Aug 20

Marriage of Jelles Douwes and Hester Douwedr

This is a microfilm copy of the original Banns (marriage vows) between Jelles Douwes and Hester Douwedr in 1641. Surnames were not used at the time in Holland. Douwes means son of Douw, Douwedr means daughter of Douw… they were not related, that we know of. The first image is the Baans certificate and the second is the register (Jilles and Hester are the second of three couples shown). Can anyone translate this into English?


(These images are courtesy of Kenneth David Fonda of Conyers, Georgia, USA who obtained them from his father, Frederick Martin Fonda, a member of the Holland Society).

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2 Responses to “Dutch Banns”

  1. 1. Syrrah49 Says:

    My name is Harry Snijder from The Netherlands. By some chance I came accross this blog through a link on a website of the “Historic Society of Northeast Friesland”. There was an article about the Hudson-year, commemorating the arrival of Henry Hudson in the Manhattan area in 1609. In his wake a lot of other people came to this area, among them also some Frisians. One of them was obviously, your Fonda-ancestor.

    As I understand it, a lot of research has been done in the past. When researchers are confronted with documents (i.e. banns) which are either difficult to read or in a strange language, mistakes or misinterpretations are bound to be made. This is the reason of my writing to you.

    First of all about the microfilm copies: the left one is from the baptism records from Amsterdam. It states:

    JELLE DOUWESZ (=father), Ester Douwes (=mother), Annetje Jans (=witness).
    On the right side of this image is the name of their firstborn son: DOUWE.

    MIND THE CAPITALS! After a thorough study with professional help from a handwriting specialist of the Municipal Archives of Amsterdam we concluded that the christian name of your ancestor is neither Jilles, nor Jellis, but just JELLE! Furthermore: Douwes (or Douwesz) means: son of DOUWE (not Douw)

    Next: The copy on the right side is the real bann (mariage vow) which had to be published on three subsequent sundays in advance of the real wedding day. The English translation is as follows:

    The 19th of Januari 1641
    Appeared before us (magistrates) JELLE Douwess of Agum, smith’s apprentice, living on Bickers Island, without parents, assisted by xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, age 25 yrs, and Hester Douwes from A(msterdam) living on Emperor’s Canal (=Keizersgracht), age 24 yrs, without parents, assisted with Elsgen Douwes, her stepmother.
    Signatures: JELLE Douwes
    Hester Douwessen

    The crosses in the text are hiding the name of Elsgen Douwes (the stepmother) which was a mistake by the clerk who was probably confused by the same patronyms!!

    In the left margin there are remarks about the death certificates of Jelle’s parents.

    Below this it tells about their actual marriage. It says:

    These persons are married on the 10th of februari 1641 in Diemen, by……
    (rather unreadable, almost certainly the name of a clergyman)

    Well, this is my contribution so far. Please let me know what you (and others) think of it!
    Harry Snijder

  2. 2. admin Says:

    Thanks so much, Harry. Some interesting information here. Particularly, the mention of the death certificates of Jelle’s parents. A previous translation (I didn’t realize this was the same record) surmised that the parents were living, but not present at the wedding. See the article here: on page 3 of the gallery, see “Amsterdam Records of the Fonda Family” on the top of page 2 of the article. Here is an excerpt:
    Amsterdam Records_excerpt
    It would be wonderful if we could shed some light on the phrase in question, because it could have a huge effect on tracing the actual family line in Holland. Harry, if you or others have any comments they would be much appreciated. Thanks, Mark

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