A kind soul offered to help me in my ‘Belgian quest’ and I’m very grateful as it opened up a lot of different doors for me. As well as some BEFAYS info, he managed to locate my great-grandfather Eduard’s birth not in Belgium after all, but in Holland! This ties in very neatly with the ‘Dutch Pilot’ description on the census record mentioned on the previous post.
Eduard’s birth record confirmed his father as Frederic as well as gave his mother’s name:
Birth record 18 February 1886 – VLISSINGEN [prov. Zeeland, The Netherlands]
Father: Frederic Jean Lemmens, 31 years old, from Vlissingen, profession “loods” [sea pilot]
Mother: Celine Marie Vanwouw, without profession, from Vlissingen
Male child born 18 February 1886 at 08:00 am
called EDUARDUS GUSTAAF FREDERIC LEMMENS
This record is signed by witnesses Petrus Carolus Lamoot, pilot, 43, and Eduardus Josephus Baels, 39, pilot, both from Vlissingen, and the father.
So now I know the older lady in the photograph, my 2nd great-grandmother, is Celine Marie VANWOUW and they lived (at least for a time) in Vlissengen, Netherlands (aka Flushing).
When I added the data into my family tree, a gravestone record was suggested to me which gave me birth and death dates for Frederic & Celine (Eduard’s parents).
A bit of Google-Fu (and help from The Netherlands Online Genealogy Records wiki on Familysearch.org) led me eventually to ZeeuwenGezocht.nl which was a goldmine for me! (I had first arrived at wiewaswie.nl but I had technical issues with actually seeing the images).
Searching Frederic’s name brought up a load of records linked to him – all available digitally, instantly and for free! More on these soon…
UPDATE: If you need help researching your Belgian ancestors, visit Belgian Ancestry Help.