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Genealogical search

This page has been automatically translated from French into English by a translation software. Automatic translations are not as accurate as translations made by professional human translators. Nevertheless these pages can help you understand information published by the City of Brussels.

The Archives of the City of Brussels only contain information on persons who once in their lifetime lived on the territory of the City of Brussels. This territory only includes the Pentagon and extensions, Laeken, Neder-Over-Heembeek and Haren.

The Archives Service cannot make all the genealogical searches and it will thus not answer mails concerning a genealogical search.

If you want to conduct a search yourself, you can go to the reading room of the Archives, which contains a large number of tools that can be consulted to obtain information. One can also contact genealogical associations to do the search.

For people who did not live on the territory of the City of Brussels, one has to contact the archives of the municipality concerned (for example the other municipalities of the Brussels Region).

Acts of the Registry office (certificates of birth, marriage and death after 1792)

In 1794, the French occupant established the Registry office in Belgium: the municipal houses were in charge of registering on separate registers, and in duplicate, the births, marriages and deaths.

Acts concern the persons having lived on the territory of the City of Brussels (including Laeken, Neder-over-Heembeek, Haeren). Ten-year tables allow to find, by type of acts, the persons whose dates of birth, marriage or death we do not know exactly. The register of the acts of the Registry office can be consulted mainly on microfilms. Besides, the Archives of the City have a copy on microfilms of appendices to the marriages: these contain numerous additional genealogical information.

The consultation of the registers of births, deaths and marriages of less than 100 years old is subjected to authorization. A demand for a consultation must be done by mail to the president of the Court of First Intstance of Brussels (Place Poelaert 1, 1000 Brussels).

Population registers

The population registers are kept at the Archives of the City, since 1795 until 1973, and give the information relative to the domestic compositions and to the moves of a person. They reflect by district and by street all the social and professional evolutions of the inhabitants.

Most of the series are handwritten, available for consultation in the reading room.

The consultation of the registers of less than 100 years old is subjected to a special authorization (PDF, 0,06MB) required by means of a form.

Parish registers

Since the Council of Trente (1545-1563), every parish had to register in a systematic way the baptisms, the marriages and the deaths of the persons of catholic worship. Under the Ancient R­egime Brussels counted eight parishes (Saint Michel and Gudule, Saint-Géry, Saint Nicholas' Day, Saint Jacques on Coudenberg, saint-Catherine, Our Lady of Finistère, Montserrat).

The collection of the parish registers has been digitized. It can be found via the terminals at the reading room of the Archives of the City of Brussels, the State Archives and the State Archives in the Provinces.

And still

Other sources available at the Archives of the City can complete the searches. Michel Vanwelkenhuyzen drafted for that purpose a research guide. The big series of documents, the more confidential collections and the other indirect sources are clearly enumerated there.

  • Working tools, collection of the ancient Archives, the file 54, 52, 59, banks 23, 80, 88, 91, 95, 97, 98, 115. Administrative Collection, Militia

Practical information

Archives
Rue des Tanneurs 65
1000 Brussels

Tel. : 02 279 53 20
Fax : 02 279 53 29
Opening hours : from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm
Closing period : closure of the reading room: 21 April, 1 May, 2 May, 29 and 30 May, from 21 July to 15 August, 10 and 11 November and from 23 December to 2 January 2015

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A webcam is on the site of Brussels Beach from 4 July to 10 August 2014. Visitors can also make use of a free wifi connection.

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