The Marriage contact of Stoffer Beerents and his (second) wife Aaltje Derks:

Jan Cavel(?) Baron van der Borgh, Johannes Smit, Jan Albert Joost Gruijs(?) and Arent Touscens(?), Mayor and Judge of the City Appingedam, certify by this that the Wedding and Marriage between the Honoured Stoffer Beerents as Bridegroom at First and the Honourable Aaltje Derks as Bride on the Other side with ....(unreadable) friends and witnesses is "bevaand"(??), witnessed and contracted with the next conditions:

First are the Bridegroom and Bride, with the appeared friends and witnesses, satisfied with the so-said goods which the future Married Pople will bring each together, which good, including profits and losts during the marriage will be joint.

Second: child or children, born in this Marriage, will be equal heirs of the inheritance of the parents, without distinction of sexes and will have in all cases the right of representation to take over the place of the parents in all inheritance by death.

Third: Will the Bridegroom die before the Bride, without leaving a child or children, the Bride will own a third part of the whole Property of the Bridegroom and his 'Lijftogts" [*means: Movable Goods], like those will be there then, and use this and will the Bride get the House, with all the Movable Goods, like now is owned by the Bridegroom, come to Her, excluded a Sum of eight-hundred caroli guilders and will be given the Personal [*Movable] Properties of the Bridegroom to the closed friends within six weeks, without any objection, while the remaining two thirds parts will be divided equally between the son Albert Stoffers of the Bridegroom and the children who will be born [*later] to this Marriage.

Four: [*If] the Bride will die at first before the Bridegroom, without leaving child of children, so will the Bridegroom keep the whole Property to himself and pay after the death of the Bride to her closed friends a Sum of three hundred caroli guilders, without objection, and not obliged to hand over [*to her heirs] any "Life Goods" [*Note A.G.: Own left, movable properties of the bride].

Five: [*If in] the future child or children, coming from the Marriage, will die, than the goods will return to the side where those are coming from.

Six: The future Married People get of her [* the Mayor?] the free Disposal to have the disposal [*of those goods?] during health or illness.

Appeared, witnessed and [*unreadable] to this marriage have the Honorable Albert Stoffers and His Housewife Aaltjen Hemmes, as full son and Daughter-In-Law, as Witnesses the H. Thies Hindriks and as "Prareptor"(?) Petrus Idema and from the Bride's side as Witnesses the H. Enelllys(?) Nomders and the H. Harrijt Jurriens.

This is made by us, Mayor, and certified by our City Seal and Signature of our Name. Made in Appingedam, the 29 June 1782.

Registered the 31 July 1782. [*Signature] J. Smit, Mayor and Judge.

Notes of Albert Geurink:

About this marriage contract of Stoffer Berents and his second wife Aaltje Derks:

This contract shows us that Aaltje Derks "married in" the farm(?) of Stoffer Berents, who must have owned the most (im)movables of both [besides her probably dowry].

Both married people owned own properties; therefore they needed this contract.

I found yet no accounts about the real death and possible children of this couple, we know only that the married son Albert Stoffers died 28 years after this second marriage of his father, 11 May 1810, ten days after his wife Aaltje Hemmes. Probably Albert Stoffers stayed their only child??

Son Albert and the following children had, after the death of his father before his second wife, to divide 66.7% of the whole immovables; 33.3% would stay to his stepmother Aaltje Derks, including all the movable properties of her deceased spouse. That means that without any extra child in this second marriage the married son Albert Stoffer got the whole 66.7% of the immovables??

I looked in the church books of the village Wirdum for a birth date of Stoffer Berents, but couldn't find it. That means that he only lived in Wirdum, but was born elsewhere?

The fourth condition makes us clear that Stoffer Berents was the richest partner of this married couple.

Their real wedding date must be dated some weeks or even months later.

Some history facts: in 1795 the revolutionary French Army occupied the Netherlands and the (not very beloved) "Stadhouder" Willem V fled to England. In those days the Dutch people were divided in "Patriots" and "Royals"; the first group welcomed in the beginning the French soldiers, till they saw that they extorted the people and country very much. That extortion went on till the end of the Napoleon European Empire in 1813 by high taxes, a lack of goods and money, closed sea harbors and outside cargo, obliged Dutch soldiers for the French Army, high number of out-of-workers and beggars especially in the closed sea harbors like Appingedam was in those days, later it was the next city Delfzijl - and an increasing poverty. Hard times, especially after 1810 when the Netherlands became a part of the French empire, without any autonomy (like the country had before). All the wars cost Napoleon so much money, goods and soldiers that all the occupied countries had to pay for it, by taxes, goods and soldiers. (And he thought that Holland was the wealthiest country he occupied, I read in an history book). I mean about 30,000 Dutch soldiers fought for Napoleon in 1812 in Russia, and most of them never came back. So 1810 was a crucial year, the first year as part - therefore you find all the French words as marie, quartier, etc. in the documents -of France. The following surname obligation was part of Napoleon's wish to find more and extra soldiers for his continuing European wars. Till 1810 there was a small (illegal) possibility to smuggle extra goods and food by the sea harbors but from 1810 (1 read) that Napoleon placed extra soldiers and custom house clerks in the Dutch harbors like probably also happened in Appingedam. The outside trade stopped then totally and 70-80 % of the harbor employees got out of work (by example in Amsterdam). A lot of beggars as result.

Translation and transcription: Albert Geurink. Date: 1 October 2004.

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