The Zeeuws Archief offers a wealth of information about the people who, during the past centuries, lived in Zeeland. This information is in part available online, but much more can be found in the original documents in our Reading Room.
Primary sources, which are directly available on microfilm, microfiche and in the form of photocopies are:
- Burgerlijke Stand [BS] [Civil Registration], which has birth, marriage and death certificates covering the period 1811 (Zeeuws-Vlaanderen from 1796) until 1902 (birth), 1922 (marriage) and 1950 (death).
- Doop-, Trouw- en Begraaf- en Lidmatenregisters [DTBL] [Baptism, Marriage, Burial and Memberships registers], church registers covering the period late sixteenth century until 1810. Unfortunately, half of Zeeland’s Baptism, Marriage and Burial registers were destroyed by fire during the bombing of Middelburg in May 1940. For this reason the memberships registers have been added to this series.
- Verzameling Genealogische Afschriften [Collection of Genealogical Copies], a large genealogical collection with indexes, copies, notations and extracts collected from lost Baptism, Marriage and Burial registers, but also from court and notary archives and diverse genealogical sources.
- Bevolkingsregisters [Parish Registers], in which people can be traced back via the addresses where they have lived, are only available for the villages and towns which now form the municipalities of Middelburg and Veere, and for the city of Middelburg, but only for the period 1900-1937. For all other villages and towns the estimated period of 1826-1938 applies.
As well as primary sources, many secundary sources are also available, sometimes fully indexed, like the archives of local courts of justice (16th-18th century) and the Cantonal and County Courts (19th-20th century), public notaries (16th-20th century), prison registers (19th century), emigrant and military registrations (19th century) and muster-rolls of the crews of the ships of the Commercie Compagnie of Middelburg (a Zeeland slave trading company, 17th-18th century), the Zeeuwse Admiraliteit (Admiralty of Zeeland, 16th-18th century) and the Kamer Zeeland van de Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC, Zeeland Chamber of the Dutch East India Company, 16th-18th century; however: please note that the archives of the VOC themselves are kept in the National Archives in The Hague).
On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays only, the Genealogisch Centrum Zeeland (Genealogical Centre Zeeland) is open to the public. Situated adjacent to the Reception Desk in the same building as the Zeeuws Archief, it offers a wide range of transcriptions from family resources (the original is often kept at the Zeeuws Archief), indexes and other finding aids according to surname. The Genealogisch Centrum Zeeland is run by volunteers, who are very keen to help you with your research.
Zeeuwen Gezocht : Online genealogical research
Many of the genealogical sources of the Zeeuws Archief are now accessible online (in English!) in our genealogical research database Zeeuwen Gezocht. You can search for records of persons in the numerous sources of the Zeeuws Archief by just typing in a name and Zeeuwen Gezocht informs you in which sources that name occurs. You can also use other search terms or try combinations. Zeeuwen Gezocht now holds nearly 6 million records. Zeeuwen Gezocht includes all the Marriage Certificates (1796/1811-1932) and all Death Certificates (1796/1811-1940/1957) of the Civil Registration of the municipalities of Zeeland.
Research to order
If you are not able to visit the Zeeuws Archief to do research yourself, you can commission the Zeeuws Archief to do it for you. Unfortunately, the Zeeuws Archief does not perform genealogical research to order. However, you can make an appeal to a local researcher. More information …