Viva Carnaval!

Somebody in the family from Binche, the famous carnival town? I’d like to hear about them!

One of my clients has « Gilles » (as the highly-coulored characters are called over here) from La Louviere but the difference between « Gilles » from Binche and Gilles from La Louvière is that those from LL can perform out of town which is strictly forbidden for Gilles from Binche! Now you know 😉

Happy Carnival!


Tout frais,tout beau….et dans vos librairies!

Le guide de généalogie en Belgique est sorti ! Fière maman du bébé, celui ci vous donnera des pistes méthodologiques et des informations pour bien démarrer votre recherche!

Sorti aux Editions Jourdan et disponible dans toutes les bonnes librairies ( Notamment ici, ici, ici et ici !)

Egalement disponible pour l’International via ce site bien connu!

How were Grandma’s cookies made ? With Love!

Savor your family’s history: Share your treasured recipes! Everybody has some! Even me (and I know I’m much better at family history than in a kitchen 🙂 )

From my gran’s christmas pudding to my mum’s cocoa iced cake to the cupcakes I help my daughter bake! On the salty side, I can exactly recall the perfume of pork and pickles and how my mum used to do lovely crab entrees for christmas ( did I just mentioned Christmas twice? 🙂 #missingchristmas )

What’s your favorite family recipe?




RootsTech streaming schedule known!

And you can find it just right here !

This will give you the possibility to follow live sessions and talks from your very home which is great for people all around the world will be able to be there with us, following the same talks that we do! I had the occasion to test it on the years that I can’t attend and it’s brilliant (even if it needs a bit of organisation to set yourself on Salt Lake hours while being 8 hours (for me) later!) but still, it’s all worth it!! How great is that? 🙂


Edit : Thanks to Barbara Jones, there’s a schedule according to US Times which can be useful for european more used to convert time from Eastern to their own country! ( Thanks Thomas MacEntee for the precious link! You can subscribe to Thomas’s newsletter for all news!)

Bons baisers de Belgique !

En ce début d’année, j’ai le grand honneur de succéder à Christophe pour la chronique belge de la RFG !

Merci La Revue Française de Généalogie de m’accueillir dans leurs colonnes !




Come, Come Saint Nicholas….

It’s that time of the year when children in Belgium are so excited that you can’t keep them quiet . It’s Saint Nicholas day! In The Netherlands, Belgium and northern France it’s centuries-old custom for the children to receive gifts and sweets from the Saint. they leave their shoes and stockings in front of a chimney or a window and pray that they’ve been good enough for the great Saint to pay a visit to their home, also fearing that « Pere Fouettard » , Saint’s help won’t beat them with his stick!

Saint Nicholas comes from Turkey, the legend says that he saved three children from a monstruous butcher who wanted to kill and eat them.  I remember that story used to terrify me as a child. He is since then the saint patron of the children but he also protects mariners, lawyers, prisoners and single persons!

Nicholas also sometimes travel on a boat for the joy of the audience welcoming him and his staff! It’s always a nice show to see!

In some families, but less and less and that’s kind of sad, gifts aren’t wrapped as they are supposed to come straight from the Saint’s office in the clouds 😉

Saint Nicholas also has some duties before his round in houses, he’s much awaited in several shops and malls in Belgium, giving sweets to nice children on his way!  He also visits schools, nurseries and hospitals. When they see him, children sings Saint’s related songs such as

« O great Saint Nicholas

Patron of the schoolchildren

bring us apples in our small baskets

we will always behave

just as little sheeps do

We’ll learn our lessons ( another version says : we’ll say our prayers)

for sweets

come,come, Saint Nicholas (2x)

and Tralala! »

The dutch version asks « Sinterklaas » (Saint Nicholas) , the « kapoentje » (comes from Kapoen,a mischievious young) to lay something in the child’s basket, thanking him to do so, « thank you Sinterklaasje! » .

The songs are also sung on the eve of the big day, hoping that the Saint will bring toys and sweets to show to hard awaken parents 😉

Saint Nicholas crossed the Altantic with the settlers and immigrants and gradually became Santa Claus in the US but with the world being as it is, Santa Claus has make a come back in Europe (mainly starting with France and american soldiers) too for decades now so little ones have now two saints to cherish them.  Guess who’s happy?

Belgian Newspapers Archives to go online!

Do I sound excited? 😉 It’s official! Belgian Press archives are coming online! We all ‘ve been waiting for this for long over here and it’s now on! Of course not all titles are online (yet) as there are privacy laws issues to deal with but the first titles have been put online several days ago and who knows could be a great source of informations  about your ancestors and fun times as well!

There’s the possibility of searching via keywords where you can just type in any surname (be always careful of the presence of homonyms and as always, do not jump too hastily to conclusions or through a calendar. In the later case, pick up a year and a newspaper, then a date and you’ll be able to check the day of your choice of the edition of your choice. This can be very useful if you know about about a particular event and want to check if there’s something in the press about it. Also think local, a small event might not head the national titles but it could very well have hit the local lines. 

It’s all thanks to the hard work of Mr Marc D’hoore, head of the Newspapers and Press Departement of the Royal Library that those titles are going online and believe me, for our country, it’s a big step in the archives world of the 21st century!




Les origines belges d’un ministre australien

Ce soir, La Belgique affronte l’Australie dans un match de football amical. Saviez-vous que le ministre australien, Matthias Cormann, est un immigré belge établi en Australie depuis le début des années 90 ? Ses origines familiales sont établies à Eupen, dans la partie germanophone du pays, partie qui fut rattachée à la Belgique à la fin du premier conflit mondial. Nul doute qu’il suivra le match de ce soir avec attention !



(Matthias Cormann-Wikipedia)