Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
RTBF has prepared a very nice video presentation recounting the story of Albert's life.
This is a first in Belgian history and it is not bad. King Albert II was a good king and it is nice to know we can celebrate his reign and not be lost in mourning his life.
King Philippe should be a good king too. He has been preparing for this for a long time.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
This morning I received an email from th Verviers_bonne-ville Yahoogoup announce the upload of yet another treasure provided by the dedication of Christine Smolders. A few years ago she set out to make available indexes to Belgian Civil Registers for the Verviers area of Belgium.
She has had some help but has done most of the work on her own.
Here is a list of the towns for which you will find indexes in their Files folder online:
- Basse Bodeux
- Neufchateau (Dalhem)
There are also other files uploaded among which images of area registers submitted by Marie-Josee Deroanne and maps by Pierre Nisin.
This morning the message announced the upload of a file on births recorded between 1813 and 1822 in Sart-lez-Spa. The message is in French as it is the main language used by that group but as we have talked about before, don't let that deter you from checking it out. Google Translate will give you a basic understanding of the message even though it is not likely going to be perfect. There are other translating sites online such as World Lingo, Free Translation, Yahoo Babel Fish, not necessarily in this order. Of late I have used Google Translate more but I want to make sure to reiterate that if you plan to use these translation programs, you need to make sure the person you are trying to communicate with knows how you are doing so.
Anyway, back to this morning's email.
Because I subscribe to the Verviers_bonne_ville Yahoogroup, and have linked my email address to a Yahoo ID, all I need to do is click on the link in the message below to access the file.
Subject: [Verviers_bonne_ville] Nouveau fichier sur Verviers_bonne_ville
Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 12:04 AM
Veuillez noter qu'un fichier a été envoyé au groupe Verviers_bonne_ville.
En voici les caractéristiques :
Fichier : /SART-lez-SPA Naissances 1813-1822.pdf
Envoyé par : chsmolders <email@example.com>
Pour accéder à ce fichier, allez sur :
Linking your email address to a Yahoo ID is common to ALL Yahoogroups.
It works the same way to access our group's files or photo albums or archived messages.
It is easy and safe, and very much self-explanatory but requires your following their steps nonetheless.
Most if all it is usually well worth your trouble. This Verviers_bonne_ville group has a lot of information available to their group members and it is the case with most groups.
Sometimes it is not easy to find the groups however so we have begun a list under LINKS on our webpage:
You will find that there are groups for every Province of Belgium but also some for specific professions and interests such as the following:
Plagues and Daily Life of our Ancestors:
About POWs and otherwise deported people:
About Military History and records:
About River peopl:
About Traveling people like Circus people, singers, and all sorts of other professions:
Remember that these groups offer free help or at least an opportunity for free advice.
Although there is always a chance you will find a professional genealogist that may give you his price, most of the help offered here is offered in good will and although nobody ever requires thanks, these are always welcomed and usually ensure that other researchers who follow you will also be helped.
Because of this, offering your help in return is appreciated all the more.
You might not be able to render service to group where you found help but you would definitely be able to help with a group local to you.
Till next time! Have fun!
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Emigration is nothing new. As long as people have been trying to better their circumstances, or been adventurous, there has population movement across continents and across oceans. Belgians have left their mark all across Europe and the World at large.
At the end of the 19th century, the movement between France and Belgium was also a relatively common one.
Miners, farmers, glass workers commonly moved across the borders back and forth, so you might very well find births, marriages and deaths in the French Archives that are online today.
The following map shows you what Departements have already uploaded their registers.
Today I would like to talk about those who moved to Northern France.
Miners, glass and steel workers have been found in the NORD Department (59) (Aniche, Berlaimont,...)
Thanks to a discussion group "Ancêtres en Avesnois" and Daniel Blondel, we have been able to find answers for researchers or direct them to the right place anyway.
The Cercle Historique et Généalogique de Berlaimont hosts a site similar to that of GeneDinant and NetraDyle where record index can be accessed up to the date: http://www.chgb.org/
Membership in their Genealogical Society is required to access the details.
If you click on "connexion" or "Conditions d'Acces" at the bottom of the Research Block on the left side of the page you will be directed to this page, containing a direct link to the archives of the Departement du Nord site
Etat Civil = Civil Register
Cadastre = Land Record Office
Recensements = Census
Matricules Militaires = Military registrations
Iconographie = Images
The Civil Register contains two groups of records:
- ten-year tables (tables decennales)
- records (actes)
It might be helpful - especially if you don't know when the person you are looking for might be found - to use the ten-year tables first as they contain alphabetical listings that will also list a date. You can then go back to the 'Actes" and look for the date.
Hopefully you know the name of the town because you will need to pick one from the menu before having a choice of registers to look at. The earlier indexes may be very helpful for this purpose.
I recently looked for a Belgian named HOYAUX in "Berlaimont" and since many Belgians emigrated there, it might be a great example to use. I left it on "Tous" for "All types of records", and clicked on the orange "Rechercher" (Search) button.
Naissances = Births
Mariages = Marriages
Deces = Deaths
Click on one of the new + buttons next to one set of records and see the digital images available
You will also be able to zoom in and out. Just try the different buttons above and below to see how they work. You won't hurt anything.
Once you have found your date, go back to the "Archives en Ligne" page and click on "Etat Civil" again, and choose "Actes" for "Berlaimont", and add the type of record you are looking for.
Click on the time frame you want and access the images.
Let's go back to the beginning...
Under Cadastre you will find two sets of maps.
this page for detailed explanation of what the differences between them are.
Just remember to click in the left column to access the maps
Under Recensements, you will find the 1906 census as it is the most thorough. Lille was not submitted so it is missing at this time.
Under Matricules Militaires:
- Fiches matricules (registration cards): or military file are organized:
This really is an awesome tool.
There are rules and regulations of course but as long as you do not use these for any other purpose than personal use, you will have no problem.
If you are interested in other departements you may find slight differences in the formatting and you might even find some other types of records. Don't be afraid to try. You can't hurt anything!
Thursday, March 29, 2012
On March 28, 2012, a new site was officially announced which enables researchers to access at present about 75,000 beautifully digitized records for the most part presented for the fist time, from private collections, from the Museum, the Library or the Archives of the city of Andenne.
The site is the product of many years of hard work supported by the Echevinat de la Culture and the city of Andenne, Belgium. I introduce to you Bibliotheca Andana
Among the images you will find
post cards, books, old local newspapers, funeral cards and notices, and last but by far not least, the images of Civil Registers for the towns of
Also Passports of two kinds: some used for travel within the country, some used to travel abroad. These also provide a physical description of the bearer, like the WWI Draft Registration Cards in the US.
I will attempt to translate pertinent information here below:
To access the images of the available registers, go to http://www.bibliotheca-andana.be/
In the black Menu Bar, hover over "Etat Civil" then choose a town among those available:
Click on the town's name of your choice. I picked Maizeret:
Choose between the type of record you want to examine:
Naissances = Births
Mariages = Marriages
Décès = Deaths
Tables annuelles = annual indexes
Tables décennales = 10y tables = indexes of names
Let's say I want to look at the births
I click on "Naissances" and a list of years available comes up on the next page, like this:
Click on the year of your choice and you will come to the record images which you will have to open one at a time. They are in pdf format so make sure your computer has Adobe Reader. If you need to download it, go to www.adobe.com and download the free Adobe Reader.
To view the record image, click on the red link "Telechargez ..."
At the bottom of the page the zoom in and out option that come in pdf format will enable you to better look at the record and save it too.
Under the other headings you will find local postcards, photos as the titles indicate.
Under "Documents" you will find
- posters of different types, advertisements, etc
- business cards, and other business letterhead items
- bills issued from a variety of businesses for various items
- promotional items, catalogs
- maps and blueprints
- funeral announcements/cards
Under "Livres" you will find a variety of local history books in review. They are not downloadable unfortunately.
Under "Journaux" you will find 9 old local newspapers that you can read online or save.
Under "Registres" hides a series of decisions and minutes from local authorities' meetings.
Under "Dossiers" expect an amalgam of papers pertaining to a particular topic.
More explanations on how records were kept:
- The proceedings of the Council of Trent (24th session of November 11, 1563), by which Parish priests were ordered to record the names of godparents in the baptismal register. These annotations were based on purely religious grounds, indeed, at the time, the spiritual relationship created at baptism, translated into marriage impediments. The Council of Trent circumscribed it so as to avoid the disadvantages arising from the multiplicity of spiritual alliances, contracted only by godparents.
- The order called "of Blois", work of Chancellor Hurault Cheverny, which dated back to May 1579. Under Article 40, we can not marry without "prior proclamations made by three different holidays, with appropriate intervals" and, in order to show that proper form was observed for these weddings, at least four trustworthy people will, attend, which will be written into the record.
- The order called "Saint-Germain-en-Laye" also called "Code Louis," of April 1667. This ordinance standardizes the preparation of records. It requires signature of the godparents on baptismal records; of spouses and witnesses on marriage records; of both parents, or friends present on burial records, confirming what was already done in many areas.
- A royal decree of Louis XV dated April 9, 1736: there will be kept in every Parish in the kingdom two copies of registers, both considered authentic before the courts, to record baptisms, marriages and burials which would be used through the course of year. These registers would be provided at the expense of the Fabrique. All records of baptism, marriage and burial would be kept in these registers, chronologically with no blanks, and would be signed by those who must. Both registers would have to be signed by the officiator, contracting parties and witnesses.
- The order and perpetual edict of sovereign princes and archdukes of July 12, 1611: given the frequent difficulty in proving one’s age "when getting married or at someone’s death, magistrates and other legal representatives, for towns as well as villages, are directed to collect an authentic copy of the registers of baptism, marriages, and burials that every priest has held in his parish. This duplicate register should be sent to the clerks of the City Registry… for preservation.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Posted by Regine at 10:18 PM
Caught a tweet this morning, from Dear Myrtle and had to check it out. I looked for a message from Fold3.com in my mail box but never found one... no tweet either so I hope Dear Myrtle won't mind my recopying some of it here.
When I was a little girl, I turned my eyes and cringed every time one of my elders would bring up the war (WWII) as they were alive when it happened and they remembered first hand what they had gone through.
My father was five years old when the German armies marched through his little village of Dalhem in early May 1940. I am fuzzy about the exact chronology but I know my grandfather was deported to Germany shortly after the invasion. How he ended up in a military POW camp, I am not sure about either but that is where he was. We have a handful of letters he wrote the family but they never quite satisfied my curiosity.
They first had him in Stalag VA in Ludwigsburg, then moved him to Stalag VB in Villingen. He was put in the service of a woman whose husband was fighting/had fought in Hitler's armies: Widow HEFELE at Illerbachen - hamlet of Berckheim- D- 88450.
In his own correspondence with me, my father says that he still recalls vividly the few hours of 'emptiness' between the time the German soldiers left and the American soldiers arrived... "like the calm after the storm". He painted a US flag and a UK flag on two white sheets... I often think about the soldiers who came marching down the street that day... Did they notice him? Not that it matters really but there was so much emotion involved in making those flags... I can picture him waving them with all his arms from the top of his 10 years. Which army delivered them, anyway?
I recently transcribed letters that my husband's uncle wrote while he served as a medic in Europe. He was in Liege, and in Maestricht... did he ever walk through the streets of Dalhem? He never mentions it by name although he does talk of the welcoming committee they found everywhere they went. Stanley was assigned to the US Ninth Army...
SO as I discovered this morning that Fold3.com (formerly FootNote.com) had released WWII European Theater Army Records, I could not resist.
the message sent to Dear Myrtle explains.
We do tend to think of combat when we think of war battles, but would the troops do without their supporting cast in charge of:
to name but a few...
|IMAGE: Details of air transport evacuation of 30,000 Allied prisoners of war. *|
I too got a chuckle out of the comments made by Captain James Stewart as he transported the former POWs from Belgium and other places to 'his' fort.
It struck me funny how people who had been deprived for years would think twice about taking a cigarette from the soldiers who were offering them for fear the soldiers would not have enough for themselves... and it brought me back to my grandfather... When he returned he too was not much more than skin and bones and obviously changed by the years in captivity. As my father said: "after he came home he was more like a godfather than a father".
You may wonder how to access these records?
Go to www.fold3.com
You can benefit from a 7 day free trial if you have never registered with FootNote
They are having a special right now, so might be worth your time to subscribe.
Or you can go to a library that has access to the database, like a Family History Center for example.
Some other libraries give access to their patrons, either at the library or remote access. You might want to ask your local librarian.
That's all for today... Happy Hunting!