Quick tip – Civil Cases can Contain Earlier Records

Civil court cases can be a treasure trove of information. To support their claims, the parties may have had copies made of records that were kept in their family, or perhaps drew maps to show a boundary dispute.

In my own tree, I was able to prove the parents of a woman who married around 1677 by going through a civil case involving the inheritance of her grandson in 1710. The case file included prenuptial records of several family members, including the woman I was looking for. The prenuptial agreement listed several family members, which allowed me to prove which family she belonged to.

couple appearing in court

Couple appearing in court. Credits: Simon Fokke, collection Rijksmuseum (Public Domain)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG® is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate certificate in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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