The Basics: A Guide
Marriage and Supplemental Dutch Records
In an earlier issue I briefly mentioned civil registration records. Even though civil registration officially started in 1811, some areas had had an unofficial registration as early as 1795. Many churches still maintained their own records even after civil registration started.
If you can't find the information you want in the civil registration records you may want to check (or have checked) the church records. At present the Latter Day Saints church (the Mormons) has microfilmed almost all the civil registration records of the Netherlands to the end of 1912 and in some cases to the end of 1940. The only records that have not been as thoroughly done are the marriage supplement records (trouwbijlagen) - these are usually only done to 1882. Civil registration is divided into three parts, birth, marriage and death. Don't forget that these records give the date of registration only and not the actual event date.
Marriage records consist of three parts, marriage intentions (banns), marriage certificates and marriage supplements.
Even though the marriage supplements are not indexed (they are listed chronologically), they are a wonderful source of information. The marriage supplements usually include the following information: a copy of the birth/christening record of each spouse (thus giving name of parents and place of birth), names and death dates of any previous marriage partner, death of any parent that died before the marriage and in some cases the names of the grandparents. If a spouse's birth had not been registered an "acte van bekendheid" would then be a part of the marriage supplement. In this act seven people (usually relatives and/or close friends) indicated that the person had been born in a certain year (often the whole date was given) and in a certain place. These acts are very useful in extending your knowledge about the family you are researching.
Indexes have been made of all the births, deaths and marriages in civil registration. These indexes are called "tien-jarige tafels". Don't forget these indexes indicate the date of registration and not the event date. Next time I will discuss civil registration again.