Belgian Blessings

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I would have never thought that I would get my great grandmother’s family for Christmas. Santa’s elves, Jean and Marc, were very generous this year! Previously I was given information about my paternal great grandmother’s family. That information took me down her paternal line and left her maternal line fairly untouched. A second email cleared up information on her seven brothers and sisters and made a lot clearer the photographs with names on them that I have. With a little digging around on the Belgian Archives I managed to find her maternal grandparents and then was stuck once again.


Sunday night there was yet another email waiting for me with more clues in it to family. One of the links took me to a West Flanders database for my Belgian lines.  The information at this site is being updated frequently, it gives some of the same information as the Belgian Archives and then more. Another link that he gave me was for my French family line was which I had registered with some time ago and just hadn’t found anything on it yet. It is time to go digging through it again and see what new has been posted. To keep myself straight and focused I created another list for links to the Belgium and France information on this blog.


What I did learn about my great grandmother’s maternal side is, her mother was Adèla Sophia Decock. I had found Adèla parents names, Marcellin and Francisca Josepha Casteele Decock, and had gotten stuck there. The Belgian Archives did not have their marriage records, but the West Flanders database did. The links to that information was also included in the email.  


With the new links I found Marcellin Decock’s parents, Petrus Josephus and Anna Catherine Devriesere Decock’s information. I also found Francisca’s parents, Constantinus and Christina Fraeyman Casteele. Along with all of this information I located some of the siblings. For Marcellin and Francisca I have found three children, Adela, Frederic and Melanie. For Petrus and Anna I have found three children, Marcellin, Petrus Josephus and Louis Joseph. For Constantinus and Christina I have found two children, Farncisca and Barbara Theresia Constant. I also found some of the spouses of the children using both the Belgian Archives and the West Flanders database.


One of the other things that I have learned along the way is the definition of what we think of an orphan and what Belgium considers an orphan is a bit different. The family tale is that my great grandmother was an orphan, which of course meant raised in an orphanage without parents. It never was clear to me how she had family and was still an orphan. It seems, from my understanding, that when one parent dies the government becomes involved for all of those children under legal age. I have searched the orphan database and haven’t found the Defruytier children listed after 1878 when their mother died. Their father didn’t die until 1902 when all of the children were grown.


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