Project: Belgium

Categories: Belgium Project | Belgique | België | Belgium

Welcome to the Belgium Project!
Welkom! Bienvenue! Willkommen!
Nederlands Portaal Portail Francophone Deutschsprachiges Portal

Are you interested in the Belgium Project?belgium.gif

Our mission: to grow an accurate single family branch that connects all Belgian profiles.


Scope and goals

Belgium is complicated. Before its independence in 1830, the area that is now Belgium has been part of the Netherlands and of France. Before that, it was ruled by Austrians, Spanish, Habsburgs and Burgundians. Also now, some Belgians speak Flemish (Dutch), some speak French and some speak German. Let's keep it simple here on Wikitree: this project is for all profiles that are connected to the geographical area that is now Belgium, and it will help making sense of its interesting and complicated history and present.

In general, the project's goals are to add, improve and connect Belgian profiles. A lot of Belgian records are freely available online (but usually not indexed), so we aim to provide accurate information based on primary sources wherever possible. Project Belgium provides guidelines and resources to help you achieve these goals, and facilitates communication and collaboration for anybody who wants to discuss, or has questions, about Belgium and Belgian genealogy.

How can you help?

Be the best manager you can be for the (Belgian) profiles on your watchlist

As a member of project Belgium, your first priority is to review and improve the profiles that you manage: merge any duplicates, make sure name, date and location fields are filled in correctly, clean-up the biography section, and add sources to support the facts and facilitate collaboration. Especially for pre-1700 profiles, pay attention to support all facts with reliable and verifiable evidence (primary sources or secondary sources that cite primary sources).

Work on the tree of a Belgian notable

Profiles of notables (people that have a page on Wikipedia) are likely to receive a higher than average amount of visitors, and it's fun to find out how you are connected to them. Improving and sourcing these profiles, extending their family and connecting them to the main tree is an excellent way to contribute to the Belgian WikiBranch! Make sure to have a look at the guidelines of the Notables Project before you start.
You can find a list in the "Belgian Notables" category. If you can't choose, here are some Belgian notables with birthdays in March:
Name Occupation Birth date Birth place WikiTree profile
Mathieu Crickboom Musician March 2, 1871 Verviers, Liège Crickboom-1
Jan Frans Willems Writer March 11, 1793 Boechout, Antwerpen Willems-778
Firmin Lambot Cyclist March 14, 1886 Florennes, Namur Lambot-3
Jules Lagae Sculptor March 15, 1862 Roeselare, West-Vlaanderen Lagae-3
Mutien-Marie Wiaux Saint March 20, 1841 Mellet, Hainaut Wiaux-1
Arnold Sauwen Poet March 22, 1857 Stokkem, Limburg Sauwen-1
Paul Hymans Politician March 23, 1865 Ixelles, Brabant Hijmans-11
Marie Howet Painter March 24, 1897 Libramont, Luxembourg Howet-9
Corneille Heymans Scientist March 28, 1892 Gent, Oost-Vlaanderen Heymans-509

Connect an unconnected branch

Many Belgian profiles are not connected yet to the main tree. Can you bring them into our big family? If you want your work to really have an impact, here are (for each province) the largest unconnected trees:
Province Family Unconnected profiles
Antwerpen Family Van Elst 266
Brabant Family Van Duren 215
West-Vlaanderen Family Dewaelsche 193
Hainaut Family Frappez 172
Oost-Vlaanderen Family Vercauteren 164
Limburg Family Van Eynde 160
Luxembourg Family Ebbinger 125
Namur Family Daman 116
There seem to be no large unconnected trees in Liège. Great!

Identify and source unsourced Belgian profiles

Many Belgian profiles are unsourced. Without sources, there is no way to judge the accuracy of the information, and there is no starting point for collaboration. These profiles are grouped in the Belgium, Unsourced Profiles category. You can help making the Belgian branch of WikiTree more reliable by:
  • Adding unsourced profiles to the category: just add {{Unsourced|Belgium}} at the very top of the free text (aka biography) section. This will add a research box, and will put the profile in the appropriate category. Have a look on this page, or ask in g2g, if you doubt whether the profile belongs in the Unsourced category. Don't be ashamed to do this if you are the profile manager, don't be reluctant if somebody else is the profile manager, and don't be offended if somebody else places the box on a profile you manage: the box is not meant as criticism, but rather as an invitation to collaborate. An identified unsourced profile is only one step away from a sourced one.
  • Finding and adding a source to profiles in the Belgium, Unsourced Profiles category. If you are able to add a source, you can remove the {{Unsourced|Belgium}} box.

Unearth the roots of Belgian emigrants

If you are not Belgian yourself but you have Belgian ancestors, you might feel in trouble: searching the unindexed Belgian archives without knowing the language(s) is difficult, and in many cases passenger lists are not more specific than just stating "Belgium" as the place of origin (granted, by international standards that's quite specific, but it still leaves thousands of possible locations where to start searching).
We may be able to help you! Just add as much information as you can on the profile of your Belgian ancestor and post your question, preferably as specific as possible, on g2g using the tag "Belgium". There's no guarantee of success, but some of us certainly like these kind of challenges and will seriously try to help you!


... ... ... has Belgian origins.

If you want to highlight somebody's Belgian roots on a profile, you can place a sticker by adding {{Belgian Roots}} anywhere in the free text part of the profile. Usually you should put it next to the text describing a Sticker, but it should always be below the == Biography == heading and above the == Sources == heading.

More stickers are coming soon!

Guidelines for Belgian profiles

We will soon discuss and establish guidelines and standards for name fields, location fields, reliable sources and categories related to Belgium. For now, follow general WikiTree guidelines and more specifically the guidelines Flemish naming conventions for Flemish/Dutch names in Belgium (which refers to the Netherlands project) and refer to the France project for Wallon/French names.


The State Archives in Belgium

  • Access through Free registration is required.
  • Civil status registers
    • First select the province , then the municipality or sub-municipality
    • Birth, marriage and death records/indices
    • ±1790 - ±1920: municipalities had to hold civil registers since the French revolution. For privacy reasons, only records older than 100 years are available (last update in March 2018)
  • Church registers
    • First select the province , then the parish (parishes don't always match with municipalities, sometimes you'll need to look into different parishes
    • Baptism, marriage and burial records/indices
    • ±1550 - ±1800, depending on the place.


Related projects and groups

Project Belgium was a sub-project of the Europe Project , currently of the Netherlands Project. We collaborate with all other projects whenever appropriate, but the following are likely to be of particular relevance to Belgium.

Many Belgians have connections to France, Germany and the Netherlands, so we collaborate closely with these projects:

For Belgian notables, nobility and aristocrats we collaborate with:

If you'd like to start a one-name or one-place study related to Belgium, have a look at these projects, and make sure to let us know on g2g!


The list below tentatively includes people that showed an interest in the former free-space project Belgium. We have now (March 2020) been promoted to a "real" (sub-)project, so if you find yourself on this list, but have not received a (Europe) badge yet, let me know!

Last significant update on March 5, 2020

This page was last modified 23:11, 1 June 2021. This page has been accessed 2,861 times.