Searching Through Belgian Vital Records -Goodies Alert

If you’re searching through the vital records of Belgium at FamilySearch.org you’ve no doubt run into pages upon pages upon pages of documents that seemingly have no rhyme or reason as if someone took a bunch of miscellaneous documents and shoved them in between the marriage records. What a mess. What are they? Why are they there? Are they worth the tedious effort to go through them? The answer is; yes. They can be a gold mine of info.

The documents are annexes and extracts attached to marriage records; birth, death and additional co pertaining to the married couple AND their parents, and possibly grandparents but also documents on military service. . While searching through FamilySearch.org or microfilm from the Family History Centers, for a marriage record of your ancestors, the documents are placed either before or immediately after the *year* of marriage.

The military or militia document annex is valuable as far as physical description is concern. It will describe height,  color of eyes and hair, it will also record facts of other facial features, i.e. nose, mouth It will also list the parent’s names and place and year of enlistment, and how long served.

So when you come across a marriage record, look at the annexes for lots of genealogical goodies..

The Archives of Belgium are now online for free. Though there are the civil registers, most of it contains the parish records from anywhere from the 1500s or 1600s on up. You will need to register (it’s free) in order to view the records. On top of that, most of the parishes records have indexes. Wowsy! Online Archives of Belgium

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