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!