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Times in Dutch acts

Dutch acts usually contain the time of birth, death or marriage. In the 19th and early 20th century, times were usually rounded to the nearest half hour, and written in the 12-hour notation. After that, times became more precise, and the 24-hour notation was used.

Whole hours are easy to understand, you only need to know the first twelve numerals: één (or een), twee, drie, vier, vijf, zes, zeven, acht (in older acts also agt), negen, tien, elf, twaalf. You can also find these numerals in any Dutch dictionary, or in the Dutch genealogy dictionary. The time will often be written as om .. uur, ten .. uur or ten .. ure: om zes uur, ten zes ure , at six o'clock.

Half hours will have the word half before the numeral of the next hour, and the word uur is sometimes dropped. So om half zes and ten half zes uur (litt. half six) both mean at half past five, and not at half past six!

Modifiers used to distinguish between a.m. and p.m. can be voor de middag, des voormiddags, des voordemiddags (litt. before midday) for a.m., and na de middag, des namiddags, des nademiddags (litt. after midday) for p.m., or they contain the part of day: des nachts (at night), des ochtends or des morgens (in the morning), des middags (in the afternoon), des avonds (in the evening). The prefix des is occasionally (in modern Dutch usually) abbreviated to 's.

Some examples:

des middags ten twaalf uurnoon
des morgens ten negen uur9 a.m.
des namiddags ten acht ure8 p.m.
des namiddags te half drie ure2:30 p.m.

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