Belgium, Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Belgium Civil Registration .
Foreign Language Title
This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying a translation of the title in Dutch or Flemish here.
Collection Time Period
Civil birth, marriage, and death records have been kept from 1796 to the present.
The events are recorded either in Dutch or Flemish totally by hand or in partially pre-printed books where the information is then entered by hand. The name of a child not registered when born will not be given in the death record, but the gender of that child will be. The record also states if the child was stillborn, although sometimes this term was applied to children who died shortly after birth.
A birth record may provide the following information:
- Day and hour of birth
- Name of parents
- Occupation and age of parents
- Names of witnesses to the birth
- Birthplace of the child
- Names of the couple
- Their birthplace and place of residence
- Birthdates and ages of the couple
- Names and consent of parents
- Occupations of the couple to be married
- Place of residence and occupations of parents
- Day and hour of death
- Age or birth date of the deceased
- Birthplace of the deceased
- Name of the deceased person
- Marital status of the deceased and former occupation (when applicable)
- Name of the spouse (when applicable) and may give the date and place of that spouse’s death
- Indicates if parents are deceased or gives their residence if they are still living. When they are deceased, it may give their burial location
- Witnesses may be members of the family
How to Use the Records
Use civil records, depending on the record, to find the birth, marriage or death date of a person, and also where he was born, his age, name of spouse (if applicable) and name of parents. The records contain even more information than those found in church records. The details presented go far beyond the typical information about the event taking place.
In 1795 Belgium was annexed by France. Napoleon Bonaparte instituted the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. Civil registration occurs on a town-by-town basis and is supplemented with decennial indexes to the registers, which generally begin by 1802. Many of the earliest records from this time follow the French Revolutionary calendar, established in France in October 1793 and abolished by Napoleon on January 1, 1806.
Why This Collection Was Created?
Civil registration was instituted to record births, marriages, and deaths because not everyone was baptized, married or buried in a church. It provided for a more complete registration of vital events for the whole population.
Civil records are the primary source for research after 1796. They are recorded by either the mayor himself or a government clerk within 3 days of the event. They are generally correct as far as the information goes, as the events were registered by eyewitnesses of the event. Barring spelling errors or faulty memory, civil records are as accurate as possible.
Known Issues in This Collection
Problem # 1 - Some are able to sign in and view the image for the Belgium Civil Registration, 1795-1910 collection, in spite of the messaging; others are not able to view the images, even after signing in.
Problem #2 - Patrons are usually able to see most images, but occasionally may find one that will not load.
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection, please read the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, feel free to report them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
It is recommended that you cite the sources of information as you search genealogical records. Citing sources will allow you to avoid duplicate searches later and share your sources with other researchers. A citation with specific details about the source document should allow yourself or others to easily find the source document at a later time. You should cite all sources searched, whether new information is found, to avoid duplicating searches without findings.
Suggested Format: A suggested format for citations created to document information found in FamilySearch Record Search is: Collection title, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: date accessed or downloaded), items of interest.
Items of Interest Include:
- Name of the person mentioned in the document
- File, folder or jacket number
- Record type
- Page number
- Line number
- Date of entry
- Digital identification number
- Film number
You are Invited to Add Source Citations for a Record in This Collection: Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines listed above.
Examples of Sources citations for a Record in This Collection
"Belgium Civil Registration, 1795-1910." index and images, FamilySearch (https:www.familysearch.org: accessed April 15, 2011). entry for Maria Theresia Lowette, died 3 September 1886; citing Civil Records, FHL microfilm 1,979,956: Rijksarchienven, Belgium.
Sources for This Collection
Belgium. General Archive and national archives in the provinces. Belgium civil registration. Rijksarchieven in Belgium. FHL microfilm.Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.