Drenthe Court Records

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The Etstoel in Drenthe represented for a long time the highest judicial body in Drenthe. The 24 "etten" (judges) were appointed from the top layer of the freeholder farmers. For genealogists, the list of networks can be a good addition to the usual sources. H. Bonder has compiled a list of "etten" (Members of the Etstoel of Drenthe, H. Bonder, Drenthe New People's Almanac, 1917, pg.83). This list is reproduced here, sorted by game thing. Background information is included in the etstoel Introduction.

A number of "etten" (judges) have added a brief family summaries.

The Etstoel originated in the Saxon assemblies. The leader of the meeting has probably appointed for each case from the common people only, the person who suggests the punishment, who later were not appointed for special cases but only for aperiod of time were designated by him. Thus gradually arose the Etstoel, a college that not only administeed judment, but also gave general administrative direction. (Mr. JGC Joosten, Ordelen the Etstoel of Drenthe 1518-1604, Introduction).

This council consisted of sherriff and 24 judges, with the land surveyer as Registrar, and an assessor. The judges were chosen from the prominent residents and "from every 'dingspel' (jurisdiction) four freeholder farmers in the land of Drenthe, commendable men, without distinction of nobelmen or commoner, who ought to be able to read and write and to have a quarter section (of land) or be good for at least 500 Carolus guilders". (land rights of Drenthe d.d.1614 art VII)

Every two years the oldest two step down, and two were newly elected. The outgoing members were not re-elected until the following year, so each of the jurisdictions had 6 judges: 2 old, 2 new and 2 resting. Half of them were chosen by the sheriff and the other half by the remaining judges. Someone who in 1614 refused to accept the nomination forfeited 15 marks to the sheriff, and he or his heirs could not be re-elected to the Etstoel. After 1614 the penalty was 30 gold florins, half for the sherriff and half for went to the Etstoel.

If there was no valid reason of absence, the absentees were fined with a fine of 3 gold florins. If not present at the ringing of the bell, they forfeited a barrell of beer. Also leaving the meeting was not permitted, with a punishment also a barrell of beer.

The Drost (sherriff) and 24 etten (udges) on 31 March 1600 decided that in future the domains would be paid: to the sheriff 8 guilders, to the noble "etten" 4 guilders and francs to the other 2 "etten", the cost of their digestive compensation.

On September 30, 1791, the Etstoel was replaced by the Court of Justice, consisting of the Drossard (sherriff) and eight councils.

You can find this information, and much more on: Drentse Etstoel

For a list of those who served as judges, see: De Etten van Drenthe Some of those mentioned have links to their genealogy as well.

Another web-site you might want to consult is: 30e/40e penning

This is the 30th and 40th 'penning'

A 'penning' was a currency, like a penny. The "30th and 40th Penning are 'taxes that are levied from 1679 to 1806 respectively on legacies in the collateral line and on auctions of real estate. This percentage is 3.3% and 2.5% on inheritances on the value of that property.

This web-site takes you immediately to a Surname and Given name search, where you can enter your ancestors name and see if he/she appeared in that part of the court system. An indx comes up and if you think you found one that belongs to your family, all you have to do is click on the entry and the information, or reference to it, will show up right underneath it.

Here is a web-site where you can find notaries listed in chronologica order and by name: list of notaries