RQG Around the World – Emma Devroey

25 Jul, 2022

RQG Around the World – Emma Devroey

As part of our RQG Around the World month we are pleased to introduce Emma Devroey.

I’m a student member waiting to start the IHGS Diploma in September. I’m a UK expat living in Belgium and for the past 18 years an amateur genealogist. Now my children are near University. I’ve decided to take this hobby in a professional direction.

Some of my favourite Belgian resources are Familiekunde Vlaanderen (Family History Flanders). They have a large digital publication list. These publications are written by genealogists and historians and contain a lot of genealogical information. Parish Registers (some were destroyed by the two world wars and where recreated following the conflicts with records from the surviving population). The State Archive People Search Database contains more than 41 million names and updates are made regularly. The database provides transcripts of birth, baptism, marriage and death certificates. It doesn’t provide the certificates themselves (some of these are available on Familysearch.org).The Belgian War Dead Register This is Belgian equivalent to the CWGC Database. I like this resource as the official documents may contain a photograph of the solider.

All females keep their maiden names after marriage there are no marital names to complicate the research. So birth certificates contain both parent details, their ages and occupations at the time of birth which makes research so much easier. 

Belgium was only a recognised independent state from 1830 following the revolution from the Netherlands. Be prepared for multiple languages in its documentation as the region of Belgium has been owned by many. The house of Valois-Burgundy (France). The House of Habsburg as part of the Spanish Netherlands and Austrian Netherlands. The House of Orange-Nassau (Kingdom of the Netherlands). I often find myself searching the Dutch Archives to get beyond the 1830s.

Clare O'Grady