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