Source – Royal Decree

A Royal Decree (Koninklijk Besluit) is a formal decision by the King or Queen. In the Netherlands, royal decrees started in 1813. Contents Royal decrees covered a range of topics. Some were of (inter)national importance, such as treaties, laws, and abdications. But many dealt with individual citizens, employees, or service personnel. These can be a great source for information about your ancestors. Examples of information about your ancestors you may find in royal decrees: Marriage … [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...]

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...]