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Introduction to the Records of the Reformed Churches in Cologne, Germany (redirected from Introduction to the Records of the Dutch Reformed Church in Cologne, Germany)

Page history last edited by snabe003@planet.nl 6 years, 8 months ago

During a few months I've been transcribing the early marriages and baptisms of the Dutch Reformed Church and the Walloon Church in Cologne, Germany as early as 1571. Cologne had a small Dutch community, of which some members and their descendents would make a big difference for Amsterdam and its position as the trading capital in the 17th century.

 

To explain why Cologne had a Dutch community in those days I'll give you a little bit of Dutch history.

 

In the sixteenth century, a limited group of rich merchants ruled the city-government of Amsterdam. Nobody really cared, because they had brought wealth and economical power to the city, and almost everyone benefited from this prosperity.

 

But the Reformation would change all that. At first the (Roman-Catholic) government of Amsterdam was tolerant about the Reformed movement, but when trouble started with the Anabaptists, the government closed their ranks and more tolerant city councilors were excluded from City Hall; only the sincere Roman-Catholics were allowed to stay within the Council.

 

At this time, Amsterdam was loyal to the Spanish King, and by 1567 a lot of important protestant merchants had to move abroad, being accused of supporting or participating in the iconoclastic fury --serious riots that had occurred in support of the protestant movement. To avoid being prosecuted and executed by the Spanish Duke of Alva and his Inquisition, many of them went to Emden, Bremen or Cologne. This exodus was an economical disaster for Amsterdam; they did not only take their wealth with them, but also their merchant-skills and contacts.

 

And with the Spanish troops marching up north, the fugitives from Flanders coming to Holland had to avoid Amsterdam, one of the few cities still loyal to the Spanish King, so a lot of those fugitives moved to Cologne. The marriage records of Cologne show that in those years the majority of the couples came from Antwerp, Brussels and other places in Flanders.

 

In 1572 the States General of Holland ordered an attack on Amsterdam, hoping that the population would stand up against their Mayors, but that did not happen. Only on 26 May 1578, after intervention by the Prince of Orange, the Roman-Catholic magistrates of Amsterdam were led from City-Hall through a row of soldiers into two ships on the river Amstel and were symbolically put ashore just outside the city-walls.

 

During the following years Cologne had become an uncomfortable place to live, so a lot of the Protestant merchants returned to Amsterdam and so did a lot of the other residents of the Cologne community. Over the years most members of this community had become related by marriage or by the marriages of their children. Many of the returning couples had children baptized in Cologne and their youngest ones baptized in Amsterdam.

 

Notes:

Two handwritten indexes, one for marriages and one for baptisms, made in Germany around 1920, also show the entries of the German Reformed Churches in Cologne, which records are not included here.

 

These are the transcriptions of all the baptism and all the marriage records in the Dutch Reformed Church, for the years between 1571 and 1650.

The records of the Walloon Church start in 1600, the older books were probably lost.

 

Some records were very hard to read, so a few are incomplete. I left the spelling of the names as they were recorded, but I added my comments / suggestions between [square brackets].

 

Although the transcribed records were written in Dutch (some in German) and French, I have translated all these records into English, in order to make them useful for non-Dutch/French speaking people.

 

Cor Snabel

 

Dutch Reformed Church in Cologne - Baptisms

Dutch Reformed Church in Cologne - Marriages

Walloon Church in Cologne - Baptisms

Walloon Church in Cologne - Marriages

 

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