The Belgian Researchers was founded in 1976 as a contact organization for Americans of Belgian descent, interested in knowing more about Belgium, in the history of their forefathers' emigration, in their cultural heritage as well as in genealogy.
For years Belgian Americans have been trying to make contacts with relatives in Belgium. As most original emigration papers indicated only "coming from Belgium" without listing the city of origin, it is often difficult to know where to start the search for the "roots". In many families the emigration papers were lost. On the other side of the ocean, many Belgians, knowing that a far-away aunt or uncle had left for the New World, were trying to find the whereabouts of their relatives or namesakes in America. - Besides the lack of information, the variety of languages spoken in Belgium causes difficulties. How many Belgian Americans today still speak their mother tongue or know whether the ancestors came from Flanders? From Wallonia? From Luxembourg or even from the German speaking area near the German border?
Our organization can assist people in establishing or re-establishing these contacts. We also try to help our members learn what many sources are available to them in finding the often lost family lines.
A Yahoo! group is available for the members: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheBelgianResearchers/
The sister association in Belgium is the "Belgian American Heritage" of Jean DUCAT.
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The backbone of the organization is a quarterly newsletter-magazine "Belgian Laces". Our members live in the US, Canada, Belgium, France and Germany. Published in English, it gives our members a sense of belonging, and is a vehicle for sharing information. In "Belgian Laces", you can expect to find historical articles about the Old country and the New country. You will also read the stories of Belgian immigrants, their role and contribution to the development of particular industries in the US (like the glass and coal industry in the Mid-West or the tobacco industry in Canada). You will also find the stories of the trials and tribulations connected with starting a new life in a new country. "Why and how did they emigrate? Where did they go? What did they do?"
As each of us has anecdotes from our personal family history, we solicit articles from our membership to be published in the magazine.
A special feature of the magazine is the "Queries", in which members desiring information about a particular person or event can submit a query in the hope that someone will be able to help. These queries, available to our members only, have proven to be very successful and are a strong component of the magazine. Being in regular contact with the main genealogical societies in America and in Belgium, and having a large group of correspondents in all of the States, we are able to answer positively most of our members' questions. We trust this information will encourage you to join our organization and thus learn more about your Belgian heritage.
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Membership fee is $15.00 (for US/Canada- see below for details on other places) per calendar year and entitles you to 4 issues of Belgian Laces/year.Make check or money-order payable to :Dues In the USA US $15.00/year In Canada US $15.00/year In Europe US $20.00/year In Africa & Australia US $22.00/year We recommend for Subscribers overseas, to add US $4.00 to receive the bulletin by airmail.(they don't get lost as easily) I apply for membership in the Belgian Researchers, and enclose my annual dues for 1999. Name: Address: City : State: Zip: Occupation : Tel. ( )
"The Belgian Researchers" at 495 East 5th Street, Peru IN 46970,