Methodology Spotlight

Marriage of Cornelis Janszn

Today, we are looking at the marriage of Cornelis Janszn (1656).

Dutch Reformed Church (Scherpenisse, Zeeland, Netherlands), marriages 1610-1684, no page numbers, chronological order, marriage Janszn-Jans (7 June 1656); “Bladeren in archiefbronnen,” digital images, Gemeentearchief Tholen ( : viewed 7 June 2020), scan 38 of 70.


Den 7 Junij 1656. inden Echten staet
bevesticht met Attestatie van
Cornelis Janszn J.M. van Maertensdijck
Janneken Jans J.D. van Scherpenisse


On the 7th of June 1656 were united in matrimony, with a certificate from Maartensdijk: Cornelis Janszn, young man, of Maartensdijk, and Janneken Jans, young daughter, of Scherpenisse.

The first Protestant minister of Scherpenisse, Johannes Florianus, just before he was drowned in Brussels; etching by Jacobus Buys, 1781-1783 (photo credits: Rijksmuseum)


In a previous article we spoke about marriage intentions. In today’s entry we see that Cornelis Janszn and Janneken Jans married in Scherpenisse, without a previous recording of marriage intentions. How is that possible?

When we take a look at the details of the spouses, we see that Cornelis was from Maartensdijk and Janneken from Scherpenisse. We also see that Cornelis brought a certificate or attestatie. Most likely, this was a certificate from the minister in Maartensdijk who recorded the marriage intentions in his registers.

If you encounter something similar, always check the marriage register from the other place to see if you can find your ancestors there as well.

History of Scherpenisse

The name of the town means ‘pointed piece of land stretching into the sea’. Archival documents mention the place already in 1203. Like other places on the island of Tholen, Scherpenisse belonged to the House of Orange. The King of the Netherlands officially still is ‘heer van Scherpenisse’. Of course, it is nowadays only a ceremonial title.

The Dutch Reformed church was built in the 15th and 16th century and was – like many other churches – originally a Roman Catholic church. In 1578 the island converted and the church was taken over by the protestants. [source: Gemeentearchief Tholen]

Johannes Florianus (1522-1585) was the first Protestant minister in Scherpenisse. He was later sentenced to death by the Spanish authorities and drowned in a well in Brussels.

Scherpenisse used to be an independent town. In 1971 many municipalities on the island of Tholen merged. The new municipal body received the name of the island, Tholen.

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