About the Netherlands, Marriage Index, 1524-1899
General collection information
In 1811, during the relatively brief time that the Netherlands fell under the control of the Napoleonic Empire, a system of civil registration was put in place to record births, marriages, and deaths. Before that time, these events were recorded by the churches where they took place.
This collection contains an index of marriages that were recorded in church records in the Netherlands from 1524-1899. All records have been transcribed in Dutch, but some original records from Catholic churches may have been written in Latin. Each record includes a link to WieWasWie, a database of Dutch archival records, which may include additional information and images.
Using this collection
Records in the collection may include the following information:
Knowing some common Dutch phrases will help you to explore these records:
If your family was Catholic, they may have multiple marriage records. Catholic marriages were not recognized by law between 1648 and 1795. Most Catholics were married in their church and then again in a legal ceremony in the Dutch Reformed Church or in court.
Some records in this collection may have more than one date. The first is typically the date on which the couple registered to have their engagement announced in what were called marriage banns. The second date is the date of the wedding.
Collection in context
During the Council of Trent (1545-1563), the Roman Catholic Church mandated that baptisms, marriages, and burials had to be recorded. Protestant churches quickly followed suit. When civil registration was implemented in 1811, churches were required to turn these records over to the government.
In Dutch archives, these vital records are often called "DTB," the Dutch language initials for baptisms (dopen), marriages (trouwen), and burials (begraven). Some churches recorded all DTB records together in the same register chronologically; others separated the three categories into different books.
The civil registration system also required citizens to adopt surnames if they had not done so. Historically, many regions in the Netherlands used patronymics, identification by using the father's first name as a surname. This tradition can sometimes complicate identifying your ancestors in historical records.
Hoitink, Yvette. "Church Records." Dutch Genealogy (blog). Last Modified April 19, 2005. https://www.dutchgenealogy.nl/church-records/.
WieWasWie. "Doop-, trouw- en begraafregisters (DTB)." [Baptism-, marriage- and burial registers (DTB)]. Accessed September 2, 2023. https://www.wiewaswie.nl/nl/bronnen/doop-trouw-en-begraafregisters-dtb/.