Netherlands - Dutch Civil Registration - Marriage and Divorce Records (National Institute)

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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in May 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Research: Dutch Ancestors in the Netherlands  by Susanna de Groot, PLCGS. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Dutch marriage and divorce records often have additional information that is helpful for genealogists.  This page will explain what the information is and how to find it.

Marriages (Huwelijken)[edit | edit source]

All marriages in the Netherlands were, and still are, required to be performed by the civil authorities to be considered legal. Often couples would have two marriages―a civil marriage and a church marriage. If the marriage is the second one for one or both parties, there would only be one marriage, the civil marriage. A person who was marrying for the second time was not allowed to marry in the church.

Locating a marriage registration can be done easily by consulting the marriage indexes. The information provided in the indexes gives both, the bride and groom’s names, the marriage date and the marriage registration number.

In a marriage registration, details about your ancestor that you will find are:

  • Names of the bride and groom
  • If they were single or widowed prior to this marriage
  • Age
  • Place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Residence
  • Parents’ names along with their occupation and residence, as well as if they are present, living or deceased

In the example below, notice towards the middle of the document the sentence that reads: “De beide afkondigingen tot dit huwelijk zijn onverhinderd geschied, alhier den tienden en Zeventienden dezer.” This translates to: “The two banns for this marriage has been unhindered, here on the tenth and seventeenth days.” It is here that you find the date of the marriage proclamation, enabling you to obtain that document easily.

Marriage Registration

Netherlands Marriage Registration.jpg

Transcription of Marriage Registration

Netherlands Transcription of Marriage Registration.jpg

Translation of Marriage Registration

Netherlands Translation of Marriage Registration.jpg

Divorce Records (Echtscheidingen)[edit | edit source]

Divorces in the Netherlands were rare prior to the 20th century. Often a couple would part ways and start new families with another partner without ever obtaining a legal divorce.

When a divorce was sought it was handled by the district court in the municipality where the couple resided. These records are usually found at the back of the marriage register of that municipality. In the larger cities sometimes a separate register was maintained.

The information that can be found in a divorce record includes:

  • Names of the couple
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Residence
  • Date and place of divorce Court verdicts and certificates


Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Research: Dutch Ancestors in the Netherlands offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.