OBERKALBACH, HESSEN, GERMANY
Village of My Berthold & Ullrich Ancestors
CIVIL MARRIAGE CONTRACTS 1770-1832
Elm, Gundhelm, Hutten and Oberkalbach
Although the churches had the authority to perform marriages, the government required couples to register their intent to marry and a marriage contract at a civil office in their area. Some of these marriage contracts have been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and are available by loan from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City through its branches, called Family History Centers. To locate the center closest to your residence, go tofamilysearch.org and click on the link to"Find a Family History Center near you".
From 1770-1832, the residents of Oberkalbach, Elm, Gundhelm and Hutten were assigned to register their intents and contracts at the Brandenstein judicial office. These records were microfilmed on 16 microfilms. I have extracted the vital information from these 16 microfilms and have made three indexes: chronological, groom and bride.
The information below is what may be included in these contracts, but vary as new scribes were appointed and new rules were implemented. The information in a contract could include:
Occupation of the groom
Military service, present or past
Some of the contracts are only one page long and some have as many as 12 pages. Some include an extract of the birth or baptism from the parish records, military permission to marry, household inventories of widows/widowers, etc. Most tell what each is bringing to the marriage in money and goods,what the living arrangements will be for the living parents, what happens in case of death of one or both, etc. What a fabulous tool for getting to know your ancestors!
The microfilms for the Brandenstein office are:
Film # Years Covered
0814992 1828-1832 (no entries for 1829-1831)
I will gladly do a look-up for you if you think you have an ancestor in this area in this time period.
EXAMPLE OF A MARRIAGE CONTRACT
Johannes Meyer, son of Georg Meyer, and
Anna Maria Lauchin, daughter of deceased Adam Lauch of Elm
Be it known to all men that today a Christian marriage contract and marriage of the bachelor Johannes Meyer, legitimate son of Georg Meyer, fellow resident and inhabitant here in Elm, on one side, and the virgin Anna Maria Lauchin, legitimate daughter of the deceased inhabitant here, Adam Lauch, were agreed upon and closed as:
1) Both persons desire and take the position of holy matrimony, with the intention of confirmation by the Christian church, to live together as a married couple.
2) To provide for their livelyhood, the groom's father Georg Meyer will take the young married couple into his inherited dwelling and farm and hands over and sells them this as well as the adjoining garden and the specified properties:
a) the Long Meadow
b) the meadow on the Wisseneller
c) the meadow on the Trasenberg
d) the garden at Bruehl
e) the Beltz field
for 200 Florin, also the movable possessions including the farm tools for 100 Florin, for a total of 300 Florin to be paid by the young couple as soon as the marriage takes place. However, the father will for the remainder of his life live with the couple for which reason he will keep the meadow at Langen Weinberg to use.
3) It was decided that the groom's brother Johann Adam Meyer, who is a soldier, equally withhis brother, receives the sum of 300 Florin after his brother's marriage, and after the father's death receives the meadow
at Langen Weinberg. Further, the said Johann Adam will have the side room in the house for his own exclusive use with a bed, as long as he is unmarried, and when he is on leave and works with his father or brother in the household, during the lifetime of the father, and as long as he is a soldier, his necessary clothing and accessories will be paid by the household or by his brother. Looking farther ahead, at his marriage he will receive from his brother 10 Florin for wedding clothes and at his discharge if he is not remunerated. Likewise 10 Florin will be paid him if he searches in earnest (for a spouse?) or whatever the household can afford.
4) After the death of his father, the son Johann Adam shall have the father's bedding, consisting of one bedstead, one upper and one lower bed, 2 pillows, 2 sheets and 1 curtain and also one clothes closet. The father's clothes and the books should be divided by the two sons. But the remaining movable possessions remain undivided with the young couple alone.
5) The bride brings 400Florin in dowry money, of which the guardians give 100 Florin but her brother Stephan Lauch will pay the 300 Florin for the purchase (of the property) as well as gives her: an upper and a lower bed, a ________, 2 pillows, 12 sheets, 12 tablecloths, 12 towels, a curtain as well as one checkered and one printed cover for the feather bed, pillows and _____, and 30 (Kloben) of flax.
6) In case of death of either of the couple, after their marriage, whether or not they have had children together, the remaining spouse shall alone inherit any possessions.
As requested friends and witnesses, the following were present at the writing of this contract:
On the side of the groom-Johann Georg Meyer, father; Johann Adam Meyer; Johann Hermann Heylmann; Christoph Gerlach.
On the side of the bride-Stephan Lauch, the brother; Johann Adam Blum-guardian; Christoph Rauh-guardian.
Written in Elm on 2 January 1777. Confirmed 12 March 1777.
Copyright 2000 - 2008 by Sue Foster. Please contact me for permission to copy. I would like to know why this information interests you. :-)