OliveTreeGenealogy.com logo for Olive Tree Genealogy and its free free genealogical resourcesYour link to the past since February 1996! Search for your ancestors in free Ships' Passenger lists, Naturalization Records, Palatine Genealogy, Canadian Genealogy, American Genealogy, Native American Genealogy, Huguenots, Mennonites, Almshouse Records, Orphan Records, church records, military muster rolls, census records, land records and more. Olive Tree Genealogy Free Genealogy Database marks FREE genealogy records.
Olive Tree Genealogy Blog was one of MyHeritage top 100 Genealogy blogs, one of the 25 Most Popular Genealogy Blogs by Technorati and one of the Top 40 Genealogy Blogs 2011 & 2012.

See the list of Ten People All Genealogists Should Follow On Twitter


FIRST NAME


LAST NAME


LOCALITY


Check out the Genealogy Books written by Olive Tree Genealogy!

Organize Your Genealogy in Evernote in 10 Easy Steps is a must have!

Follow Olive Tree Genealogy on             

Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on Amazon.com and the CreateSpace eStore
The Peer Family in North America in 6 Volumes are available for sale!
 


Try an Ancestry.com Free Trial


Genealogy Mystery Book!


Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery
by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

Genealogy Newsletter

JOIN Free Olive Tree Genealogy Newsletter. Be the first to know of genealogy events. Find out when new genealogy databases are put online. Get tips for finding your elusive brick-wall ancestor

Share With Others

Share with other genealogists! Tweet this page!

Follow OliveTreeGenealogy

Google Plus Proilfe page for Olive Tree GenealogyFollow Olive Tree Genealogy on Google+

Search OliveTreeGenealogy



Google Custom Search
Search Olive Tree Genealogy Family of Websites

Search Fold3

Search Military Records - Fold3

New Netherland, New York Genealogy

New Netherland Settlers Books now available!:

Ships Passenger Lists to New York
500 voyages to and from New Netherland (New York)
Cemetery Records (Cemetery, Obits)
Census Records
Church Records (B, D, M)
City Directories
Land & Mortgage Records
Military Records
Wills & Probate Records
New Netherland History
Ancestor Signatory hand marks
Translation of words in Church records
Understanding Patronymics
Dutch Names & Nicknames
Glossary of Dutch Words
Ancient Dutch Occupations
Dutch Ancestors
17th Century Ancestor Registry
Dutch & English translations for Occupations
Life in 17th Century Amsterdam
Online Books
Research in the Netherlands
Miscellaneous Genealogy
[ Mailing Lists] [Societies & Journals] [Dictionary & Definitions] [Olive Tree Library] [Help] [Links]

Life in 16th and 17th Century Amsterdam Holland: Marriage Customs

Marriage in Amsterdam

© Cor Snabel

If a couple went “through the red door” it meant they got married. The origin of this expression lays in the fact, the Old Church in Amsterdam used to have a red door, where the bridal couple had to go through. But in the 16th century most people did not get married in church. In the presence of family and friends the couple promised each other to be faithful, a ring was broken in two pieces and each partner kept their half. This engagement was as good as an actual wedding. The actual marriage was confirmed by sleeping together; after the wedding night the wedding party took place.

In 1580 Holland got a protestant government, it was stated explicitly, that couples had to get married in church or – for non-reformed – in the city hall. In 1584 they even stated, that couples who married in the “middle aged” way still had to register.

The promise of marriage was sacred, if a boy and girl promised each other to get married and one of them declined later on, one could summon the other party and the Commissioners for Marriage-Affairs would make a judgement. Parents could exercise their veto against the choice of their children, but what was considered inappropriate? A marriage, in which the class difference could be compromising, for instant with a servant, was impossible. Mixed marriages were not only unconventional but also illegal, as were marriages with Jews and Muslims.

The average age of the marrying couple was 22 for the bride and 25 for the groom. In the upper middle class the couples were a little younger. The life expectancy of the couple was about another 24 years, so it was unlikely they ever saw their grandchildren. Half of the brides and grooms had lost their father, mother or both at the moment of their marriage.

Because the spouses died young, remarriage was very common. A widower with children could hardly manage without help and because of the surplus of women he normally had no trouble finding another wife. But for a widow, especially if she had children, everything was depending on her attractiveness, not only her looks, but also her economic attractiveness. A widow with a shop or with money did not have to worry, but if her husband had been a journeyman or laborer her future was not enviable. Most of these widows had to appeal to charity in order to survive.

Although parents allowed their children to select their own partners, marriages of convenience were also arranged to protect business and financial interests. In those marriages the financial matters were regulated in contracts. Sometimes these contracts were very outrageous and ridicule. When Sara Hinlopen (1660-1749) widow of Mr. Albert Geelvinck, director of the WIC, remarried Mr. Jacob Henricksz. Bicker in 1695 she had quite some possessions and bonds of herself and her children. Their contract separated their possessions very strict, in case of divorce or death only their own blood relations could inherit. If he should die, a part of his wealth should be put aside as her new dowry ( ! ) and if Sara should die before Jacob the jewelry, worth 6.000 guilders, he gave her as a wedding present, would be returned to him or his heirs.

Normally the dowry became collective property, but if the man died, the widow could reclaim her entire part and was entitled to all she had gathered during marriage as personal belongings. All the wedding presents belonged to her; the children could not claim a part of it. Apart from death, other circumstances could be the reason for the woman to claim her part of their possessions. If she could prove her husband was spending their money in an irresponsible way, she could take legal steps to separate their possessions.

A proper marriage lasted at least three days; a “poor” wedding was a disgrace. Sometimes a few couples married at the same time in order to share the costs. But in the circles of the patricians the costs were enormous. When the young councilor Johan de Witt married a scion of the wealthy and powerful Bicker family, his father, who came from a more modest milieu, had to take out a considerable loan in order to pay his part of the costs.

In 1655 Dr. Tulp and Mayor Bontemantel did get a new law through the City Council to restrict these extravagant weddings. It was called the luxury-law, the number of guests had to be restricted to fifty and the party was only allowed for two days with a maximum of six musicians. Even the value of the wedding-presents was limited to 5% of the dowry. But this law did not have any effect, the fine was paid in advance and the wedding parties were as before.

Dutch Bakers in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Banishment in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Begijnhof in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Book Printers in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Building (Construction) in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Charity in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Children in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Diseases in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Education in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Entertainment in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Extinct Trades in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Funerals in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Guilds in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Immigrants in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Marriage in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Miracles in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Prostitution in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Schutterij (Civil Guard in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Servant Girls in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Street Life in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Table Manners in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Transportation in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Role of Women in Amsterdam Holland
Dutch Introduction in Amsterdam Holland


 
 

Don't leave without searching for your ancestors on Olive Tree Genealogy! Free Ships' Passenger lists, orphan records, almshouse records, JJ Cooke Shipping Lists, Irish Famine immigrants, family surnames, church records, military muster rolls, census records, land records and more are free to help you find your brick-wall ancestor. Build your family tree quickly with Olive Tree Genealogy free records

URL: http://olivetreegenealogy.com/           All rights reserved          Copyright © 1996-present
These pages may be freely linked to but not duplicated in any fashion without my written consent.

Home Philosophy Helping FAQ Link to Olive Tree Make Olive Tree Your Homepage Library Friends Search Store About Lorine Awards, Interviews About OliveTreeGenealogy


Contact Lorine at Contact Lorine of Olive Tree Genealogy