Methodology Spotlight

Arie Van Haaften’s London marriage

In our series of blog posts we focus on Dutch sources. So why are we talking about an English record today? Well, Arie Marius van Haaften married in London, and his English marriage certificate was registered in a Dutch register. A true copy!

Civil registration (Steenbergen, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands), marriage records 1877, record no. 19, registration of a foreign marriage, Van Haaften-Wootton, 30 April 1877; “Voorouders,” database with images, West-Brabants Archief ( : accessed 15 August 2020), images 19 and 20 of 231; fragment of the first page of the registration.


Arie Marius van Haaften married Ada Maria Wootton in Mile End Old Town (London) on 31 January 1877.

He was 31 years old, she was ten years younger. He was a merchant in glass, a member of the landed gentry, and lived at 53 St. Peters Road in Mile End Old Town. She lived at 15 Oberstein Road in New Wandsworth.

His father’s name was Adrianus van Haaften, landowner. Ada Maria was the daughter of Eli Wootton, an architect.

Present as witnesses were Chas Hijmans and Gertrude Hijmans.


The registration of this foreign marriage record was not easy. There were – according to this Dutch record – a few steps to take:

  • get a marriage certificate; this was the easiest part, as the couple received their certificate when they married
  • verify the signature of R.J. Crompton, the registrar; the Dutch consul-general in London verified it on 29 March 1877
  • verify the signature of J.W. May, the consul-general; the Minister for Foreign Affairs in The Hague verified it on 3 April 1877
  • translate the English certificate to Dutch; a certified translator at the District Court in Breda made a translation on 8 April 1877
  • verify the signature of M. de Wolff, the translator; the President of the District Court in Breda verified it on 19 April 1877
  • register the Dutch translation of the English certificate; the civil registrar of the municipality of Steenbergen recorded it on 30 April 1877
View of the State Emigrant Landing Depot, Castle Garden, New York, 1867 (photo credits: New York Public Library, image 5249312)


After three months the marriage of Arie Marius van Haaften and Ada Maria Wootton was officially recorded in a Dutch marriage register. The couple stayed in Steenbergen (Noord-Brabant) for two-and-a-half years, when they relocated to Tholen (Zeeland). One year later they moved to Terheijden (Noord-Brabant).

In May 1881 Arie and Ada decided to leave the Netherlands and emigrate to New York!

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