Tips on using sites containing information pertinent to Belgian genealogy
America, It's Also our History!
The Purpose of Our Organization is
- To Keep Alive Our Belgian Heritage - To Promote Better Understanding and Appreciation of our Emigrant Forebears. - To Promote Cooperation Between Researchers. - To Bring Together Families Long Separated.
Belgian museum salutes Texas Aggies: Bastogne, Belgium | December 12, 2014 – August 31, 2016
“This is a great opportunity to honor those who paved the way for many of us to be where we are today. The Belgians have shared stories of how their lives were forever changed by the support of the Americans during the Battle of the Bulge and many of those leading the Americans were Texas Aggies. I am humbled and honored to be able to support this tribute.” –John Sharp, Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. The exhibit will be on display through Aug. 31, 2016, in the Van Geluwe Building in Bastogne. After that, it will have a permanent home in College Station.
Today in Belgian History
1 Apr 1890 – An electric trolley car car was patented by Belgian inventor, Charles Van Depoele. He had designed the first commercial electric railway in the US (maybe the world) for the Scranton Suburban Electric Railway (30 Nov 1886), an intra-city line running a few miles between downtown Scranton, Pa. and Green Ridge. The line ran continuously (except for repairs and strikes) until 1954. Van Depoele received patents an electric railway (1883), an electric generator (1880), a carbon commutator brush (1888), an alternating-current electric reciprocating engine (1889), a telpher system for a car running suspended from cables (1890), a coal-mining machine (1891) and a gearless electric locomotive (1894).
2 Apr 1920 – The Senate accepts the principle of women’s vote.
2 Apr 1937 – the first Eugène Ysaye Violin Competition opens. David Oistrakh is the winner of this contest named after the famous violinist composer and which will later be renamed Queen Elisabeth Music Competition.
3 Apr 1925 - aviator Edmond Thieffry, WWI hero, links Brussels and Leopoldville, after a voyage of 51 days. It was the first Belgium-Congo flight. The regular line was opened on February 23, 1935 by Sabena Airlines, carrying 83 kilos of mail.
4 Apr 1826 -Birth of Zénobe-Théophile Gramme (4 Apr 1826-20 Jan 1901): Belgian-born French electrical engineer and inventor (1869) of the Gramme dynamo, a continuous-current electrical generator that gave principal impetus to the development of electric power.
9 Apr 1939 – Belgian cyclist Emile Masson wins the 40th “Paris-Roubaix”.
12 Apr 1974 – Death of Fud Candrix, jazz player. He played the cello, the clarinet, the tenor saxophone. He was also a composer and orchestra director. During the "Swinging Thirthies", he was among the Belgian leaders of the Big Band era. During the 50s, he creates the "Belgian All Stars".
13 Apr 1930 – The Belgian soccer team crushes the French 6 to 1
20 Apr 1860 – Death of Charles De Brouckère (64y old).He was one of Belgium’s founding fathers. This great defender of freedoms took part in drafting the Belgian Constitution. He later served as Defense Minister.He also taught Political Economy at the “Université Libre” and was among the founders of the Bank of Belgium.
20 Apr 1899 – The automobile driver Camille Jenatzy reaches the 100 km/h mark aboard an electrical propelled car named "Jamais contente" (Never content)!
26 Apr 1904 - Installation of the Bell Telephone Company in Antwerp.
27 Apr 1846 - Charles Joseph Van Depoele (27 Apr 1846-18 Mar 1892): U.S. Belgian-born American inventor who demonstrated the practicability of electrical traction (1874) and patented an electric railway (1883).
28 Apr 1892 – The law of 28 April 1892 set GMT (later known as UT or TU) as legal time. In 1946, one heure was added and, in 1977, after the oil crisis, two different times are adopted in Belgium, to contain energy consumption: Summer time, GMT +2 and Winter time: GMT +1
15th Wedding Anniversary
On Dec 4, 1999 Prince Phillip and Miss Mathilde were married. In honor of their 15th wedding anniversary the Royal Mint of Belgium presented a special medal bearing both King Phillip and Queen Mathilde’s effigy on one side and on the other the coats of arms of both their houses.
All you ever dreamed to know about who was who in Brussels
that year can be discovered thanks to Antoine and Jacques MASSIN who set out to
make available the Brussels 1812 Almanach.
In 1812, Brussels was the county seat of the French Département
de la Dyle, after the Austrian Low Lands were annexed by the First French Republic
on October 1st, 1795.
de la Dyle corresponded to the old Brabant Province which is now divided into 3
parts: Walloon Brabant, Flemish Brabant and the Brussels Region.
They divided the work into 5 parts:
de la population de 1812: a population
census («Who is Who in 1812»), accessible by alphabetical order, lists every
person residing in Brussels in 1812.Saved
as separate pdf files, the text is in French but being typed should be easy to
copy and paste into a translating software if you don’t read French.
List of all the towns and main hamlets of Belgium during Year VII.
Example: Achene, Sambre-et-Meuse, with a post office in
directory of occupations, merchants and professions and the names of those who are
actively engaged in these activities.
Example: under “Banquiers”
(Bankers): you will find 4 places of business, one of which is
-DANOOS, Daniel and son, Rue d’Aremberg, Son, 5,
Some of the occupations you will find in this directory will likely surprise you:
- - sellers of Geographic maps.
- sellers of Carnival costumes
- - carriage makers
They list 4 dentists, and also 4 florists, along with a lot of different occupations that have since disappeared such as "fumiste": a craftsman who installed or repaired chimneys
I had to look that up and I recommend this website to discover the professions that our ancestors practiced: Les Metiers de Nos Ancetres
of the 367 Decrees made at the courthouse during the Year XII (141pages) – adds sometimes lively details to the last census taken by the French in 1812. - book published in 1997 under
the title “Bruxelles Qui est Qui en
1812” (Brussels who is Who in 1812) -
These decrees, signed by the Mayor of Brussels, Charles d’Ursel, Count
of the Empire, Officer of the Legion d’Honneur and his substitutes, give us an
insight in what it must have been like for a citizen of Brussels to live under
Once again in French, but easily copied and pasted into
Arrêté n° 31, du 31 janvier.
Représentation au théâtre du
Le Maire, etc.
Autorise les membres de la
Société dite de Thalie à donner au théâtre du Parc, du samedi 1er février
prochain, une représentation des pièces intitulées: La femme a deux maris, la tapisserie
et monsieur Vautour.
Decree No. 31 of 31 January.
Representation in the Park
The Mayor, etc.
Allows the members of the Society
called de Thalia to give at the Park Theatre, Saturday February 1st,
a representation of the play titled “The woman has two husbands, the tapestry
and Mr. Vautour.”
Some have a more personal touch:
Arrêté n° 35, du 1er février.
Certificat de notoriété.
Le Maire, etc.
Déclare que les nommés Gaspar
Bouillon et Marie Dupret, son épouse, sont très peu fortunés; vivent en partie
du travail de leur fils Pierre et méritent des égards en raison de la position
malheureuse dans laquelle ils se trouvent.
Decree No. 35 of 1 February.
Certificate of notoriety
The Mayor, etc.
States that the named Gaspar Bouillon and Marie Dupret, his wife, are not very fortunate;
partly depend on the work of their son Peter and deserve respect because of the
unfortunate position in which they find themselves.
-Almanach for the Département de la
Dyle for Leap Year 1812: complete transcription of the book found here –
calendars and feast days, sunrises, sunsets, names of all the political leaders
in place at the time, and who did what in everyday life: doctors, pharmacists,
drivers, firemen, midwives, opera singers…even a list of how many players played what instruments in the orchestra.
take a look if you have family who lived in Brussels in 1812 or if you just
want background information.The file is
searchable so if you are looking for a specific name, you can find it faster
Jumping back to our day, you can find what is happening in
Brussels today by checking out the “Brusseleir” online newslette.