How to Research Your French & Belgian Ancesters
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Navigating The Belgium Census of Hainaut

This is a quick tutorial on how to navigate through the early online censuses of province of Hainaut, Wallonia Belgium found at the FamilySearch website

We are going to use the city of Mons as a demonstration.

At the very top of the FamilySearch front page; click on ‘Search‘, then scroll down to ‘Catalog‘ and click on that. It will bring you to the catalog page where you can search by various search parameters. We will use the place parameters.  Type in ‘Belgium, Hainaut, Mons’ , or just ‘Mons’. It will bring you to this page:

From there you scroll down to the “Population” category. Click on that.

Which will bring you to this page of long lists of film reels . We are looking for the Index which is “Table alphabétique’,. Click on camera image

I went page to page to the “D” surnames, and chose Paul DEDONDER. Now, this next item to look at on this image is very important. You will see at the top of the columns ‘VOLUME’ and ‘PAGE’. Write those numbers down! You will need to find the right reel, with the right Volume number (35) and the right page number (133) to find the people in the population registers you are looking for.

Let’s go back again to the lists of population registers .  There are census towns that will have the volume number listed in the description before clicking on a camera image. Unfortunately this one does not  I had to click on each camera image of Reg. de Population 1846-1856 to find the volume number which is located on the first page. It’s a pain. But, of course, image what it would be like if there were no indexes!.

Viola, we found the right volume (35) to look for Paul Dedonder (and family’s) census information

Now, that we have the volume number, we can navigate to the page number (located at the top right) to find Paul. This page has additional information on what kind of people these were; wives or female family members of military men.


And now, the drumroll please. You will have to use the top image 1, to find what information is recorded from the image 2 below


It seems we need a magnifying glass to study this information. What we can see is that Paul is 19 y/o, single and was born in Brussels. Additional information is written underneath names, and lines over names indicate that person has died (death date will be included). More additional notes are recorded as well. It looks like the female Dedonders might be Paul’s sisters. But that is only a guess though.

This record is hard to read, and page number could be bigger so it doesn’t look like itty bitty smush. . Not all the census towns look like this, they may be much clearer, or heaven forbid, more difficult!.

I hope this tutorial has helped you in your research. It’s a deep, dark, genealogy jungle out there at FamilySearch!

Happy Searching!

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