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© 2018 Annelies J. Schlitt
The use of any material derived from this website for commercial purposes without permission is strictly forbidden.
Dorenbos Hoogeveen (van)(de/der)Leur
The Dorenbos Family Database
f one of your ancestors is a Dorenbos, you came to the right place. This is where you can find your ancestor’s roots as far back as identifiable names and public records permit. You will readily see who all your Dorenbos relatives are, and how they fit together as part of your now instantly extended personal family tree.
The Dorenbos Family Database integrates the Dorenbos birth, marriage, and death statistics buried in countless local church and civil archives throughout the Netherlands and beyond. It is a work in progress as new information and new information sources turn up, either through further research by the author or from contributions from interested volunteers. Initially the emphasis has been on the Netherlands, presumably the origin country of our name (though Germany is also likely). The plan is to extend the database to trace Dorenbos emigrants and their descendants to Germany, the United States, and the rest of the world.
There is only one requirement for inclusion in this database: the surname Dorenbos, regardless of how it is spelled (see sidebar) or how it was acquired. You get an honorable mention if you are married to a Dorenbos, but to preserve our focus on the Dorenbos name, any further research into spouses and other significant others is left to you. Links to other databases are supported and encouraged (see Feedback, below).
A surname can be acquired in several ways:
(1) through paternal inheritance (the traditional way),
(2) through maternal inheritance (by choice or by the absence of an acknowledged father),
(3) by assumption from a step- or adoptive parent, or
(4) simply by choice—typically during the official, pre-1812 Europe-wide drive to ensure that all families have permanent surnames for better identification.
Before 1812, patronymic names were the rule among Dutch citizens. Patronymic names had the form
(Example: Jan Pieters, or Jan, son of Pieter)
and resulted in vast numbers of unrelated people with the same names—a genealogist’s nightmare. The use of surnames reduces these ambiguities to relatively small numbers of possibilities.
Even after taking on a surname, most families continued with the patronymic tradition within their new identity for the next few generations, which turned out to be very helpful for genealogists when piecing together family trees at times and places where records are fragmentary, since patronyms are useful hints in determining parentage within families.
For more information regarding the history of Dutch surnames and civil registration, see
Patronymic conversions to Dorenbos account for most of the 100-odd separate family trees in our database. Of the remaining trees, a handful are limited in depth only by the church records that survive today in the areas where the earliest known Dorenbos’s lived (16th-century Groningen Province), and probably go back much farther than that. The database still contains a few trees of indeterminate origin, but I am hopeful that these, too, will be resolved soon.
The major sources of data for this project were the numerous local municipal archives throughout the Netherlands. Most have comprehensive birth, marriage, and death records for the entire population of the Netherlands since 1812, when mandatory civil registration laws, including the requirement for family surnames, went into effect—all initiated by Napoleon and retained after his ouster. Most of these records have already been indexed for computer access and are now available online at no cost.
Prior to 1812, only a few municipalities recorded birth, marriage, death, and/or residency information of their subjects, and even those were spotty and incomplete. To fill this gap in their pre-1812 archives, Dutch municipalities have turned to the best source of such information: church registers of past baptisms, marriages, and burials, sometimes going back as far as the 16th century. As of today, many of these registers have already been indexed and are available online along with the post-1812 data.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, many gaps remain. Lost files and records, recording mistakes, deficient standards, spelling issues, indexing errors, and data-compiling screw-ups (mine) all contribute to the difficulty of making sense of this overabundance of data. One of the goals of this project is to navigate this thicket just once, for the benefit of all those interested in identifying their Dorenbos ancestors.
Another cause of incompete data are the Dutch privacy laws. Birth and marriage data are made available to these databases only after 100 years have passed, and deaths records, after 50 years. If you are looking for a recent relative, this website is not the best place to look.
Before you start searching, take a little time to browse the database and become familiar with the notation. Then read Search Tips to help you choose the best strategy for finding your relative in this database. If you don’t find him/her right away, try different strategies, as suggested in that link.
Feedback Send to…
As indicated earlier, collaboration with other interested family researchers is essential for the integrity and completeness of this database. All are urged to contribute to this database in any of the following ways:
1) Report any Dorenbos relative you cannot locate in this database!
2) Fill in missing information, such as a date or a spouse.
3) Insert missing family members, such as children or siblings, or an additional marriage.
4) Correct any mistaken data item or family relationship (location in the tree).
5) Confirm or correct a red (“best-guess”) entry in the database.
6) Spelling is always an issue. Should it be the “correct” spelling, the recorded spelling (to facilitate further research), or the most easily searched spelling? Make a suggestion.
7) Request a link to your genealogy website, either for the Links page or as a direct link from a non-Dorenbos spouse in this database to an individual in yours (include your bookmark and request one in mine).
8) Correct or suggest improvements to any other information published on this website.
9) Correct or suggest improvements regarding links, design, or other technical features of this website.
Be sure to include in your email adequate data identifying the database entry you are referring to.
Please report any privacy concerns. If any living individual requests to be taken out, I will be glad to comply immediately (with the database entry, that is—not you!). As an example of a workable policy, my siblings and I, all retired, have agreed to include ourselves, but not our children and grandchildren, in the database. They can decide for themselves later when they, uh, inherit this project.
© 2018 Annelies J. Schlitt The use of any material derived from this website for commercial purposes without permission is strictly forbidden.