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I have been lucky lately with what had been one of my biggest brick walls, that of my father’s paternal ancestry. My ancestry can now be traced back to the early 1700s. It is there that I noticed the spelling is altered from it’s current version to Vanhaute. It seems that Europeans were doing what early American settlers were doing and spelling names phonetically on different documents. I now have 7 generations back including my grandfather.


Marc has sent me copies of either the birth certificates or baptism certificates of my multi grand fathers, the earliest one dating back to 1723. He tells me that some of the certificates are written in Latin and the latest ones in Flemish.


From the information he provided, I found some of the children of my fourth great grandfather, Antonius Bernardum Van Houtte using the West Flanders Data base and the Belgian Archives. Augustinus was my third great grandfather and his siblings were Jacques Francois, Victoria and Charles Phillip, all born between 1772 and 1791. Their mother was Maria Joanna D’Haveloose, also spelled as D’Ave Loose and D’Have Loose.


Viktor Emiel Van Houtte, Mar 1, 1865, Dentergem, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, Great grandfather’s Birth Certificate, written in Flemish

Ivo Joannes Van Houtte, 28 Jul 1829, Oeselgem, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, Gr-Great Grandfahter’s Birth Certificate

Augustinus Van Houtte, Aug 23, 1791, Oeselgem, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, 3rd Great Grandfather’s Baptism Certificate

Antonius Bernardum Van Houtte, October 14, 1748, 4th Great grandfather’s Baptism Certificate, written in Latin

Anthonius Bernardum Van Haute, Zulte, 21 May 1723, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium, 5th great grandfather’s Baptism Certificate, written in Latin.



  1. Dear author

    Please note that when reading birth certificates in Latin, you should be aware of noun cases. When the priest is subject, the accusative is used for the object, i.e. the child and its name. For a male child whose name(s) end(s) in -us, the accusative ends in -um. So the child’s name is Augustinus, not Augustinum. When the passive mode is used (baptisatus est) the child is the subject and his name(s) stay(s) in the nominative case. The parents’ christian names are in the genitive, generally ending in -i for the father and -ae for the mother. For the godfather and godmother yet another case may be used.

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