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Types of Civil Records

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Birth Civil Registration Records

Birth records could be completely handwritten records, or a form filled out with handwritten or typed text depending on the time period when they were created. Before the invention of photocopies, when people requested a copy of a birth record, the civil registration officials would provide a certificate of the record. Birth certificates could be a literal and complete transcription of the record or an extract of the same.  Each civil birth entry may contain the following information: 

  • The name of the child. 
  • The birthdate of the child. 
  • The birthplace of the child. 
  • The names of the child's parents. 
  • The residence of the parents 
  • The ages and occupation of the parents. 
  • The names, ages, occupations, and residences of the witnesses. 
  • The relationships of the witnesses to the child, if any. 
  • It will never say if the child is legitimate or illegitimate. 

Because of social conditions in the Netherlands, the birth of illegitimate children was not uncommon. If a child was born out of wedlock it will not usually mention a father, even if he is known. If the child's parents do later marry and the father acknowledge the child as his, it will mention this in the margin. At that time the last name of the child will also change from the mother's last name to the father's last name. However, this does not mean that he is the biological father! If the child is illegitimate, but the father is named, there is no reason to suspect false paternity.  

Below is a sample of a transcribed and translated Birth Record.

Sample Birth Record


Op heden den Tweenentwintigsten Maart Achtienhonderd Een-en-Veertig,

is voor ons ondergeteekende_____________________________Ambtenaar

van den Burgerlijken Stand er Stad Amsterdam, verschene: Henricus

Amen van beroep  wagonmaker 

oud negen dertig Jaren, wonende Guldenhandsteeg  Kanton 

. 124welke heft verklaard dat op heden 

des voor middags ten zes ure, in het huis,     

staande alhier is geboren een Kind van het mannelijke 

geslachtuit Hendrica Beernink

van beroep geen wonende alhier zijne echtgenoote 

welk Kind zal genaamd worden Wilhelmus Johannes  Franciscus Henricus 

Van welke Verklaring wij deze Akte hebben opgemaakt in tegenwoorigheid van Johan

Michael Giersberg van beroep wagonmaker oud dertig Jaren,  

wonende Nuijenstraat n1058. en van Hendricus Gerardus 

de Jong van beroep Zeeman oud tween veertig Jaren;

wonende Dijkstraat    en is deze Akte door onsbenevens 

den verst___de Getuigenna Voorlezing onderteekend. 



On this day the twenty-second of March Eighteen Hundred and Forty-One,

is before the undersigned Civil Officer         

from the Civil Registry Office of Amsterdam, appears: Henricus Amen

of the occupation wagon maker 

aged thirty-nine Years, living at Guldenhandsteeg Canton 

N°. 124, who has declared that on this day at six o'clock a.m., in the house,  

standing here is born a child of the male 

sex, from Hendrica Beernink 

 of the occupation none living here his wife 

whose child shall be named Wilhelmus Johannes Franciscus Henricus 

of which we declare this Act has been made in the presence of

Johan Michael Giersberg of the occupation wagon maker aged thirty Years,

living at Nuijenstraat n1058. and of Hendricus Gerardus de Jong

of the occupation seaman aged forty-two Years,

living at Dijkstraat and this Act through us, along with ____ testify, after reading is signed. 

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