Notarial archives contain a world of information, including that of people’s circumstances. These archives contain items such as wills, which provide information about the affluence of testators and the belongings that were typical of that time, or contracts in which the professions and working fields of individuals were listed. Notarial deeds also make it possible to find out whether people were able to write. The deeds were actually signed by the parties and if a person could not write, he or she would draw a symbol (often a cross).
A copy of each available deed may be ordered from the municipal archive. You will see how to do this if you wish to order a copy of a deed you have found.
New extracts are made available every month. The archive has approximately half a million deeds, which are often illegible, but in the meantime, you may search over 116,000 deeds. Around 80% of those deeds come from civil-law notaries in Rotterdam during the period 1585-1650.
Searching through the Notarial Deeds is only possible in Dutch.