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Excerpt from the Marriage Contract of Brant Peelen and Marritje Pieters, 1643
In this their marriage contract it is, with the will and pleasure of the bridegroom and bride, expressly agreed and stipulated by them, considering that there is nothing certain but death, and nothing more uncertain than the hour thereof, in order to provide against all such uncertainty of death by their joint will, they both, the bridegroom and the bride, declare that whenever Almighty God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, whom they pray that it may be His holy will to bless them in this their marriage so as it shall be necessary for them here temporarily and hereafter eternally, Amen, shall call the first of them both out of this world, the longest liver of them shall remain in full occupation and possession of all the temporal goods that God hath granted, or shall grant, in this world jointly to them the bridegroom and bride; it being well understood that there should be no difference in regard to the property, but the property of both of them being common, it is computed of the same value, as no inventory is made on either side and it is assumed on both sides as of equal value, which is this concluded and contracted with their joint mature deliberation, wishing and requesting that this shall have full effect after the death of either of them.
It is further covenanted that whenever either of them dies, a proper inventory shall then be made of all the property that the both shall possess at the time, so that the lawful heirs may obtain pertinent [ ], and whenever the survivor shall have departed out of this sorrowful world, the lawful heirs on both sides shall then equally divide and each side receive a like portion of the estate; likewise, that the survivor shall be bound to manage the property as profitably as possible, expecting, with the help of God, only that it may not be squandered needlessly or improperly. If this occur, those whom it interests shall be at liberty to interfere, and that with cause and good reason.
Wherewith he, Brant Pelen, bridegroom and she Marritje Pieters, present bride, conclude their contract of marriage, and request that this may have effect and be valid before all Courts and judges, to this end renouncing all exceptions of what sort soever which may anywise contravene these presents, pledging themselves, in like manner under bond of all law for the payment of the sum of money promised to their children on either side. In testimony this is signed by them respectively, with Everardus Bogardus and Hendric Kip, witnesses hereunto invited, the 3d July AD 1643, in Fort Amsterdam, New Netherland.
Hendrick Hendricksen Kyp
Ian Iansen Scepmoes
This is the + mark of
To my Knowledge, Cornelis van Tienhoven, Secretary.