Quick tip: Find out what your ancestor looked like

Arend Kastein and Dora Buitink

Arend Kastein and Dora Buitink

In the marriage supplements, the documents that a bride and groom had to submit when they got married, you will usually encounter a certificate stating that the groom had fulfilled his military duties. About half the time, this form will include a physical description. See elsewhere on this site for a list of terms with their translations.

The example below is the certificate for Arend Kastein, showing that he was 1.74 m (5’9″) tall, an oval face, ordinary stern, blue eyes, an ordinary nose and mouth, round child and black hair and eyebrows. That seems to match his photo (see to the right).

certificate including physical description

National Militia certificate for Arend Kastein

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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