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Getting started with Belgium research

Since the middle ages, Belgium has been dominated by powerful nations such as Spain, France, and the Netherlandsd.  Although it social, political, and relgious identity has evolved over these many years it began to earnestly striving to gain its independence from the Netherlands in 1830. The London Convention of April 19 1839, also known as the Article XXIV of the Convention, marks the recognition of the Belgian independence.

Belgium was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II.

The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy.

Jurisdictions

Brussels* (Bruxelles) capital region


Flanders* region (five provinces):

  • Antwerpen (Antwerp) Province

WWI casualties (1914-1918)

  • Limburg Province
  • Oost-Vlaanderen (East Flanders) Province
  • Vlaams-Brabant (Flemish Brabant) Province
  • West-Vlaanderen (West Flanders) Province


Wallonia Region (five provinces):

  • Brabant Wallon (Walloon Brabant) Province
  • Hainaut Province
  • Liege Province
  • Luxembourg Province
  • Namur Province


Note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a complex division of responsibilities.

Research Tools

  • (language dictionary, handwriting guide or tutorial, etc.)
  • (helpful tools and resources, gazetteers)

The following information comes from the periodical "Belgian Laces": Here is a web-site that will help you find villages or towns that may no longer exist on current Belgian maps: Notre Belgique
Under "Coin Lecture" you will find 4 choices:

Le Saviez-vous gives you a story behind the creation of Belgium's National Anthem, "La Brabançonne"

Vieux Metiers contains a short list of occupations (in French)

Dictionnaires offers 3 choices:

  • A 1802 Geographic Dictionary of all Departments in France (3 volumes in alphabetical order)
  • A Geographic dictionary of the 13 Departments in Belgium and East of the Rhein River (2 volumes)
  • A 1882 Belgian Geographic dictionary

They are expecting to add more books in the future. Nine are currently underway.


Bibliotheque - under Construction - will offer

  • Etymology
  • Toponymy
  • History of Belgium
  • Dictionary of localities

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

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Did you know?

That you won't normally find the names of soldiers killed in action in the  "Guldenboek der Vuurkaart" or "Livre d'Or des Cartes de Feu"?  Read more at http://www.tenboome.webruimtehosting.net/guldenboek/Guldenboekprojecttotaal/goldenbook.htm

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