Quick tip: Did your widowed ancestor make a settlement?

If a widow or widower with young children wanted to marry again, often they first had to make a settlement with their minor children so they received their share of the deceased parent’s inheritance. These records can be helpful to prove family relationships, to get insights into the economic circumstances of the family, and to find out about subsequent marriages.

These settlements can be found in orphan chamber records, voluntary court records, or notarial records, depending on the time and place. They are usually not indexed, but well worth checking for. If you know the date of the subsequent marriage, it is worth checking these series for the weeks before the marriage. The settlements were typically made between the date of the marriage banns and the actual marriage.

Etch of an older man holding a woman's had

Courting widower. Image credits: Rijksmuseum

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 25 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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