Finding Someone in the Netherlands
January 18, 2006 11:08 AM   Subscribe

How to locate next-of-kin in the Netherlands?

I'm trying to locate the sons of a friend who just passed away here in Portland. She led a wandering life, but I know she has three sons who live in Holland.

(We tried to get their contact information from her during the weeks before she died, but she was reluctant. I think she didn't want to admit how ill she was; I also think she didn't want them to see her sick. But I know she has had contact with them as adults.)

I know the name and birthdate of the eldest, who is somewhat well known (he is an Olympic athlete). I also know the name of the youngest son, and the name of her granddaughter.

I used my Google-fu to search what I think is the Dutch white pages, with no results. I contacted the Red Cross, who said they don't do this kind of thing and directed me to the Consulate of the Netherlands. They weren't terribly helpful either, suggesting that we either call the Ministry of Foreign Services in the Hague (which I will pursue but don't feel hopeful about), or hire a Dutch private investigator.

Any other ideas? We don't need to contact them directly; if we could find a third party who could track them down and pass along the message, that would be great.
posted by ottereroticist to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
Just a shot in the dark -- but from the official Olympics website I found some information of the National Olympic Committee of the Netherlands, including a mailing address and an email address. Maybe someone there could provide something of a lead... Good luck!
posted by penchant at 11:34 AM on January 18, 2006

(Perhaps the Dutch NOC could direct you to a national organization of the son's specific sport, for example.)
posted by penchant at 11:38 AM on January 18, 2006

I think penchant's suggestion is a good one, but just in case you want to try something on the web first:

The dutch white pages are at It has an advanced search where you can search the whole country (just fill in name and initials (voorletters)). This may help if the name is a little unusual. You can also search by region (you may want to try a few more populated regio's). Be aware that if her name is something like 'Vandenbeemdt', it is most likely spelt here as 'van den Beemdt', 'where 'van den' means 'of the', it is not really considered part of the last name, so it is better to search for 'Beemdt'.

I'd be glad to help you if you need any specific help with the language or with web pages.
posted by davar at 12:05 PM on January 18, 2006

Dutch public broadcasters KRO have a TV show called 'Spoorloos'. They track down missing people, mostly outside of the Netherlands, but the other way around as well.

E-mail spoorloos at

Or if you need specific help searching Dutch websites or off line directories, drop me a line.
posted by prolific at 12:14 PM on January 18, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I found an e-mail address for him by following a link off of Yay Metafilter! I know I could count on you.
posted by ottereroticist at 3:53 PM on January 18, 2006

Response by poster: Followup: I contacted the son, and he and his brothers are flying in tomorrow from Amsterdam for our friend's funeral.

It's extremely sad they couldn't see her before she died, but we are looking forward to sharing memories of our friend with her sons.

Thanks everyone for your help.
posted by ottereroticist at 10:55 AM on January 20, 2006

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