Quick tip – Check marriage supplements of children

If you are researching a person, make sure to check the marriage supplements of any children who married after the introduction of the civil registration.

The civil registration was introduced in 1811 in most parts of the Netherlands, and in 1795 in parts of Limburg and Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. Civil registration marriage records have marriage supplements, the records that the bride and groom had to submit to show their identity and eligibility to get married. These records often contain information about their parents.

Some interesting things I have found about the parents in marriage supplements:

  • Extracts of burial or death registers of the parents. This is especially useful if you cannot find the burial of people who died before the introduction of the civil registration.
  • Declarations about the death of parents, where the burial or death register was incorrect. See the case study of the burial of Maria Elissen for an example.
  • Declarations about the death of parents and grandparents, where the burial or death registers were incomplete. See the example of the marriage supplements of Berend Gussinklo and Harmina Fukkink.
  • Statements by the court that the parent was unable to give consent because they were not of sound mind, or committed to an asylum.
  • Parental consent by parents who were unable to attend in person and went to a notary or court to provide their consent instead. This will tell you where parents were living, and can help you find out where emigrants moved to.
bride signs the marriage record

Signing the marriage record, 1965. Credits: Jan Voets, collection Nationaal Archief (CC-BY)

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. That’s what I’ve always done in case of a brick wall. Sometimes things are so obvious (for me) in genealogy that I forget they’re not always that obvious to other people.
    In one case I found out one of the fathers had left & nobody knew where he was, or if he was still alive.

  2. Rodrigo Geuer Castel says

    Apparently, due to a fire accident in 1858, many church records of the Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht (ZH) area were lost, including records about my 7th Great-Grandparents, Willem van der Burg and Maaijke Smaal.
    However, when I was checking the marriage supplements of one of their grandsons (my 5th Great-Grandmother’s brother), who married in 1822, it was attached not just his parents’ burial/death records, but the burial records of all of his grandparents! The original records were lost, but now I have their certificates thanks to that marriage supplements.

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