The National Institute for Genealogical Studies offers 230+ online courses on a wide variety of topics, providing genealogical education for those interested in beginning to research their family history, as well as professional genealogists.
As we continue to explore developing Transcription Skills, we realize that most researchers will eventually discover immigrant ancestors whose original language was not English. This can make transcribing their documents a challenge when the language is not familiar. Our Basic Level course: Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting was created to equip all of our students with this essential ability, but how can you start transcribing when you can’t even read the documents?
Our course Research: Dutch Ancestors in the Netherlands is an excellent resource for those who discover that they have Dutch Ancestors. It will guide you through the records that contain details about your ancestors’ lives. But how can you overcome the language barrier?
Here are a few resources to assist you with translating the documents in order to prepare them for transcriptions. The FamilySearch Research Wiki is always a good place to start.
FamilySearch – The Netherlands Genealogy
FamilySearch – The Netherlands Online Genealogy Records
FamilySearch – Netherlands Handwriting
FamilySearch – Learning to Read Dutch Handwriting
FamilySearch – Dutch Genealogical Word List
Look for websites that provide tips and tutorials, created by those with experience using these records. Webinars and special collections will provide useful information for your research.
BYU Script Tutorial – The Dutch Documents
The Warehouse – Handwriting: Dutch Old Alphabet
Dutch Genealogy – Quick tip – Mind the long S
Legacy Family Tree Webinars – Researching Your Dutch Ancestors
Library & Archives Canada – Immigration History: Ethno-Cultural Groups: Dutch
Ancestry – Netherlands Collections
Remember, the more you read through the documents, the more familiar you will become with the handwriting. Letters and words will become more easily recognizable. Practice transcribing small portions taken from a variety of documents. Create a “cheat sheet” document for yourself with screenshots of the most common letters or words found in the documents you are searching. This will make it easier to read similar documents when you come back later. It is recommended to always transcribe the documents for your ancestors when you find them, along with a complete citation.
As researchers, we have found that there are many skills we need to employ in order to achieve success in our future research projects. Transcription Tuesday will share guidelines and practical suggestions to help our readers to develop the skills for making effective transcriptions, abstracts, and extractions.
Transcription Tuesday previous blog post
Transcription Tuesday Index
These three core courses demonstrate Transcription principles. They are offered monthly, beginning on the first Monday of every month: Register today!
Methodology-Part 2: Organizing and Skill-Building
Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting
Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents
Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here.
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