Cadastral map of Ruinen.
Methodology Spotlight

Birth record of Albertien Nijboer

Today, we are looking at the birth record of Albertien Nijboer (1873).

birth record of Albertien Nijboer, Ruinen, 1873
civil registration (Ruinen, Drenthe, Netherlands), birth records 1873, record no. 36, Albertien Nijboer (15 April 1873); “Burgerlijke stand 1811-1962,” database with images, AlleDrenten ( : viewed 15 April 2020)


Today, the 15th of April eighteen hundred seventy-three, appeared before me the undersigned, civil registrar of the municipality of Ruinen, province of Drenthe: Jan Freriks Nijboer, thirty-one years old, farmer by profession, living in Ruinen, in the municipality of Ruinen.

He declared that his wife Hillechien Brouwer, no profession, living there, on the twelfth of the current month, in the evening at seven o’clock, in the house of informant, has delivered a child of the female sexe, to whom he gave the first name of Albertien.

This declaration took place in the presence of Jan Bruins, thirty years old, municipal tax collector by profession, living in Ruinen, and of Andries Stoker, thirty-four years old, constable by profession, living in Ruinen.
The informant and the witnesses signed this record, after it was read.

[followed by the signatures of the informant, the two witnesses and the civil registrar]

photo of the village of Ruinen, Drenthe, 2009
view of Ruinen (photo by Gouwenaar, 2009, public domain)


This a typical 19th century birth record. The father, Jan Freriks Nijboer, reports the birth of his daughter Albertien. The birth took place three days before. He was in time: he has to report a birth no later than on the third day after the day of birth.

The birth record only mentions the first name of the child. Because the child was born in wedlock – the father was married to the mother (the text says she was his huisvrouw, which means wife) – Albertien automatically received the family name of her father (Nijboer).
According to the legislation at the time two witnesses had to confirm that the father had reported the birth. These witnesses were not necessarily relatives.

Ruinen is a village in the province of Drenthe, since 1998 part of the municipality of De Wolden. According to statistics (2019) Ruinen has a population of 3670. One of its famous residents was Steven van Voorhees, who emigrated to the Dutch colony of New Netherlands in 1660.

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