Monday, June 8, 2009

Family Histories and Index on a Variety of Personal sites

In my early internet days I had the opportunity to meet a great many interesting people thanks to the Belgium-Roots mailing list that Georges Picavet created.
One such person was Jozef Smits.  He was a scientist besides having a great interest in history and genealogy and we more or less locked horns on a technical word I had used in a post on Belgium Roots.
Luckily we made it past this silliness and were able to forge a good relationship.

Jos had a "sidekick" with a real knack for getting into trouble with his English translation: Jose Schoovaert, a comic book artist, painter, historian.
Jos Smits left us suddenly in 2007 but his son recently reopened his webpage, translated into English for the most part:
Jos wrote several histories on his family:
* - "De Familie SMITS in 't Land van Rijen", Edegem 1977.
* - "De Familie FAES uit 't Land van Rijen", I, Berchem-Edegem 1983.
* - "De Familie FAES uit 't Land van Rijen", II, Berchem-Edegem 1984.
* - "De Familie VAN DER KE(I)LEN", I, Edegem 1992.
* - "De Familie VAN DER KE(I)LEN", II, Edegem 1997.
* - "De Familie OLIVIERS, Edegem 2001.
* - “De Familie LIPPENS, Edegem 2006.* - "De aloude Heerlijkheid Wommelgem", Wommelgem 1989.
They are all made available at his web site - under "Boeken" - in Dutch for the most part but these are being translated into English.

Guy just created a new page on our site to accommodate the upload of such histories.
On the right side, just click on Family Histories.
We have just uploaded the first one:
The story of Fons DeRoeck and Josephine Debot (Letters from Wausaukee to Antwerp 1887 - 1937) :
written for the Gazette van Detroit
by Dominique Van Rentergem, Antwerp, Belgium

I hope we can also link Andre Bodart's site (in French) shortly.
His tree can be found on Geneanet at

If you too want to share your stories, please contact us and we will make room for your text or a link to your personal page, whichever is most agreeable with you.

Jose Schoovaert built some sites where to share his knowledge, his art and his love for the Walloon language, which was still spoken fluently by our friends in Wisconsin and in Pennsylvania.

We partner with several genealogical associations in Belgium, and this one, the Association Genealogique du Hainaut Belge, also provides links to its members' personal pages or to their online genealogies:
- You can email the members if you click in the first box.
- You can be redirected to private pages by chosing a name from the second pull-down menu, like "Debaudrenghien", where you will find an extensive history of the Hainaut Province and 8 centuries of the family's history, with coats of arms etc. - Only drawback is that it's not in English but don't let this deter you.  Just make use of the online translation software.  even though you won't get a perfect translation, it will at least give you the main idea.
- Or you can click on a name from the third pull-down box to access genealogies.
Don't dismiss the "News" section on that site either as they give you links to their new projects. One such project is Philippe Capron's, on Paturages: //
This site not only contains local history information but also genealogical data about famous people who have lived in Paturages as well as many other families for whom research data is available: Abrassart, Attenelle, Audin, Ballez, Bertiaux, Blairon, Bouillon, Capiau, Dangre, Delattre, Delhaye, Demarez, Demoustier, Denis, Ducobu, Francois, Gerot, Grandmont, Juste, Lan, Lenglois, Louis, Masse, Maton, Prouveur, Robert, Simon, Tillier, Warenghien.
There are comments on how some names change from one town to another although the families are the same.  Good insight to have into the research.

This is also where I found Daniel Duprez' "Ancestralement Votre" site
with further information on the Berlemont, Capron, Duprez, Grumiaux families as well as a Search option through indexes for the towns of Dour, Quaregnon and Wasmuel.

Total of indexed records -combined births, marriages and deaths:
Dour: 11,982; Quaregnon: 9,038; Wasmuel: 10,495
and a call to help there as well.

Clicking on the links I also found a searchable index of 262, 353 17th and 18th Liege Province marriages and 70,720 Luxemburg Province marriages. The actual content of this site requires membership in the society that offers it: The Service de Centralisation des Etudes Genealogiques de Demographiques de Belgique

I never tire of finding new sites but find the process tedious when confronted with languages I don't speak or understand inadequately.  Wouldn't it be nice to gather them all in one place?

I'm sure I have barely scratched the surface, please feel free to contact us to add more such wonderful places.