Dutch term – Huwelijksbijlagen

The huwelijksbijlagen or huwelijkse bijlagen are the marriage supplements: the documents that a bride and groom had to submit to prove their identity and eligibility to get married. See the article Marriage supplements: gateway to more information about your ancestors for more information about these records and how to use them for your own research. … [Read more...]

Quick tip – research the collateral lines

Most people are more interested in ancestors than their siblings, but records of the siblings can contain vital clues. For example, death duties files (memories van successie) of siblings who died without children can show that nieces and nephews or more distant relatives inherited. The death duties files can reveal complex family relationships, especially in the case of an elderly person who died after their siblings. Another tip is to always check the marriage supplements of marriages of … [Read more...]

Quick tip: royal dispensations

Until 1939, it was forbidden to marry your sister-in-law or brother-in-law. Royal dispensation was required for such a marriage. Many widowed men who wanted to marry their deceased wife's sister applied for a dispensation. They were routinely granted, as in the case of my great-grandparents. Extracts of the royal dispensations can be found in the marriage supplements. … [Read more...]

Ask Yvette: how to find my grandparents’ birth records

In response to an article about different types of archives, Larry Joosse wrote: Looking for birth records for Anthonie de Wijze born March 2, 1886 in Zand, and Catharina Johanna vanKeulen born on July 16, 1888. they are my mother’s parents. I thought I would respond in the form of a blog post and show you all the different steps that I take to find the answer. The methods I use to answer this question may also be helpful in finding your own ancestors. Step 1: assess the information Whenever … [Read more...]

My great-grandparents’ incestuous marriage

When my great-grandparents Hendrik Woordes and Janna Geertruid Droppers wanted to get married in 1910, they were facing a problem. The law did not allow them to marry, since his first wife Hendrika Willemina Droppers had been the sister of Janna Geertruid. Hendrika Willemina had died in childbirth the year before, leaving Hendrik with a motherless infant. When he found her youngest sister willing to marry him and take care of the child, the only way to do that was to apply for a Royal … [Read more...]

Marriage supplements: gateway to more information about your ancestors

Since the introduction of the civil registration in 1811, a bride and groom had to submit several documents to prove they were eligible to get married. Not only do these records tell you when your ancestors were born, but they may also provide information about their physical appearance, death dates of parents and previous spouses or even of their grandparents.  These documents are known as the 'Huwelijksbijlagen' and most of them still exist and can be found online. … [Read more...]