CBG bronnen
persoonskaart achtergrond
Fragment van de voorzijde van een persoonskaart. Foto: CBG / Collectie Nationaal Register van Overledenen (NRO)

Personal record cards and -lists

Personal record cards and -lists are important for everyone who want to discover historical information about their most recent branches of their Dutch family history. What information can you find on these historical Dutch municipal sources, from the NRO? How can you use these sources for your own research?

National Register of the deceased(NRO)

Personal record cards and -lists are part of the Dutch population registration. These paper based documents were put into use in 1939, on October first 1994 the system was replaced by a digital counterpart.

Together these historical paper based cards and the more recent digital lists together form the National Register of the deceased. This register is managed by the CBG| Center for family history. The NRO is an important source for family tree researchers, with indispensable basic genealogical data and interesting additional data.

As with all other sources that you consult for your family tree research, you must also be alert to the completeness and accuracy of the information. Although the form should be completed carefully, it is possible that data is missing or even errors have been made.

Basic genealogical data

The names and information about birth, marriage and death that you find on the personal cards(1939-1994) and personal record lists(1994-present) are considered basic genealogical data. They form the basis of every family tree.

Personal Recard Cards (1939-1994)


Example of the front side of a personal record card(1939-1994), Collection NRO, CBG.


Example of the back side of a personal record card(1939-1994), Collection NRO, CBG.



In addition to the name of the person, you can also find the names of his or her parents and any partners and/or children on the personal record card or personal record list. These are the official names. You will therefore not encounter nicknames and aliases and additions such as 'self-written' or 'nickname' are only processed if they were part of the family name. This applies, for example, to the family 'Withaar nicknamed de Jong'.

Birth, marriage and death

As with the names, Birth date, marriage and death are not limited to the card holder. Where applicable and known, this information has also been added to the other persons mentioned on the personal record card or personal record list. The information listed for any children is different for personal record cards and personal record lists. Marriage and death information for children can be stated on personal record cards, while this information is missing on personal record lists.

As far as births are concerned, it is important to know that children are in principle only listed with the head of the family on personal record cards. In practice, this was usually their (step)father. After the death of the father, or after a divorce, the children were also added to the mother's personal card (but only if they were part of her household).

Children born after January 1, 1966 should in principle be linked to both parents. The personal record lists of spouses who married on or after that date should therefore contain the same children (with the exception of any illegitimate children). This is less obvious for personal record lists of spouses who were married before January 1, 1966. Not every municipality felt it necessary to be as complete as possible on the cards.

If the card holder was married and that marriage was dissolved, the reason for the dissolution is also indicated (death or divorce). If there were multiple marriages, these were of course also noted.

In the death date you can sometimes find the abbreviation LV (body finding), or the indication 'found deceased'. In both cases it concerns a remains for which it was no longer possible to determine the time of death.

Although the cause of death was stated on personal cards until 1956, the CBG is legally obliged to cover that information (just like religion and the reason for the loss of Dutch nationality).

Additional information

Additional information enables you to enhance your family tree even more, adding depth and vibrancy to the individuals within it.


When seeking information on the occupation of your ancestors, it's important to note that such details are exclusively found on personal record cards and are absent from personal record lists, due to regulation excluding this data from the lists the CBG receives from the Dutch government.

Generally, the profession should be left blank for children under the age of fourteen and students above that age, unless the designation 'studying' is applicable. The inclusion of Dutch academic titles is acceptable, while mentioning foreign academic titles is permitted only in exceptional cases, requiring explicit indication of the university granting the title.

Beyond specifying the occupation, personal record cards also denote whether the individual practiced the profession as a head or self-employed person (h), or as a subordinate (o). In cases where there is no current profession, the box is marked with 'without.' Occasionally, it is mentioned that an individual has 'relinquished' their profession.

Personal record list (1995–present)

Persoonslijst engels

Example of a personal record list(1994-present),Collection NRO, CBG.


Address details can be found on both personal record cards and personal record lists. In the latter case there is a restriction. Address details may only be made public twenty years after death. If someone died less than twenty years ago, only the last place of residence is listed on the personal record list. In addition the names of people, institutions, homes, buildings, etc. were under no circumstances allowed to be included with the address information. Furthermore, conscripts' personal record cards were not sent with the card holder to the location of their regiment. Only transfers of professional soldiers were treated as relocation.


Just like professions, nationality is only stated on personal record cards. Distinction is made between Dutch people (Ned) and foreigners and persons without nationality (Vr).

Sometimes it is indicated on the personal record card that someone has acquired Dutch nationality, with reference to a specific article of law (for example 'art 5 Act 1892').

If you discover through the personal record card that someone has been naturalized, it is possible to conduct further research at the National Archives. See the search aid 'Naturalizations 16th century-1950'.

Became curious? Request an extract from the NRO and enrich the most recent branches of your family tree.