Welcome. I’m Jan Deelstra,
a professional Dutch family
historian and genealogy expert.
Join me on a personal journey of
discovering your family history
and learn more about your
ancestors in the Netherlands.


Knowing where you come from and being part of something larger than yourself gives a stronger sense of who you are and where you belong.

Let me guide you in exploring your Dutch roots, in finding what makes up the foundation of your family history. You’ll be surprised with what there is to be discovered. The story of your family’s past is waiting to be told, a story that is continuing through you, and will be passed on from generation to generation.

We’ll start with your family tree, and what is known about your family’s history. Then we’ll add research to reveal information about how and where your family lived. Experiencing a Dutch Roots Tour can complete the picture.

Dutch Roots Explorer


I have been interested in family histories since I was a young law student. In the years since, all that I have collected and developed in my personal and professional life is applied in my companies Dutch Roots Explorer and Dutch Roots Tours: an in-depth knowledge of genealogy, analytical skills, and a passion for history, culture, storytelling, and people.

Dutch Roots Explorer

‘Jan Deelstra is a master at researching a myriad of dusty and obscure
documents to illuminate Dutch family histories. Thank you for discovering the
house where my ancestors lived in the 19th century!’


As a historian and genealogist, I offer my expertise in these three areas:


A family tree or chart is the skeleton of the story of your family. It yields a lot of information about the lives of your ancestors, such as names, religion, occupations, origin and whereabouts, literacy, and ages.


A family story adds flesh to the bones of the skeleton. Archives often unveil information about possessions, places of residence, public life, military service, or special family events. Fitting them within a broader historic, social, economic, and geographical context will give you an even better understanding of your ancestors’ heritage, and the decisions they made.

The story of your family will always be presented in an attractive and understandable format. Depending on the type of project, I will show you several examples of charts, family trees, reports, and books to choose from.


Once you have explored your ancestry on paper, you may decide it is time to experience your family history by traveling to the Netherlands. Dutch Roots Tours offers guided tours designed specifically to visit spots related to your ancestry. I will help you uncover hidden and hard-to-find gems and open doors that usually remain closed. Maybe you’ll even see a bit of yourself in the people and land.


Genealogy research is like putting together the pieces of a complex puzzle. First you have to find the pieces, and second, you begin to form the picture without knowing if the puzzle will ever be complete.


It always begins with a question. What are you looking for? Which family line or family member would you like to focus on? What kind of information is important to you? What is the stumble block in your own research? How would you prefer the results to be presented? Together we’ll create an action plan that includes a cost estimate.


As a professional family historian and genealogist I know exactly where to find the pieces of the puzzle, and I can rely on a network of experts in various fields for support. First I will develop a (re)search strategy for online and on site research. The Internet is a good place to start compiling your family history, but if you want to know more than the basic information a family tree provides, it is important to visit archives, museums, or historic societies.


If you have already done some background work but still need the help of a professional genealogist, I am at your service. I can dive into archives for you, translate documents, and check the data you have collected, or give you tips on how to proceed if you have reached a dead end.

When we reach an agreement, it’s your turn to share everything you know about your ancestors. Now comes the fun part of emptying the boxes filled with letters, pictures, and documents. If you are working with limited information, I will help you to start the research in your country to find the information we need.

For more information about how I work see the frequently asked questions.