Belgian Marriage Supplements

In a previous post we analyzed a typical marriage record from a town in Flanders. Today we will take a look at marriage supplementary records. They are often overlooked, and indeed, they often repeat information you can find elsewhere, but I am here to show you they can still be worth your while.

Supplementary marriage registers [huwelijksbijlagen in Dutch, Pièces de mariages in French] contain all the extra paperwork bride and groom had to produce in order to get married, such as extracts of vital records, certificates of military service, or birth records for illegitimate children to be recognized by the act of marriage. They can be helpful when you have trouble finding the originals (at least now you have a place, date, and number), are particularly useful as you get closer to the Ancien Régime, and may even contain tidbits of information you will not find anywhere else. Finally, in the few cases where original records have been lost, the extracted information among the marriage supplements may be the only evidence left for a vital event.

Continue reading “Belgian Marriage Supplements”

Anatomy of a Flemish Marriage Record: An 1832 Example from Kalmthout.

My great great great grandparents, Benedictus Vanhooydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs, were married at Kalmthout on Friday 6 May 1832. He was the son of Adriaan Van Hooydonck and Maria Greefs, and grew up in the Nieuwmoer hamlet of Kalmthout, where his mother managed a small store in the Capelstraat. Maria rented the house, and Benedictus, Maria’s second husband, was a common manual laborer who could not read or write. Benedictus had one older sister and seven older half-siblings.1

Maria Catharina was the daughter of Peeter Jan Greefs and Maria Elisabeth Nuytemans, prosperous farmers in the Vogelenzang at Kalmthout. She had several older siblings.2

Feel free to read along as I transcribe and translate the marriage record of Benedictus and Maria Catharina:3

1832 Marriage Record for Benedictus Vanhoofydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs (detail 1)

No. 11. In het Jaer Een Duizend acht honderd tweeendertig den zesden van de Maend Mey ten vyf uren naermiddag

No. 11. In the year One Thousand Eight Hundred Thirty-Two, the sixth of May [6 May 1832], at five o’clock in the afternoon [5 pm]

is voor ons Borgemeester Ambtenaer van den Borgerlyken Stand der gemeente Calmpthout Distrikt en Provincie Antwerpen gecompareerd

appeared before us, the mayor, Officer of the Civil Registration of the town of Calmpthout [Kalmthout], District and Province of Antwerp

Benedictus Vanhooydonck oud tweeendertig jaeren, drij Maenden vierentwintig dagen handwerker

Benedictus Vanhooydonck thirty-two years old and three months and twenty-four days [32 years, 3 months and 24 days], manual laborer

woonende in deze gemeente, en ook in dezelve geboren den twaelfden Januarius achttien honderd,

residing in this town and also born here on the twelfth of January eighteen hundred [18 January 1800]

1832 Marriage Record for Benedictus Vanhoofydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs (detail 2)
1832 Marriage Record for Benedictus Vanhoofydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs (detail 2)

bejaerden zoon van Adrianus Vanhooydonck, achten vyftig jaeren oud en van Maria Greefs tweeenzeventig jaeren oud

adult son of Adrianus Vanhooydonck, eighty-five [58] years old, and of Maria Greefs, seventy-two [72] years odl

handwerkers woonende in deze gemeente hier tegenwoordig en in dit houwelyk toestemmende

manual laborers residing in this town, present and consenting to this marriage

En hebbende voldaen aen de wetten op de Nationale Militie gelyk het blykt uyt het Certificaat ten dien eynde afgeleverd door den Heer Gouverneur der Provincie Antwerpen den zeventienden April achttien honderd tweeendertig

And having satisfied the laws concerning the National Militia, as it is shown on the Certificate that was issued to this end by the Governor of the Province of Antwerp on seventeen April eighteen hundred thirty-two [17 April 1832].

1832 Marriage Record for Benedictus Vanhoofydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs (detail 3)
1832 Marriage Record for Benedictus Vanhoofydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs (detail 3)

En Maria Catharina Greefs, oud zevenentwintig jaeren en zesentwintig dagen, landbouwster

And Maria Catharina Greefs, twenty-seven years and twenty-six days old [27 years and 26 days], farmer’s wife

woonende in deze gemeente, en ook in derzelve geboren den zesentwintigsten Germinal jaer dertien der fransche Republiek (tien April achttien honderd vyf)

residing in this town, and also born here on the twenty-sixth Germinal year thirteen of the French Republic (ten April eighteen hundred and five [10 April 1805])

bejaerde Dogter van wylen Petrus Joannes Greefs overleden in deze gemeente van Calmpthout den zestienden Meert achttien honderd eenentwintig

adult daughter of the former Petrus Joannes Greefs who died in this town of Calmpthout on the sixteenth of March eighteen hundred twenty-one [16 March 1821]

gelyk het blykt uyt den akt van overlyden ingeschreven op de registers van den Borgerlyken Stand dezer gemeente alhier ter Secretary berustende,

as it is shown in the death record registered in the Civil Registration of this town, kept here in the office

en van Maria Elizabeth Nuytemans, achtenzestig jaeren oud landbouwster woonende in deze gemeente hier tegenwoordig en in dit houwelyk toestemmende

and of Maria Elizabeth Nuytemans, sixty-eight [68] years old, residining in this town, present here and consenting to the marriage

1832 Marriage Record for Benedictus Vanhoofydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs (detail 4)
1832 Marriage Record for Benedictus Vanhoofydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs (detail 4)

Welke Comparanten ons hebben verzogt van te procederen tot het houwelyk onder hun beraemd

Which parties request us to proceed to the marriage devised by them

en welkers afkondigingen zyn gedaen geweest voor de voornaemste Deur des ingangs van ons gemeentenhuys

And of which the announcements were made before the most important door at the entrance of our town hall

te weten de eerste den tweeentwintigsten en de tweede den negenentwintigsten van de Maend van April laestleden, om tien uren voormiddag zynde twee zondagen

that is the first one on the twenty-second and the second one on the twenty-ninth of the month of April last, at ten o’clock in the morning, being both Sundays

geene tegenstryding aen dit houwelyk ons te kennen gegeven zynde

no opposition to the marriage was made known to us

recht doende aen dit verzoek

to do justice at this request

wy hebben

we have

naerdat door ons aen de Comparanten waeren voorgelezen alle de stukken hier boven vermeld alsmede het zesde Kapittel van den Borgerlyke Wet Boek geintituleerd van het houwelyk

after which have read to the parties all the aforementioned records as well as the sixth chapter of the Civil Code entitled about marriage

gevraegd aen den toekomenden Bruydegom en aen de toekomende Bruyd of zy begeêren zich te nemen voor man ende vrouw

asked the future groom and the future bride whether they wish to take each other as husband and wife

ider van hun afzonderlyk geantwoord hebbende dat Jae,

both of them separaretly having answered yes

wy verklaeren in den naem van de wet dat Benedictus Vanhooydonck en Maria Catharina Greefs vereenigd zyn door het houwelijk,

we proncoune in the name of the law that Benedictus Vanhooydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs have been united in marriage

1832 Marriage Record for Benedictus Vanhoofydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs (detail 5)
1832 Marriage Record for Benedictus Vanhoofydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs (detail 5)

waer van wy dezen akt hebben opgesteld in de tegenwoordigheyd van

of which we have recorded this act in the presence of

Franciscus Feyen negenenveertig jaeren oud handwerker halven broeder van den man,

Franciscus Feyen, forty-nine [49] years old, manuel laborer, half brother of the husband,

Gerardus Aerts, dertig jaeren oud hoef smit zwager van den man

Gerardus Aerts, thirty years old, farrier, brother-in-law of the husband

Joannes Greefs veertig jaeren oud landbouwer, Broeder van de vrouw,

Joannes Greefs, forty years old, farmer, brother of the wife,

en Cornelius Greefs tweeendertig jaeren oud landbouwer Broeder van de vrouw,

and Cornelius Greefs thirty-two years old, farmer, brother of the wife,

1832 Marriage Record for Benedictus Vanhoofydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs (detail 6)
1832 Marriage Record for Benedictus Vanhoofydonck and Maria Catharina Greefs (detail 6)

alle woonende in deze gemeente van Calmpthout,

all residing in the town of Calmpthout

de welke den tegenwoordigen akt gezamentlyk met ons en de partyen Contraktanten hebben geteekend

who have signed this act together with us and the contracting parties

naer dat den zelven hun was voorgelezen,

after it was to read to them

uytgenomen Adrianus Vanhooydonck en Maria Greefs die verklaerd hebben van niet te kunnen schryven uyt reden van onwetendheyd.

except for Adrianus Vanhooydonck and Marie Greefs who declared they are not able to write due to ignorance.