Dutch term – Naastingsrecht

Naastingsrecht was the right to have the first option of buying a property. Whenever a property was sold, a person who had naastingsrecht could match the purchase price and buy the property for himself, cancelling the original sale.

Different parts of the Netherlands had different variations of this right. In most regions, next of kin had naastingsrecht. For instance, a younger brother could prevent his older brother from selling the family farm to a stranger by buying it himself. The naastingsrecht usually had to be exercised within a year of the sale, which meant that the buyer would remain uncertain of the purchase for a year after he bought the property. In some regions fellow owners and neighbors also had naastingsrecht, but only after the next of kin chose not to buy the property.

In some areas, like Friesland, all sales were announced publicly to allow people to exercise their naastingsrecht. These announcements were recorded in proclamatieboeken (proclamation books), which can be found in the court records in the provincial archive Tresoar.

As you can imagine, there was great potential for conflict in determining who had the best claims to the right to purchase the property. Resulting legal actions can be found in the civil court records in the local or regional archives.

Variations of the naastingsrecht continued until the introduction of the Napoleonic Code in 1809.

Town crier

Town crier. Anthonie van den Bos, 1778 – 1838. Credits: Rijksmuseum (public domain)


About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ 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 diploma 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.


  1. Elly Ramon-van den Akker says

    Thank you Yvonne, I have an ancestor who purchased two houses in Warga Friesland in 1789. I found the contract of sale in the Proclamatie boeken van Idaarderadeel. (Many Years ago) so I did have it transcribed by an elderly gentleman back then, I was a terrific find but always wondered about it as he (my ancestor) had been renting the property already for a year & the rent they paid for that year went towards the purchased price! The house remained in the family until 1830 when the brothers decided to sell. The house is no longer there, pity but did walk the street in Warga where it was….Het Gele Akker where our name came from in 1811! Wonderful record keeping for The Netherlands. Thanks again.

  2. Margot van den Akker says

    Hello Elly,

    I am the granddaughter of Willibrordus van den Akker and Grietje de Jong.
    I have your pedigree overview of the Van den Akker family. Received from Dick van den Akker, brother of my father Jan.
    There is also a print of a family photo, very nice.

    Kind regards from the Netherlands. MargotMargotvandenakker@gmail.com

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