Difference between revisions of "Belgium Civil Registration"

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== Historical Background ==
+
==How to Find the Records==
In 1795-1796 what is now Belgium was conquered by the Napoleonic regime, who introduced a system of civil registration throughout their territories. The first records were written in French and use the French Revolutionary Calendar. In 1815, Belgium was merged with what is now the Netherlands, creating the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands had also been conquered by Napoleon and from 1811 had a [[Netherlands Civil Registration|Civil Registration]] system. Both countries continued with this system. In 1830 Belgium became independent, but continued to keep civil registration records in a manner very similar to the Dutch system. 
 
  
== Contents of the records  ==
+
===Online Collections===
The records will be either in [[Netherlands Language and Languages|Dutch]], [[French Genealogical Word List|French]], or [[German Word List|German]], depending on the language locally spoken and the political situation.  
+
 
 +
*'''1560-1890''' : [[Belgium Births and Baptisms - FamilySearch Historical Records|Belgium Births and Baptisms]] - FamilySearch Historical Records
 +
*'''1564-1900''' : [[Belgium Deaths and Burials - FamilySearch Historical Records|Belgium Deaths and Burials]] - FamilySearch Historical Records
 +
*'''1563-1890''' : [[Belgium Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records|Belgium Marriages]] - FamilySearch Historical Records
 +
*'''1588-1913''' : {{RecordSearch|2138481|Belgium, Antwerp, Civil Registration, 1588-1913}}, index and images
 +
*'''1582-1914''' : {{RecordSearch|1482191|Belgium, Brabant, Civil Registration, 1582-1914}}, index and images
 +
*'''1541-1914''' : {{RecordSearch|2138513|Belgium, East Flanders, Civil Registration, 1541-1914}}, index and images
 +
*'''1600-1913''' : {{RecordSearch|2138500|Belgium, Hainaut, Civil Registration, 1600-1913}}, index and images
 +
*'''1798-1906''' : {{RecordSearch|2138507|Belgium, Limburg, Civil Registration, 1798-1906}}, index and images
 +
*'''1621-1914''' : {{RecordSearch|2138505|Belgium, Liège, Civil Registration, 1621-1914}}, index and images
 +
*'''1580-1920''' : {{RecordSearch|2138510|Belgium, Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1580-1920}}, images only
 +
*'''1800-1912''' : {{RecordSearch|2138511|Belgium, Namur, Civil Registration, 1800-1912}}, index and images
 +
*'''1582-1910''' : {{RecordSearch|2139860|Belgium, West Flanders, Civil Registration, 1582-1910}}, index and images
 +
*[[Belgium National Civil Registration - FamilySearch Historical Records|Belgium National Civil Registration]] - FamilySearch Historical Records
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/igi International Genealogical Index (IGI)] captured some civil registration records
 +
 
 +
==== Indexes ====
 +
Indexes covering a period of years (most commonly one and ten) were drawn up in alphabetical order. These list all the events that occurred in that place over the time period. Use the information given to find the original, such as date, page number or act number. These Indexes can generally be found at the State Archives or FamilySearch.
 +
 
 +
==== GeneaKnowHow ====
 +
[http://geneaknowhow.net/digi/bronnen.html Geneaknowhow] is a site that provides links to various local genealogical sites for Belgium and the Netherlands, including many containing civil registration records.
 +
 
 +
==== State Archives and FamilySearch ====
 +
The State [i.e. Federal] Archives of Belgium/Rijksarchief in België/Les Archives de l'Etat en Belgique has images and some indexes for civil registration records before 1915. Free [https://search.arch.be/en/login/registration registration] is required to view the records. The site comes in English, French, German or Dutch (see top left corner).
 +
 
 +
Most of the records are available only as images. They can be [https://search.arch.be/nl/tips/101-burgerlijke-stand browsed here]. A few have been indexed. They can be [https://search.arch.be/en/zoeken-naar-personen searched here]. The images placed online are not necessarily the entirety of the records that are available- the remaining records would need to be viewed in person at the archives. Nonetheless, the vast majority have been placed online.
 +
 
 +
In most cases, the images online at the website of the State Archives are exact copies of the images that can be found at FamilySearch. Either browse the historical record collections (see above) or use the FamilySearch Catalog. There is a significant number of images not yet placed in the historical record collections, so look in both of these places if you can't find a record.
 +
 
 +
===Offices to Contact===
 +
 
 +
Records after 1915 cannot be found online at the State Archives. You will need to contact the municipality where the event took place.
 +
 
 +
[http://www.arch.be/index.php?l=en&m=search-engines&r=search-website State and National Archives of Belgium]<br>
 +
Rue de Ruysbroeck 2<br>
 +
1000 Bruxelles, Belgium<br>
 +
 
 +
Telephone: +32 2 513 76 80<br>
 +
Parent organization: State Archives<br>
 +
 
 +
If needed, you may need to write to an '''ancestor's town'''. Below is how to address a letter:
 +
 
 +
Gemeentebestuur = Municipal administration<br>
 +
De Ambtenaar van de Burgerlijke Stand = Civil State Officer<br>
 +
Gemeentehuis = City Hall<br>
 +
BE - (postal code) (name of municipality)<br>
 +
Belgium<br>
 +
 
 +
*[http://belgium.rootsweb.ancestry.com/bel/_places/bel_places.html This list of municipalities give the postal codes].
  
Many smaller towns put births, marriages and deaths all together in chronological order, while later records and those from larger towns and cities usually divide the records into births, marriages and deaths separately. 
+
==Historical Background==
  
=== Births ===
+
In 1795-1796 what is now Belgium was conquered by the Napoleonic regime, who introduced a system of civil registration throughout their territories. The first records were written in French and used the French Revolutionary Calendar. In 1815, Belgium was merged with what is now the Netherlands, creating the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands had also been conquered by Napoleon and from 1811 had a [[Netherlands Civil Registration|Civil Registration]] system. Both countries continued with this system. In 1830 Belgium became independent, but continued to keep civil registration records in a manner very similar to the Dutch system.
A typical Belgium birth record contains:
 
* The child's name
 
* The birth place and date
 
* The names of the parents, their residence, occupations, sometimes ages
 
* The name of the informant, their occupation and sometimes age and relationship to the child
 
[[File:Belgium, Antwerpen, Civil Registration (13-0013) Birth Record DGS 4253585 320.jpg|thumb|A Dutch birth record]]  
 
  
=== Marriages ===
+
As of March 31, 2019, access to records in Belgium is unrestricted to those more than 100 years for births, 75 years for marriages, and 50 years for deaths. Records later than these time periods are not open to the general public.
A typical Belgium marriage record contains:
 
* Names of the bride and groom
 
* Place and Date of the marriage
 
* Their ages, residences, occupations and birthplaces. 
 
* The names of their parents, their occupations and sometimes ages or whether still alive
 
* Any former spouses 
 
* Witnesses, and their occupations, and who performed the ceremony
 
'''Marriage Supplements''' may contain
 
* Copies of birth or baptism records of the bride and groom
 
* Copies of the deaths of the parents of the bride and groom
 
* Deaths of or divorces from former spouses
 
* Consent from the parents
 
'''Marriage proclamations''' may contain:
 
* Names of prospective marriage partners
 
* Their residence, age, occupation
 
* Their intended date of marriage
 
* Their parents
 
[[File:Belgium, Antwerpen, Civil Registration (13-0013) Marriage Record DGS 4253613 399.jpg|thumb|A Dutch marriage record]]
 
  
=== Deaths ===
+
==Coverage and Compliance==
A typical Belgium death record contains;
+
"Vital records are on file from 1796, and the current registration is considered to be comprehensive."<ref>Thomas Jay Kemp, “International Vital Records Handbook, 5th Edition,” Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc. Baltimore : 2009.</ref>
* Name of deceased,  
 
* Their death date and place
 
* Their age, birthplace, occupation
 
* Their current and former spouses
 
* Names of their parents, if known
 
* Name of the informant and their residence
 
[[File:Belgium Civil Death Registration (Dutch).jpg|thumb|A Dutch death record]]
 
  
=== Divorces ===
+
==Information Recorded in the Records==
The divorce will be noted on the original marriage record. There is no separate "Divorce Record'
 
  
=== Tables ===
+
The records will be either in [[Netherlands Language and Languages|Dutch]], [[French Genealogical Word List|French]], or [[German Word List|German]], depending on the language locally spoken and the political situation.  
Indexes covering a period of years(most commonly one and ten) were drawn up in alphabetical order. These list all the events that occurred in that place over the time period. Use the information given to find the original, such as date, page number or act number.  
 
  
== Accessing the Records ==
+
Many smaller towns put births, marriages and deaths all together in chronological order, while later records and those from larger towns and cities usually divide the records into births, marriages and deaths separately. 
===Online Digital Records at the State Archives===
 
  
The State [i.e. Federal] Archives of Belgium/Rijksarchief in België/Les Archives de l'Etat en Belgique has images and some indexes for civil registration records before 1915. Free [https://search.arch.be/en/login/registration registration] is required to view the records The site comes in English, French, German or Dutch(see top left corner)
+
===Births===
 +
A typical Belgium birth record contains:  
  
Most of the records are available only as images. They can be [https://search.arch.be/nl/tips/101-burgerlijke-stand browsed here]. A few have been indexed. They can be [https://search.arch.be/en/zoeken-naar-personen searched here]. The images placed online are not necessarily the entirety of the records are available- the remaining records would need to be viewed in person at the archives. Nonetheless, the vast majority have been placed online.
+
*The child's name
 +
*The birth place and date
 +
*The names of the parents, their residence, occupations, sometimes ages
 +
*The name of the informant, their occupation and sometimes age and relationship to the child
  
=== FamilySearch ===
+
[[File:Belgium, Antwerpen, Civil Registration (13-0013) Birth Record DGS 4253585 320.jpg|thumb|A Dutch birth record]]
FamilySearch has also indexed many records and placed their images online. Their coverage is not complete.  
 
  
For the records they have indexed, search on FamilySearch.
+
===Marriages===
 +
A typical Belgium marriage record contains:
  
For Images, you can either browse the historical record collections (see below) or use the FamilySearch Catalog. There is known to be a significant number of images not yet placed in the historical record collections, so look in both of these places if you can't find a record.
+
*Names of the bride and groom
 +
*Place and Date of the marriage
 +
*Their ages, residences, occupations and birthplaces.
 +
*The names of their parents, their occupations and sometimes ages or whether still alive
 +
*Any former spouses
 +
*Witnesses, and their occupations, and who performed the ceremony
  
Alternatively, the IGI captured some civil registration records and are included on FamilySearch.
+
'''Marriage Supplements''' may contain
  
*[[Belgium Births and Baptisms - FamilySearch Historical Records|Belgium Births and Baptisms - FamilySearch Historical Records]]
+
*Copies of birth or baptism records of the bride and groom
*[[Belgium Deaths and Burials - FamilySearch Historical Records|Belgium Deaths and Burials - FamilySearch Historical Records]]
+
*Copies of the deaths of the parents of the bride and groom
*[[Belgium Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records|Belgium Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records]]
+
*Deaths of or divorces from former spouses
*[[Belgium National Civil Registration - FamilySearch Historical Records|Belgium National Civil Registration - FamilySearch Historical Records]]
+
*Consent from the parents
*'''1588-1913''' - {{RecordSearch|2138481|Belgium, Antwerp, Civil Registration, 1588-1913}}, index and images.
 
*'''1582-1914''' - {{RecordSearch|1482191|Belgium, Brabant, Civil Registration, 1582-1914}}, index and images.
 
*'''1541-1914''' - {{RecordSearch|2138513|Belgium, East Flanders, Civil Registration, 1541-1914}}, index and images.
 
*'''1600-1913''' - {{RecordSearch|2138500|Belgium, Hainaut, Civil Registration, 1600-1913}}, index and images.
 
*'''1798-1906''' - {{RecordSearch|2138507|Belgium, Limburg, Civil Registration, 1798-1906}}, index and images.
 
*'''1621-1914''' - {{RecordSearch|2138505|Belgium, Liège, Civil Registration, 1621-1914}}, index and images.
 
*'''1580-1920''' - {{RecordSearch|2138510|Belgium, Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1580-1920}}, images only.
 
*'''1800-1912''' - {{RecordSearch|2138511|Belgium, Namur, Civil Registration, 1800-1912}}, index and images.
 
*'''1582-1910''' - {{RecordSearch|2139860|Belgium, West Flanders, Civil Registration, 1582-1910}}, index and images.
 
  
===GeneaKnowHow===
+
'''Marriage proclamations''' may contain:  
[http://geneaknowhow.net/digi/bronnen.html Geneaknowhow] is a site that provides links to various local genealogical sites for Belgium and the Netherlands, including many containing civil registration records.
 
  
=== Records after 1915 ===
+
*Names of prospective marriage partners
As of March 31, 2019, access to records in Belgium is unrestricted to those more than 100 years for births, 75 years for marriages, and 50 years for deaths. Records later than these time periods are not open to the general public, and those after 1915 are not online. These records can only be viewed by special permission after writing to the municipal authorities of the municipality where the event occurred. A fee may be charged.
+
*Their residence, age, occupation
 +
*Their intended date of marriage
 +
*Their parents
  
'''Write to''':
+
[[File:Belgium, Antwerpen, Civil Registration (13-0013) Marriage Record DGS 4253613 399.jpg|thumb|A Dutch marriage record]]
  
Gemeentebestuur
+
===Deaths===
 +
A typical Belgium death record contains;
  
De Ambtenaar van de BURGERLIJKE STAND
+
*Name of deceased,
 +
*Their death date and place
 +
*Their age, birthplace, occupation
 +
*Their current and former spouses
 +
*Names of their parents, if known
 +
*Name of the informant and their residence
  
Gemeentehuis
+
[[File:Belgium Civil Death Registration (Dutch).jpg|thumb|A Dutch death record]]
  
BE - (postal code) (name of municipality)
+
===Divorces===
 +
The divorce will be noted on the original marriage record. There is no separate "Divorce Record'
  
Belgium
 
*[http://belgium.rootsweb.ancestry.com/bel/_places/bel_places.html '''This list of municipalities will give you the postal codes'''].
 
====What to send:====
 
Send the following:
 
*A request for them to tell you the fees and how they should be paid.
 
*Full name and the sex of the person sought.
 
*Names of the parents, if known.
 
*Approximate date and place of the event.
 
*Your exact relationship to the person.
 
*Reason for the request (family history or medical).
 
*Request for a complete extract of the record
 
====Writing the letter====
 
This [[Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy|'''Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy''']] will help you with composing your letter
 
  
 
== References  ==
 
== References  ==
 
+
 
{{reflist}}  
 
{{reflist}}  
  
 
[[Category:Belgium|Civil]]
 
[[Category:Belgium|Civil]]
 
<br>
 

Latest revision as of 14:51, 27 August 2020

Belgium Wiki Topics
Flag of Belgium.svg.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
Belgium Background
Local Research Resources
Moderator

The FamilySearch moderator for Belgium is Daniel Jones.

How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

Online Collections[edit | edit source]

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Indexes covering a period of years (most commonly one and ten) were drawn up in alphabetical order. These list all the events that occurred in that place over the time period. Use the information given to find the original, such as date, page number or act number. These Indexes can generally be found at the State Archives or FamilySearch.

GeneaKnowHow[edit | edit source]

Geneaknowhow is a site that provides links to various local genealogical sites for Belgium and the Netherlands, including many containing civil registration records.

State Archives and FamilySearch[edit | edit source]

The State [i.e. Federal] Archives of Belgium/Rijksarchief in België/Les Archives de l'Etat en Belgique has images and some indexes for civil registration records before 1915. Free registration is required to view the records. The site comes in English, French, German or Dutch (see top left corner).

Most of the records are available only as images. They can be browsed here. A few have been indexed. They can be searched here. The images placed online are not necessarily the entirety of the records that are available- the remaining records would need to be viewed in person at the archives. Nonetheless, the vast majority have been placed online.

In most cases, the images online at the website of the State Archives are exact copies of the images that can be found at FamilySearch. Either browse the historical record collections (see above) or use the FamilySearch Catalog. There is a significant number of images not yet placed in the historical record collections, so look in both of these places if you can't find a record.

Offices to Contact[edit | edit source]

Records after 1915 cannot be found online at the State Archives. You will need to contact the municipality where the event took place.

State and National Archives of Belgium
Rue de Ruysbroeck 2
1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Telephone: +32 2 513 76 80
Parent organization: State Archives

If needed, you may need to write to an ancestor's town. Below is how to address a letter:

Gemeentebestuur = Municipal administration
De Ambtenaar van de Burgerlijke Stand = Civil State Officer
Gemeentehuis = City Hall
BE - (postal code) (name of municipality)
Belgium

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

In 1795-1796 what is now Belgium was conquered by the Napoleonic regime, who introduced a system of civil registration throughout their territories. The first records were written in French and used the French Revolutionary Calendar. In 1815, Belgium was merged with what is now the Netherlands, creating the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands had also been conquered by Napoleon and from 1811 had a Civil Registration system. Both countries continued with this system. In 1830 Belgium became independent, but continued to keep civil registration records in a manner very similar to the Dutch system.

As of March 31, 2019, access to records in Belgium is unrestricted to those more than 100 years for births, 75 years for marriages, and 50 years for deaths. Records later than these time periods are not open to the general public.

Coverage and Compliance[edit | edit source]

"Vital records are on file from 1796, and the current registration is considered to be comprehensive."[1]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

The records will be either in Dutch, French, or German, depending on the language locally spoken and the political situation.

Many smaller towns put births, marriages and deaths all together in chronological order, while later records and those from larger towns and cities usually divide the records into births, marriages and deaths separately.

Births[edit | edit source]

A typical Belgium birth record contains:

  • The child's name
  • The birth place and date
  • The names of the parents, their residence, occupations, sometimes ages
  • The name of the informant, their occupation and sometimes age and relationship to the child
A Dutch birth record

Marriages[edit | edit source]

A typical Belgium marriage record contains:

  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Place and Date of the marriage
  • Their ages, residences, occupations and birthplaces.
  • The names of their parents, their occupations and sometimes ages or whether still alive
  • Any former spouses
  • Witnesses, and their occupations, and who performed the ceremony

Marriage Supplements may contain

  • Copies of birth or baptism records of the bride and groom
  • Copies of the deaths of the parents of the bride and groom
  • Deaths of or divorces from former spouses
  • Consent from the parents

Marriage proclamations may contain:

  • Names of prospective marriage partners
  • Their residence, age, occupation
  • Their intended date of marriage
  • Their parents
A Dutch marriage record

Deaths[edit | edit source]

A typical Belgium death record contains;

  • Name of deceased,
  • Their death date and place
  • Their age, birthplace, occupation
  • Their current and former spouses
  • Names of their parents, if known
  • Name of the informant and their residence

Divorces[edit | edit source]

The divorce will be noted on the original marriage record. There is no separate "Divorce Record'


References[edit | edit source]

  1. Thomas Jay Kemp, “International Vital Records Handbook, 5th Edition,” Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc. Baltimore : 2009.