Sunday, July 24, 2011

Are you Looking for the History of Courcelles?

Some researchers dismiss the value of mailing lists and forums.
I have found true pearls on these networks. One such pearl was shared today by Pat on
A complete book on the town of Courcelles, in pdf format, searchable!
It is in French but don't be afraid to try Google Translate to get a fairly decent translation.
It is wonderful to see how researchers enthusiastically share the tools they find as they research online, thus keeping all from 'reinventing the wheel'!
Thank You Pat and Thank You to the person who posted this book!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New strategies to give online access to more records: part 2

Thank You to Hubert Barnich for giving the opportunity to look at the site at
Here is the list of the localities being digitized for this site:
Aye, Champlon, Grimbiemont, Hargimont, Hollogne, Humain, Lignieres, Marche, Marloie, On, Roy, Verdenne, Waha
There are already 48,020 TIF files

Here is a sample of what you can expect.
"How do I access these?", you ask...
First things first... You will need a username and password to log in.
This comes with membership in Wallonia ASBL

Once you have the login, you can search for the record using a variety of filters.
- By "Commune" (locality)
- By "Doc" (register or index)
- By "Type" (birth, marriage, death)
- By "Patronyme" (surname)
- By "Date"
or even by extension, which will give you ALL 48,020 images (=
Once you have located the file you want, just download it (telecharger)

The entity of Marche is joining forces with the genealogical society Wallonia ASBL in offering access to 1900-1910 digitized birth records at as a prelude to a special fair to be held on August 15th, 2011.
They invite the public to come to the fair and present a downloaded/printed copy of a birth record found on the site and exchange it for a researched pedigree chart retracing that person's ancestry back to the French Revolution - as long as you can explain how this person fits into your family tree, of course, and that it pertains to the old locality of Marche.

So, just click on the town that interests you to find an index of births linked to digital images.
Print this image and take it to the fair.
Here is the list of towns for which these are available - slightly different from the one listed above: Aye, Hargimont (+ Jemeppe), Humain (+ Havrenne), Marche, Marenne ( + Verdenne), On, Waha ( + Marloie, Champlon/Famenne, Hollogne), Roy

Of course Wallonia is also involved with ExpoActes.
Access to these indexes are reserved to members of Wallonia or those who participate in their indexing project.
You can find their subscription page here in English.

Their indexes on ExpoActes cover towns in the Namur and Luxembourg provinces area.

As of 7/21/2011 there were 204,553 records:
- 105,485 Births/Christenings
- 31,261 Marriages
- 65,701 Deaths/Burials
- 2,106 various records
which are progressively linked to digital records.

Of course, it is a work in progress, so help is always welcomed of course, and could save you some money too.

There is a link to a manual to use the search functions - in French - or you can refer back to one of our previous articles on another ExpoActes index sponsored by GeneDinant and Netradyle.

Hope you can get some use out of this information, and HAVE FUN!

Défilé du 21 juillet en live | RTBF

Défilé du 21 juillet en live | RTBF
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New strategies to give online access to more records: part 1

Several organizations in Belgium have been plugging along indexing civil registers and parish registers and making the indexes available online for free and even giving access to the electronic copies of the original records.

How do they do this?

Simple. The Royal Archives don't have a true monopoly on these records as each locality retained a copy and has the right to make them available on their own.

One of the reasoning is that if more localities followed the example of the ones here, the Royal Archives would have to relinquish their grip and make the records available to all online. Civil Registry of the Campine, Antwerp Province
As of July 1, 2011, their indexes contained entries for 226,480 records from the Civil Registry and 35,514 records from various parish registers. The number of scanned records requested was 25,385.
Access the indexes by going to their home page at
Here are the available locations:
Endhout, Geel, Herentals, Herselt, Houtvenne, Hulshout, Morkhoven, Noorderwijk, Oevel, Olen, Tongerlo, Varendonk, Veerle, Vorst, Westerlo, Westmeerbeek, Zoerle Parwijs

EINDHOUT (Laakdal) Civil Registry 1797-1910 (6454 records)
Transcription of the tables of the parish registry 1659-1791
GEEL Civil Registry 1797-1907 (74.504 records)
Registry parish Zammel 1754 -1776 (694 records)
HERENTALS Civil Registry 1798 -1910 (33.389 records)
Parish registry 1775-1805 (4510 records) and 1584 -1796 (baptisms, 20.475 records)
HERSELT Civil Registry 1800 - 1881 (18.037 records)
HOUTVENNE (Hulshout) Civil Registry 1800 - 1910 (3335 records)
HULSHOUT Civil Registry 1813 - 1910 (in progress, 5926 records)
MORKHOVEN (Herentals) Civil Registry 1792 -1910 (3433 records)
NOORDERWIJK (Herentals) Civil Registry 1797 -1910 (7733 records)
Parish Registry 1605-1797 (baptisms 5545 records, marriages 1476 records, deaths 2814 records)
OEVEL (Westerlo) Civil Registry 1792 -1900 (5705 records)
OLEN Civil Registry 1802 -1910 (12.188 records)
Census 1867 -1880
TONGERLO (Westerlo) Civil Registry 1799 -1900 (10.496 records)
VARENDONK (Laakdal) Civil Registry 1801 - 1910 (1094 records)
VEERLE (Laakdal) Civil Registry 1803 - 1910 (in progress, 8336 records)
VORST (Laakdal) Civil Registry 1792 -1910 (13.943 records)
Parish registry 1598-1800 (baptisms and funerals)
WESTERLO Civil Registry 1802 -1900 (15.104 records)
WESTMEERBEEK (Hulshout) Civil Registry 1813 - 1910 (3697 records)
Conscription list 1851-1880
ZOERLE PARWIJS (Westerlo) Civil Registry 1802 - 1900 (3107 records)

Click on the coat of arms of the town in which you are researching and you will find a link to a zipped file containing spreadsheets of Births, Marriages and Deaths for that locality.
I don't think you will need a special program to unzip the file. It seemed to use IE to do this by itself.

If you want a look at the original record, go back to the page where you found the zipped file and click on "Scans" at the top of the page to request a copy.

There is no cost to you whatsoever.
If the file is small enough to email to you, you will find it in your mailbox. If not, they will upload it to their website with instructions on how to retrieve it. All they ask is that you let them know when you have downloaded it because they want to make sure they are not short on cyber space.

If you have time, you might consider giving some of it to help with this special project.
The site is tri-lingual so you should not have too much trouble using it.

This system is used by other groups and in fact I wanted to develop this article about 6 months ago already but got caught up in daily living.
I am waiting for the latest on this other group which offers records from the Marche-en-Famennes area and will share the additional information with you as soon as I get it.


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