Monday, May 18, 2009

Are you Looking for Belgian Funeral Notices Online?

So far this year The Belgian Researchers have lost 2 good friends in Belgium:
- Jean-Jacques Hallaux, in January 2009, founder of Netradyle, http://www.netradyle.be/, who made so much information available to researchers online and whose kindness and generosity with his time was well known.

- Willem Bevernage, who passed away just days ago, at the age of 71. He too made abundant records available online with great deal of kindness to everyone.
http://www.vrijwilligersrab.be/willemcir/klappers.asp
UPDATE: The Belgian Archives now host these indexes - To do a search visit their page at:
 http://search.arch.be/en/zoeken-naar-personen
A tutorial was written by Damien DESQUEPER and made available at http://www.aghb.org/pdf/Archives-Tutorial.pdf for the Association Généalogique du Hainaut Belge

They both were of the rare breed of those who believed records should be available to all without cost.

Researchers have lost two great allies with their departure. Our hearts go out to their families who feel their loss in a more personal way.

As I was looking for more information on them I tracked down the site I had referred to several months ago. We have since changed our web page and I failed to archive all postings so… it took me a while to find it again.
As I ventured on the different sites, I came across several well worth mentioning here.
The only one I had kept in my links was the international one: http://www.enaos.net/P1200.aspx

This site is in English and simple to use and does have an “Advanced Search” option.
You have the option to set a Default search location by entering your country of residence. This can be changed any time you want. Just be aware that not all families post obituaries for their loved ones.
You should also check out http://www.defunt.be

It seems less encompassing as it was when I first found it as you can only narrow your search to locations in Wallonia and the site is in French only. There is an option to choose a Province, but I can’t see how to use the function properly. Maybe I’m not doing something right…
For the WAVRE, GREZ-DOICEAU, CHAUMONT-GISTOUX, PERWEZ, INCOURT, JODOIGNE, OTTIGNIES-LOUVAIN-LA-NEUVE, CHASTRE area, try http://site.voila.fr/pfdevroye/page4.html - in French
Of course newspapers will also contain obituaries. You can download editions in their pdf format from different sites.
http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/belgium.htm will give you links to Belgian newspaper sites. Some give you access to their online version but the obituaries are usually not accessible without a subscription to their pdf version. These papers can also be purchased by the day.
In “La Libre Belgique” the obituaries (necrologies) are found under “Carnet” in “La Meuse” under “Services” or “Necrologies”.

The newspaper "La Meuse" gives a special access:
http://necro.sudpresse.be/

Also try http://www.souvenez-vous.be/Home.aspx

Another place you can look is at http://www.aghb.org/index.php?page=fpdc
The Association Genealogique du Hainaut Belge has a database with 15,310 deaths. You have to do a search or you can contact one of their members to place a query.
Other Belgian genealogical societies have similar databases too.
http://netradyle.be/actes/ boasts 303,485 deaths/burials (along with Births and marriages – 1,050,165 records in all). This was Jean-Jacques Hallaux’ baby.

I found the old link I was missing by checking the archived "Latest News" on this site and found yet another treasure I had forgotten about:
Belgian Funeral Cards: http://www32.websamba.com/wvlgen/bidprentjes.htm

The link will direct you to a place where many people who help gather obituaries/funeral cards have made their work accessible to all.

For example:

found on Andre Verlinden's site Documents mortuaires en Flandres et en Ardennes at http://tilia.cordata.free.fr/galerie/album.php?id_album=2&stat=ok

or even Freddy De Ghouy's work at http://users.telenet.be/freddy.de.ghouy1/bidprentjes.pdf

Other sites are found many places, like the following

http://users.swing.be/louis.possoz/courcelles/CcS1779.htm for Burials in Courcelles between 1779 and 1793.

I will continue to add them to this post as I find them.
For more, try checking out our Links page. Contacting someone in Belgium who knows the historical background as well as the geographical landscape can give you invaluable help. Just remember to acknowledge the service they are willing to give you, even if it’s not exactly what you had hoped and make sure to make yourself available for others. You may not help someone with Belgian research right away but you have access to records only people living in your area do. So check and see what you can do to help with different projects.
The USGenweb has several obituaries and cemeteries projects.
Go to www.usgenweb.org
Choose a state, then look for either an alphabetical listing of all the counties found in that state or a map – this is valuable in as much as the county boundaries often changed and it pays off to look into neighboring counties –
Browse through the site for more records. If you live in one of those areas where Belgians have settled, or even if it’s not the case, contact the site’s webmaster and ask how you can help.

There is plenty to do out there. You may not be able to help the person who helped you but you can pass it on. Return the favor by helping someone else.
Hope these links can be of help to you.

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