.
For me, as somebody who is from the United States, and does not speak Dutch, it is helpful to have the boundaries of the province to structure my research. I can agree, however, where gemeente may not be as useful outside of Friesland.
--Jennifer (JBS66) 07:54, 16 January 2009 (EST)

Since every province has it's own archive, and there are regional and municipal archives inside those provinces too, knowing the geographical location is indeed essential for your research. Putting much location information on this site however doesn't make much sense to me, because most of that can already be found in the FHLC, or on Wikipedia, and I see no point in copying anything from one public web site to another. IMO it just increases chaos.

That doesn't mean that I'm against standards in describing places. It helps a lot to make Dallan's parser work well, but at the moment it's a thing that's very low on my to do list. Organizing the people is the main reason why I joined That's why this site is special. Duplicating information from other sites is very much against this site's philosophy IMO.

Anyway, if you know the province, this clickable map wil help you further: [2]--Enno 16:17, 16 January 2009 (EST)

Helpful links

Place name spelling (IJ and 's) [21 September 2009]

I tried to put in e.g. these place names: IJsselmonde and 's-Gravendeel. But WeRelate stubbornly transforms them into: Ijsselmonde and 's-gravendeel.

This is painful for Dutch eyes...

The first spelling might be remedied by adding a capital IJ to WeRelate's alphabet (which is a specifically Dutch capital letter ("long IJ"), different from Y. The Y gets a section of its own in the dictionary, while words starting with ij- follow in the I-section after ig- and i.h.

The second problem with the apostrophe 's- is more troublesome, as all spelling checkers seem to order symbols like these in the top of their alphabetical lists. I am not knowledgeable enough to suggest a solution which would result in disregarding the 's- and order names like these alphabetically according to the following capital letter.

It might help to know that 's- is short for the Dutch word 'des' which means 'of the'. So 's-Gravendeel means': 'part of the count', 's-Gravenhage (or Den Haag = The Hague) means: 'the thicket of the count', and 's-Hertogenbosch (or Den Bosch) means: 'the woods of the duke'.--Willem6 12:04, 8 September 2009 (EDT)

Willem, ik heb het net ook geprobeerd, maar het kan inderdaad niet; het doet niet alleen zeer aan je ogen, het is gewoon fout

I can change the add-place screen so that if you capitalize something in the middle of a word, the system won't change the capitalization on you. It will only try to capitalize words that are entered either in all lower-case or all upper-case. So words like IJsselmonde and 's-Gravendeel will be capitalized as-is. Will that work?
P.S., thank's for telling me what 's- means. I've been wondering.--Dallan 19:56, 18 September 2009 (EDT)

Dallan, I tried it on the list of places covered in this Source:Herkomst en wapens van de geslachten Kranendonk; it doesn't work there; it might in titling pages, which is what you mean, I think.


I just renamed the four places I found that incorrectly started with S to start with 's-

I also edited Source:Herkomst en wapens van de geslachten Kranendonk and

  • set the type to Book -- you'll want to make sure to set the "type" on your sources so that they get renamed correctly in the upcoming renaming project. The renaming starts first thing tomorrow morning. Here's a list of your sources from a couple of days ago that shows how they will be renamed:
  • corrected the place links by adding the province and country so that they link to Place pages in the wiki - if you enter the first part of the place and a comma, and then wait a couple of seconds the system will return place titles that start with what you entered
  • changed the repository availability to "Other", since that's what we use for repositories like Repository:Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie that you have to visit in person.

What I meant earlier was that in the future (later today or early tomorrow), when you create a new Place page, it won't change the capitalization on you if you capitalize letters within a word. If you find that existing places are mis-capitalized, you can correct them by clicking on the "Rename" link.--Dallan 15:16, 21 September 2009 (EDT)

Alt names removed from list [17 January 2011]

Based on a conversation here, I removed the following alt names from this page: Batavian Republic, Dutch Republic, Frisia, Holanda, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Koninkrijk der Nederlanden, Niederlande, Olanda, Paesi Bassi, Países Baixos, Países Bajos, United Netherlands, United Provinces, and United Provinces of the Netherlands. At some point, they can be incorporated into a written text on the page, but they appear as unnecessary clutter in the alt name field. If we find gedcoms being uploaded with any of these, it can be added back to facilitate matching. --Jennifer (JBS66) 07:08, 17 January 2011 (EST)

Reorganizing categories [17 jan 2011]

I would like to assist reorganizing this category. the following: Unknown--Jennifer (JBS66) 08:26, 17 January 2011 (EST)

  • Kaagdorp (Former gemeente Alkemade, Zuid-Holland)

General region

  • Altena (Noord-Brabant)
  • Biesbos (Noord-Brabant)
  • Gooi (Noord-Holland)
  • Graafschap (Gelderland)
  • Hoekse Waard (Zuid-Holland)
  • Noordoostpolder not a region just a Gemeente (Overijssel (1962-1986, Flevoland (1986 -)
  • Purmer (Noord-Holland)
  • Westland (Zuid-Holland)

Just looking through the places listed by provinces I could 'repair' quite some of these places.--Klaas (Ekjansen) 07:53, 17 January 2011 (EST)

Klaas, any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated! Let me know if you have any questions about how to proceed. --Jennifer (JBS66) 08:18, 17 January 2011 (EST)

Jennifer, I have no idea how to edit, merge, remove, well how to handle categories, and I don't want to test around!--Klaas (Ekjansen) 08:21, 17 January 2011 (EST)
Just to clarify... when you say categories, do you mean the headings under "Contained Places" such as Unknown, General Region, Province, etc? I want to distinguish between that and Category pages like Category:Netherlands (though I don't think that is what you mean).
We might want to come up with standard phrases for these "Types" of places (ie - will they be in Dutch or English? Will we say Dorp instead of Terpdorp, etc). --Jennifer (JBS66) 08:26, 17 January 2011 (EST)
How do I make Kaagdorp to a contained place of Alkemade?
How do I set Purmer into a region of North-Holland?--Klaas (Ekjansen) 08:33, 17 January 2011 (EST)
Till 1962 Noordoostpolder was a region. --Lidewij 09:00, 17 January 2011 (EST)

Schema with related WR articles/templates [16 March 2015]

Might this scheme be something to add ? Is dit schema wellicht iets om toe voegen?

Flag Weapon Province Capital Municipalities Website Archives DTB (Births, Marr., Burials Burgerlijke Stand (Civil Reg.) Emigrants Template Emigration
DrentheAssenTemplateAlle DrentenTemplateTemplateEmigrants from DrentheTemplate
FrieslandLeeuwardenTemplateAlle FriezenTemplateTemplateEmigrants from FrieslandTemplate
GroningenGroningenTemplateAlle GroningersTemplateTemplateEmigrants from GroningenTemplate
OverijsselZwolleArticleHistorisch Centrum OverijsselTemplateTemplateEmigrants from OverijsselTemplate
GelderlandArnhemArticleGeldersarchiefTemplateTemplateEmigrants from GelderlandTemplate
UtrechtUtrechtArticleHet Utrechts ArchiefTemplateTemplateEmigrants from UtrechtTemplate
Noord-HollandHaarlemArticleNoord-Hollands ArchiefTemplateTemplateEmigrants from Noord-HollandTemplate
Zuid-Holland's-GravenhageArticleZuid-HollandTemplateTemplateEmigrants from Zuid-HollandTemplate
ZeelandMiddelburgArticleZeeuwen GezochtTemplateTemplateEmigrants from ZeelandTemplate
Noord-Brabant's-HertogenboschArticlehet geheugen van brabantTemplateTemplateEmigrants from Noord-BrabantTemplate
LimburgMaastrichtArticleRegionaal Historisch Centrum LimburgTemplateTemplateEmigrants from LimburgTemplate
--henk 19:29, 16 March 2015 (UTC)