Monday Madness ~ The Difficulty Heading Overseas

My Internet was down on Monday night so this is a late Monday Madness Post!

Une Ferme en Flandre

Une Ferme en Flandre by Georges Emile Lebacq

I have many a roadblock obstructing me from continuing along many a branch in my family tree.  The further back one travels through time the more murky the waters and as the record takes us overseas the journey through time becomes even more difficult–going out on a limb!

I had great success with records overseas in England but the records in Ireland, Germany, France, and Belgium were more allusive.   My husband’s paternal tree includes a connection to Belgium: names as Huyghbaert, Lesschaeve, Vantournhout, Manhaeve, Verlinde, and Muylle seemed truly untraceable!  I searched Ancestry and the Web quite exhaustively with little success, I even ventured a climb on someone else’s Huyghebaert family tree in hopes of a connection which failed to be fruitful.  What was I to do?

Knowing there was a family break between my husband’s great grandparents I thought to contact a cousin of my father-in-law who we had met before on the off chance he may have knowledge of the Lesschaeve side of the family.  It was a great break in my research as he had a copy of a Lesschaeve family tree previously created by a family member.  This existing tree gave me great leads into Belgium but even today I have yet to verify it all or move beyond it.

A message board once again provided me with the best results when I posted a specific query on a West Flanders, Belgium message board regarding the Huyghebaert family in the Oostineuwkerke and Roesselare areas. Another tale of a “genealogy angel”! A Belgian man with access to vital records in Belgium emailed birth and marriage records going back as far as 1733. After inquiring further I learned there was a site online, the  West Flanders Database , and I was able to search it myself with a little assistance from Google Translate! Other sources recommended to me were: The Belgian Archives and a Belgian Database on Family Search .  I felt I could now pursue Belgian research myself!

Great-Grandpa Oscar Cyrille Huyghebaert's Birth Record

Great-Grandpa Oscar Cyrille Huyghebaert’s Birth Record

Though I have found a few other family documents I soon realized how labour intensive it would be and how difficult it would be to find many of the individuals I was in search of.  I am still driven mad by these belgian names…..I feel like I must channel Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot and exercise my “little grey cells”!!

I am currently looking at my husband’s 2nd Great-Grandmother’s line: Emily Marie Vantournhout (28 Sep 1983 Rosselare, West-Flanders, Belgium – 29 Jul 1964 Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada). Her parents August Vantournhout and Leona, maiden name unknown; And his 3rd Great-Grandmother’s line: Marie Therese Manhaeve (Jul 1843 Rosselare, West-Flanders – ?) married 21 Jan 1863 to Petrus Joannes Huyghebaert (2 Aug 1841 – ?) in Rosselare, parents Balthazar Manhaeve and Barbara Muylle (or Muhlle).

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