Abraham van Lare was born on June 29, 1825 in Zuizande, Zeeland, Netherlands to Abraham van Lare and Pietranella Franke. He grew up in the Zuizande, Zeeland area working as a laborer. At some point most likely in late 1852 or early 1853 he began courting Katharina Neufeglise a young servant maid from Cadzand, Zeeland, Netherlands. Katharina was the daughter of Abraham Neufeglise and Sara Suwijn.
Abraham would have began courting Katharina by coming to call on her on a Sunday at her parents house. Zeelanders often lived at home until they got married which was much later than Americans. It allowed them to help and continue providing for the family. In the southern parts of holland, courtship would have consisted of Abraham coming to call on Katharina working very hard to gain the acceptance of both Katharina as well as her parents. He probably would have left flowers for her on her doorstep to show his interest. In some cases suitors also came to visit on Wednesdays as well as on Sundays but it would have been to take her out to religious celebrations and festivals. Obviously, Katharina was interested in Abraham because they got married, this means that she would have been expected to smooth her hair and dress and arrange her bonnet as a way to make herself look pretty. Tradition followed that if a young suiter called on one's daughter a second time parents knew he intended to propose marriage and they would be expected to inform him whether they are in favor of his intentions during his third visit.
The average age for dutch couples to marry was 25 for males and 22 for females, and if they were lucky they would be married for 20-25 years before one of them died. Abraham was 27 when he married Katharina, she was 23. It was law that if a they were under the age of 30 they would need to get written permission from their parents to marry.
The couple officially declared their intention for marriage on June 4, 1853. They were required to enter their names with the town hall and legally declare their intentions. They would then have to post banns for the next couple of weeks before they could marry in order to allow any one who has the right to make an objection the ability to do so. These were posted in both Cadzand, where the wedding was going to take place as well as Zuidzande, Abraham's home town.
|Abraham and Katharina's Declaration of Intent to Marry|
|Abraham and Katharina's Banns Postings in Cadzand, Zeeland Netherlands|