gahetNA in the National Archives

I'm looking for a naturalisation

Until about 1950 naturalisation, or the granting of Dutch citizenship to foreign nationals permanently settled in the Netherlands or the Dutch colonies, was not a common phenomenon in Dutch history. A foreigner was permitted to live and work in the Netherlands as long as he was self-sufficient and not a nuisance to anyone. Naturalisation was expensive and also unnecessary unless you wanted to be considered for a high post in government or, later on, to have the right to vote. Any children born to foreigners were automatically granted Dutch nationality if they were born on Dutch soil.
Nevertheless, the Nationaal Archief does have records of close to 18,000 individual cases of naturalisation in the period from the sixteenth century to 1950. More than 14,000 of these naturalisations took place in the twentieth century.
Rejected applications are rarely found in the archives. The number of rejections only started to increase at the start of World War I, as the number of applications rose. Archive research into a rejected application is done in the same way as for those for which naturalisation was granted. It will take a bit longer, however.

How do I proceed?

Naturalisation records are split up into three categories.
1. Applications or petitions from individuals wanting to become naturalised
2. Reports from authorities containing information about the applicants
3. Acts and decrees in which naturalisation is granted.
How you find the naturalisation you are looking for depends on the period of time concerned. Below you will find instructions for the period prior to 1795, the period 1795-1813, the period 1815-1849 and the period 1850-1950. For naturalisations after 1950 we refer you to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). The IND also has lists of names of naturalised individuals going back to 1850. If you are sure that someone was naturalised between 1850 and 1950 but you cannot find them in the alphabetical lists at the Nationaal Archief, you can use the IND's lists as a means of checking this.

Naturalisations prior to 1795

Naturalisations 1795-1813

Naturalisations 1815-1849

Naturalisations 1850-1950

Stateless persons

Are you looking for the naturalisation of a former Dutch citizen who became stateless because he or she was in the German armed forces during World War II? These naturalisations were granted by the Ministry of Justice with no parliamentary intervention. Records relating to these naturalisations are not yet held by the Nationaal Archief, but are still located at the Ministry of Justice. Whenever Dutch citizenship of this kind was granted it was published in the Staatscourant (the Dutch government gazette containing new acts and various governmental announcements). Please refer to the Staatscourant Register, which can be found in the first or last volume of the bound Staatscourant issues of the relevant year; see section Nationalitiet (nationality), subsection Verlening Nederlanderschap (Granting of Dutch Citizenship), which refers to the numbers of the Staatscourant issues that have lists of names, with the date of the Minister of Justice's ministerial order and the corresponding order number for each naturalised citizen.

Naturalisations prior to 1795

Naturalisation as a Hollander

If you want to know more about naturalisations as a Hollander in the period prior to 1795 you will need to use the archives of the States of Holland 1572-1795 (catalogue reference 3.01.04.01). For the period 1572-1795 you can use the key word Naturalisatien (naturalisations) to search the printed indexes. You can find these indexes under inventory numbers 281-298 which are available on microfilm in the reading room. You can find the printed resolutions under inventory numbers 1-280.
For the period 1670- 1795 there is a special register of naturalisation certificates. This has an index that lists the names of individuals. You can find this index under inventory number 1763. You can find the original naturalisation certificates from this period under inventory numbers 1763A-1765A, together with the petitions, the recommendations and any other appendices. For this period you should only use the printed indexes if you are looking for an application that was refused or if you are doing an extra check for rare cases of naturalisations that are not included under inventory number 1763.

Naturalisation as a Brabander

For naturalisations as a Brabander in the period prior to 1795 you will need to use the archives of the Staten Generaal (States-General) (catalogue references 1.01.03 and 1.01.06) and the Fagel collection (catalogue reference 1.10.94). For the period 1576-1625 you will only need to consult the State Historical Publications (RGP) series in the reading room: look for the Resolutiën der Staten Generaal (Resolutions of the States-General). These are the RGP volumes 26, 33, 41, 43, 47, 51, 55, 57, 62, 71, 85, 92, 101, 131, 135, 151, 152, 176, 187, 208 and 223. These volumes all have an index that lists the names of individuals.
For the period from 1626 onwards you will need to research the archives.

Inventory numbers for research into naturalisations 1626-1795

Catalogue referenceInventory numbersRecordPeriod
1.01.033684-1695Multi-year indexes1626-1699
1.01.033865-3868Multi-year indexes1700-1749
1.01.0362, 3185-3195 en 3244-3282Resolutions, often with yearly index1626-1670
1.10.94400-432Printed resolutions with yearly index1671-1704
1.01.033760-3864Printed resolutions with yearly index1705-1796

Naturalisations 1795-1813

As far as is known only nine people became naturalised in this period. These are the following:

  • J.B. Auffmorth
  • C.F. Kaempf
  • J.H. Strup
  • C.C. Pahlig
  • J.B. Dumonceau
  • A. Bruno
  • J.J. Tarayre
  • E.J. Travers
  • A.M.C. Gillet Ducoudray

Between 1810 and 1813 the Netherlands was part of France. The records of the naturalisations named above can be found in the archives of the State Secretary in the General State Archives in Brussels.

Naturalisations 1815-1849

For the period 1815-1849 naturalisation was granted by means of Royal Decree. In the yearbook of the Central Bureau for Genealogy (CBG), volume 46 (1992), pages 220-243, you will find an alphabetical list of names of naturalised individuals as well as the date and the number of the Royal Decree. You can then use this to find the decree you are looking for in the archives of the State Secretary, 1815-1840, and the archives of the King's Cabinet, 1841-1849. A copy of this alphabetical list from the CBG yearbook is available at the information desk in the reading room.
Once you have found the decree, you can do research in the archives of the Ministry of Justice and look for the underlying records, such as the petition. Research in the archives of the Ministry of Justice requires three steps: index of names – index – verbaal archives.
Start by making a request for the index of names and the index for the year in which the naturalisation took place. But do bear in mind that the application for naturalisation will have been submitted a year, sometimes even two years, before the year in which the Royal Decree granting the naturalisation was issued.
Once you have found the name you will see next to it a reference to a section and a serial number. This is usually the section Bijzondere Individuele Belangen (Special Individual Interests), subsection Naturalisatie (naturalisation). The section you have found refers to a section in the index. Look in the index for this section and then for the relevant serial number. Next to this serial number you will see a number of dates, including the date of enforcement. This is the date on which the naturalisation file was filed in the verbaal archives.
If you do not see a date, but just a new serial number, look up this serial number. This will lead you to the date of enforcement.
If you cannot find the file under the date of enforcement, look under the other dates given next to the serial number.

Inventory numbers for research into naturalisations 1815-1849

Catalogue referenceInventory numbersRecordPeriod
2.02.0166-1850Royal Decrees1815-1823
2.09.09234 and onwardsIndexes1815-1823
2.09.0113-190Verbaal archive1815-1823
2.02.011570-4656Royal Decrees1823-1840
2.02.041-591Royal Decrees1841-1849
2.09.014258-4378Indexes (Request the indexes marked B)1823-1849
2.09.01517-1327Verbaal archive1823-1849

Naturalisations 1850-1950

From 1851 onwards naturalisation was granted by act of parliament. These acts were published in the Staatsblad (a government bulletin containing acts, orders and decrees). In the Luttenberg Register, in the Naturalisation section, you will find the names of the individuals naturalised in the period 1851-1924, along with the date of naturalisation. This date can then be used to find the text of the act in the Staatsblad.
After 1924 you can find the yearly lists of names in the yearly alphabetical registers of the Staatsblad in the section Naturalisation (and Dutch Citizenship or Nederlanderschap). Copies of these alphabetical lists can also be found at the information desk in the reading room.
Once you have found the act, you can do research in the archives of the Ministry of Justice and look for the underlying records, such as the petition. When looking for the underlying records in the Ministry of Justice, you may find that the person you are looking for does not appear in the index. You should therefore always write down the name of the person appearing at the top of the list of naturalised individuals. This name will appear in the index.
Research in the archives of the Ministry of Justice requires three steps: index of names – index – verbaal archives. Start by requesting the index of names and the index for the year in which the naturalisation took place. First look for the name in the index of names. Most likely you will not find the name since the petition would have been submitted one or two years earlier. Then request the index for the previous year. Sometimes you will have to go back yet another year.
Once you have found the name you will see next to it a reference to a section and a serial number. For the nineteenth century this will be the section Bijzondere Individuele Belangen (Special Individual Interests), subsection Naturalisatie (naturalisation). From 1886 onwards the name of the section changes on a regular basis and you may come across the following abbreviations: Burg. Rechten; Nederl.; Ned.; letter I.
The section you have found refers to a section in the index. Look in the index for this section and then for the relevant serial number. Next to this serial number you will see a number of dates, including the date of enforcement. This is the date on which the naturalisation file was filed in the verbaal archives.
If you do not see a date, but just a new serial number, look up this serial number. This will lead you to the date of enforcement.

Exceptions

For the period 1851-1876 there is a separate series of naturalisation files, filed according to the date of the naturalisation act. If you cannot find the file you are looking for in this series, you will have to continue looking in the registers and indexes, as described above.
Make sure that the indexes you request have the letter B in the title.
For the period 1932-1950 the indexes of names were combined with the indexes to form a ‘combined index’. You will first need to request the combined index that contains the first letter of the surname of the person you are looking for. Under this name you will find a number of entries, including wetten (acts) and a serial number. Then consult the combined index containing the letter W (for the section wetten).

Inventory numbers for research into naturalisations 1850-1950

Catalogue referenceInventory numbersRecordPeriod
2.09.014859-4876Naturalisation files1851-1876
2.09.051453-1497Indexes of names1876-1906
2.09.051404-1452Indexes1876-1906
2.09.055931-5938Indexes of names1907-1914 
2.09.055921-5930 Indexes1907-1914 
2.09.05581A-1275Verbaal archive1876-1906 
2.09.05 4903-5854 Verbaal archive1906-1914
2.09.22 14716-14723Indexes of names1915-1922 
2.09.22 14679-14689 Indexes1915-1922 
2.09.22 6701-7278 Verbaal archive1915-1922 
2.09.2214724-14729 Indexes of names1923-1931 
2.09.22 14691, 14694 en 14699 Indexes1923-1931 
2.09.227278-9485Verbaal archive1923-1931 
2.09.2214739-14744 Combined indexes1932-1950 
2.09.2214413-14418Combined indexes1932-1950 
2.09.22 9485-13538 Verbaal archive1932-1950 
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