GRONINGENFourhundred years ago Prince Maurits and Count Willem Lodewijk besiege the city of Groningen, a city still being faithful to the Spanish king. The siege starts on May 22 and terminates after laborious negociations on July 23, 1594.The surrender is sealed in the so-called 'Treatise of Reduction'. The ‘Reductie of Groningen’, as described by P. Th. F.M. Boekholt (and others) (s), affects the life of the Roman Catholic people in Groningen for a long time.It brings Groningen back to the Union of Utrecht, an understanding of a number of regions preceding theRepublic of the Seven United Netherlands.Roman Catholic administrators of municiplal institutions are replaced by Protestants. The structure of gouvernement and administration however stays unchanged.
Unlike secular gouvernement and administration, the ecclesiastical administration is changed radically. The hierarchic structure of the Roman Catholic Church with its archbishoprics, bishoprics, and parishes is replaced by a simpeler administration based on Calvinist principles, clearly resembling the one inEmden, on the other side of the border river Eems. It so happened that many prominent Protestants went into exile to Emden at the beginning of the uprising, leading to the ‘Reduction’, and stayed there during the persecutions. The Reformation in Groningen is imposed by viceregent Willem Lodewijk, where the 'Treatise of Reduction' provides that the reformed religion is the only one permitted. Church gatherings of any other belief are forbidden. The churches, parsonages and other posessions are handed over to the new church communities.On the model of Emden a consistory is formed, consisting of pastors and 16 elder men supervising church doctrine and discipline.A new independent board of 16 deacons is taking care of the benefit of the poor.So, this situation is completely different from the one before 1594.According to Drs. E.O. van der Werff (s), it is mainly the well-to-do farmers, who have contributed to the survival of Catholicism in the Ommelanden. Evidently they can get away with having a personal religious persuation against all others.Most of these farmers lease the land of the Province, who confiscated it of the former monastries.
In some farms Eucharist celebrations are held. In this way these farms play a role in the preservation of Catholicism and, indirectly, in the founding of 'Staties' (secret churches) in the province. The baptism, wedding and funeral books of these 'Staties' are an important source in the preparation of the genealogy of my family before 1811, recognisable by the addition ' RK-Statie... ' to the date of baptism, marriage, death or burial.BAPTISM AND MARRIAGE REGISTERS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.Requirements for keeping baptismal and marriage registers have been established at the Council of Trent (1545-1563): The marriage •should be celebrated in a church in front of a priest and witnesses •after triple announcement •and then recorded in a marriage register. That is not to say that from that date on, these registers were maintained (accurately) immediately and everywhere, let alone that they are kept from that date.According to Johan Roelstraete (s) a baptism certificate must include the names of the parents and the witnesses (godparents) lists next to the name of the baptized."This is of paramount importance in order to be able to determine possible spiritual kinship later, because this is an impediment to marriage. A godfather and a meter can not marry his/her baptism child nor his/her parents (brother-in-law)."'It is obvious linking this ecclesiastical rule and a law published April 23, 1827 in the Official Gazette no. 22 stating that "relating marriage is also prohibited between brother-in-law and sister-in-law.The King may, for important a reason, lift the prohibition contained in this article, by granting dispensation.”This article is thus proclaimed the law for more than 11 years before the introduction of the Civil Code on October 1, 1838. Apparently, the then legislature found this article very important. With the introduction of Book 1 of the New Civil Code in 1970, this impediment to marriage is abolished, the marriage ban between relatives in the ascending or descending line is maintained.BAPTISM AND MARRIAGE REGISTERS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN GRONINGEN.‘Staties’ in the city of Groningen and the Ommelanden of which these books have been preserved (the year of the first and last registration within parentheses ) are:•Aduard (1763-1811)•Appingedam (1751-1811)•Bedum (1680-1811)•Groningen Bij de A (1701-1811)•Groningen Carolieweg (1658-1811)•Groningen Ebbingestraat (1676-1811)•Groningen Guldenstraat (1700-1811)•Groningen Herestraat (1677 - 1790)•Groningen Oosterstraat en Pausgang (1698-1811)•Den Hoorn (1727 - 1811)•Kleinemeer (1760 - 1811)•Oude Pekela (1783 - 1811)•Uithuizen (1730 - 1812)•Veendam (1795 - 1811) •Winschoten (1802 - 1811) The places where this RK-Staties are located (excluding the ones in the city Groningen), become visible in the above map, by hovering the mouse cursor over that map. Before 1811 the members of my family are mainly baptized and have mainly married in Bedum, Den Hoorn and Uithuizen. These 'Staties' are indicated in red.CIVIL ADMINISTRATION.The introduction of the civil administration in 1808 - 1812coincides with the continuous changing (untill the middle of the 19th century) of the borders of the civil municipalities.The final borders (entered in a book in 1867 by J. Kuyper(s) and still to be seen at www.atlas1868.nl) would not change for almost 140 years.Remark: After following the link above, click on ‘Inleiding’ for an article of A. Pathuis concerning the ‘Burgerlijke Stand, retro-acta, 1596 - 1877’ (in Dutch).After 1811, I mainly used the sources such as mentioned in the introduction.
Province of Groningen 2011
Drs. P.Th.F.M. Boekholt e.a.Rondom de reductie.Vierhonderd jaar provincie Groningen 1594-1994.Groninger historische reeks 10Van Gorcum, Assen, 1994
J. Kuyper;Gemeente Atlas van de provincie GroningenPublisher: Hugo Suringar, Leeuwarden1867 (Reprint)