Dutch term – Verboden graad

A verboden graad means "forbidden degree." You will usually encounter this in marriage records, if the bride and groom received dispensation for being too closely related. This could mean that they were blood relatives, or relatives-by-marriage. You can also encounter the term in requests for dispensation to the civil or ecclesiastical courts, or the King and Queen (in later times). Read more about royal dispensations. … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Endogamy did not start after immigration

People whose ancestors live in small Dutch immigrant settlements have probably noticed that many of them were distant cousins. The size of these communities limited the pool of potential spouses. Endogamy (marrying within the community, also known as 'kissing cousins') is not unusual. What most people don't realize, is that many of these settlers came over as a group. Their community did not start across the ocean, but may well extend over several centuries. The places of origins were often … [Read more...]