Marriage record

Marriage records are a part of the civil registration, introduced in 1811 or slightly earlier in Limburg and Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. Marriage records contain the following information:

  • Name, age, profession and place of birth and residence of the bride and groom
  • Names of their parents, and if they are still alive their professions and place of residence
  • If any: names of previous spouses (either divorced or deceased)
  • Name, age, profession and place of residence for 4 witnesses

Marriage records are written on the day of the marriage. Since the introduction of the civil registration, church marriages were not legally binding. Religious people typically married twice: once for the church and once for the law. This doesn’t even have to be on the same day, some people marry for the church months or years after they get married for the law, but usually the civil and church marriage dates are pretty close. The only legal marriage is the one before the civil registration.

Marriage appendices

Before a couple can get married, they had to turn over many different documents:

  • Birth certificates for bride and groom
  • Death certificates for any deceased parents. In the early days of the civil registration death certificates of the grandparents were required as well if both parents were dead.
  • Death certificates for deceased previous spouses.
  • If parents were absent: Document of their consent.
  • Certificate to proove the groom fulfilled his military duties. This document often includes a physical description.
  • In case of poor people: a declaration of poverty, which meant they didn’t have to pay the legal fees.

These documents were stored as well. They are called ‘marriage appendices’ (huwelijksbijlagen).

Example

Scan

Where to find

Marriage records and the appendices are public after 75 years. The marriage records can be found at both the provincial archives and local archives. The appendices are not duplicated and can only be found at the provincial archives.

All of the provincial archives are working on making their public marriage records available online in the website WieWasWie.

Dutch Genealogy source score

5 Stars Amount of information about births, marriages, deaths
4 Stars Amount of background information about your ancestors
4 Stars Online availability of scans
5 Stars Online availability of indexes or transcriptions
2 Stars Easy to understand if you don’t know Dutch

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for 20 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

Comments

  1. Larry Joosse says:

    Thanks, this explains a lot of birth events with my ancestors in Zealand. Especially in one case when the child was born one month before the civil marriage. Both parents are listed on the birth notice so I know that the child was not born out of wedlock. Thanks the explanation of the church and civil marriages being separate helps solve a mystery.

    • Hi Larry,
      I’m not sure I follow. If the child was born a month before the civil marriage, then the child was born out of wedlock. The fact that both parents are mentioned on the birth record doesn’t say the child was legitimate, just that the father acknowledged the child. The specific wording of the record is important to see what the child’s legal status was. Also, I’ve not seen cases where the church marriage was before the civil marriage, only the other way around.

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