Belgium, Brabant, Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)
This wiki article describes a collection that is scheduled to be posted for free online at FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site.
- 1 Foreign Language Title
- 2 Collection Time Period
- 3 Collection History
- 4 Collection Description
- 5 How to Use the Collection
- 6 Bibliographic Information
- 7 Related Articles
Foreign Language Title
Collection Time Period
Civil birth, marriage, and death records have been kept from 1796-1910.
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 which was abolished by Napoleon, January1, 1806.
Why This Collection Was Created
Civil registration was instituted to record births, marriages, 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 event was registered by those who were eyewitnesses of the event. Barring spelling errors or faulty memory civil records are as accurate as possible.
The events are recorded either totally by hand or in partially pre-printed books where the information is then entered by hand.
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
A marriage record may provide the following information:
• Names of the couple
• Their birthplace and place of currant 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
A death record provides the following information:
• Day and hour of death
• Age or birth date of the deceased
• Birthplace of the deceased
• Full names of the deceased person, as recollected by those who registered the event. In case of the death of a child who has not been registered as born, no name will be given, but the gender of that child will be. If the child was stillborn it will state that, although sometimes this term was applied to children who died shortly after birth.
• 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 state where.
• Witnesses may be members of the family
How to Use the Collection
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.
Belgium. Brabant. Registers van de Burgerlijke Stand (civil registration), 1796-1910. Rijksarchief te Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.