Nowadays, everybody can start researching his or her family history. A lot of information is published on the internet. In the Netherlands, the most frequently used sources are digitized and freely available. Indexes and databases are a big help. Nevertheless, one of the most prominent methodological priciples is: always check the original source. To demonstrate this, today’s record is the burial entry for Eva van Santen (1690).
4 [July] Eva van Santen, from the Warmoesstraat
Eva’s entry in the burial register is actually not a very special one. The entry and the register as a whole provide us the following details.
- the parish (Oude Kerk, or Old Church, in Amsterdam)
- the date of her burial (4 July 1690)
- her name (Eva van Santen)
- her last address (Warmoesstraat)
- the rate for her funeral (8 guilders)
Did you also take a look at the registration a few lines lower? It says that on the 17th of that month a child of Hartmanus Hartman, in the Warmoesstraat, was buried. We know from our research that Eva van Santen was the mother of this child. She died first on the 4th, her newborn baby almost two weeks later.
Check the source
The reason why we focus on this burial entry today, is because of the database that we used to find Eva van Santen.
For baptisms, marriages or burials in Amsterdam in the 17th and 18th century, we recommend the database of the Amsterdam City Archives. When we search for her name, we get 22 results. One of these results refers to a burial register (DTB Begraven). This looks promising.
The date for this burial entry in the database says: 4 July 1687. When we click on the link and look at the image… we find that the entry in the original burial register is not from 1687 but from 1690!
Because we were looking for Eva’s death somewhere between 1690 and 1693, we first missed this entry.
We know that volunteers enter details in databases like this, and we owe them many thanks. Obviously, this is just a typo. What we want to demonstrate here, is: do not just rely on the index or the database, but always check the original source!