Intensification of family relations? Changes in the choice of marriage witnesses in the Netherlands, 1830-1950

Hilde Bras*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

11 Citaten (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


This study examines whether and why a process of intensification of family relations took place during the long nineteenth century by investigating Dutch marriage couples’ selection of witnesses. The results show that during the period 1830-1950, lateral kin (siblings, siblings-in-law and cousins) were increasingly
selected as marriage witnesses, at the expense of professional witnesses and patronage relations. This ‘lateralization’ process accelerated after 1890, with the take-off of industrialization and urbanization in the Netherlands and continued at least until 1950. The intensification of kin ties was not only related to economic development and social class formation, it was part of a broader cultural process of familiarization, which started among the urban bourgeoisie in the western part of the Netherlands, but spread to other regions and social groups.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)102-135
Aantal pagina's34
TijdschriftTijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - 15-dec.-2011
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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