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I’m looking for a serviceman from after 1813

The Nationaal Archief holds the military service books of non-commissioned officers and other personnel in the army from 1913. A description of these service books is provided in catalogue reference 2.13.09. This inventory also provides a list of the various army divisions, with reference to the page on which these divisions are described and a list of the garrisons in each division.

In the service book you will not only find the service record of the serviceman but also his date and place of birth, his description, the names of his parents and his last known place of residence. The service books are organised by army division, right down to the precise regiment. To find the service book entry for the serviceman you want to know more about, you will need to know which regiment he served in.

How do I proceed?

Look in catalogue reference 2.13.09 for the regiment using the table of contents and/or the list of army divisions. The numbers next to the names refer to the page numbers in the index. Once you have found the regiment, you can request the relevant index, which is usually the last inventory number in the series. The names are arranged alphabetically by the first letter of the surname. When you have found the name you can request the service book referred to in the index.

Example:

You are looking for Jacob Stalman, 8th Infantry Regiment, conscripted in 1835. In catalogue reference 2.13.09, search in the list of army divisions. For Infantry/8th Division/Infantry Regiment you are referred to page 57. On this and subsequent pages you will find descriptions of the service books of the 8th Regiment. The index for the 1835 conscription is found in inventory number 252B. On the computer, request the following: catalogue reference 2.13.09 inventory number 252B.

Once you have the index, look under the letter S, year 1835 and you will find 25430 Stalman Jacob. Now look in the inventory for the series of service books that include the number 25430. On page 58 you will see that the series 24353 and 25413 are found in inventory number 244. On the computer, request the following: catalogue reference 2.13.09, inventory number 244.

You can then look up the service book entry for Jacob Stalman.

1904-1923

There is another source available for information on non-commissioned officers and men in the Netherlands army in the first quarter of the twentieth century: the records of Inspection Lists relating to Military Personnel in the Netherlands Army in the period 1904-1923 (-1939), catalogue reference 2.13.66. These are loose service book entries, arranged alphabetically/lexicographically by surnames and first names in each army division. They often provide more detailed information than the service books themselves, and they allow for fairly easy comparison using the service book numbers listed in them. In addition to the inspection list you will also often find a punishment list which sometimes provides information about where the regiment was garrisoned.

After 1924

If you are looking for non-commissioned officers and other personnel after 1924, you can also write to:

The Ministry of Defence
DG Personeel/ Bureau RIOP
PO Box 7000
6460 NV Kerkrade

How can I find out the name of the regiment in which the serviceman served?

  • One way of finding out is by checking the marriage supplements (huwelijksbijlagen). You can find these at the state archives or regional history centre in the capital of the province in which the person lived, or at their municipal council or local archive office. These marriage supplements sometimes contain a statement by the provincial governor or king’s commissioner confirming that the bridegroom is entered in the National Militia records, along with the year of conscription and – if he was drafted – the regiment in which he served or still serves.
  • If this statement tells you that the serviceman you are looking for was in service but does not mention the regiment, you may still be able to find out the regiment by searching the militia records. If the serviceman lived in – and was therefore registered in –  a municipality in South Holland and signed up in 1881 or later, you can consult the conscription registers of the National Militia. The inventory of the militia records can be found in the reading room under catalogue reference 3.02.25. You can also consult the militia records if you have not found a National Militia statement but you know the serviceman’s place of residence and year of birth. Add twenty years to his year of birth (make sure that the year you arrive at is 1881 or later) and request the relevant register. An alphabetical list of names is bound to the back of each conscription register.

Example:

Your ancestor Maarten van Bodegraven is registered in the Municipality of Rotterdam register in 1882, conscription number 22. First look at pages 13-15 of the inventory to find out which military district the municipality of Rotterdam is in; on page 13 you will see that it is in the 6th military district. Then look for the conscription year 1882 in the inventory. You will see on page 20 that the 6th district can be found in inventory number 34.

On the computer, request the following: catalogue reference 3.02.25 inventory number 34. Once you have the register, under number 22 you will find the entry for Maarten van Bodegraven.

  • If you don’t manage to find out your ancestor’s regiment using the marriage registers or militia records but you do know his year of service and the place where his regiment was stationed, the following book may help you find out which regiments were garrisoned in that particular place in that year: H. Ringoir, Vredesgarnizoenen van 1715 tot 1795 en 1815 tot 1940. This book can be consulted at the Nationaal Archief’s information desk.
  • If the serviceman you are looking for was in service in about1830, you can also consult the index of recipients of the metal cross and the bronze medal. These decorations were awarded to those who took part in the Ten Days’ Campaign in August 1831. The alphabetical list of names of those who received these awards can be found in the reading room in catalogue reference 2.13.42. If the name you are looking for is included in this index, you can request the relevant record which will tell you the name of the regiment.
gahetNA is a website of the Society for the Nationaal Archief in cooperation with the Nationaal Archief and Spaarnestad Photo.
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