What is genealogy?

The East Brabant Family History Working Group has almost all genealogical data from 1574 to 1900 from the parishes between Leuven, Aarschot, Diest and Tienen.


  • Genealogy is also known as family science or sibling science.
  • Those who want to compile their family tree look first in their own archives, then in civil status registers.
  • Family records before 1800 can be found almost exclusively in parish records.
  • Family science is enjoying increasing success in Flanders.
  • Our working group transfers the parish records of Flemish East Brabant into databases and makes the data available in the form of books.

The main objectives of our working group:

  • Making historical sources more accessible
  • Making available accurate, reliable family data
  • Protecting the old registers

Our working group has now transferred more than 30 parish records into a database. More than 200 000 deeds, complete with all additional data and comments are in our database.

The old parish records have been carefully edited by a team of experienced experts. All deeds have been dissected, translated and meticulously transferred into a database. Our databases contain all genealogical data from when the parish registers began until 1900. The printing of these data turns the old registers into a coherent and useful whole.

The notes preceding the database printout describe the basic documents and clarify the features and limitations of the processing. When arranging the baptismal records, an effort was made to achieve a form of family reconstruction. Children from the same family with a slight difference in the surname have been printed one after the other.

We make books, prints from a complete database. We do not make clappers but real, complete and accurate editions. With our editing, you get more out of parish records than can be extracted even by an experienced genealogist. In compiling our edited parish records, we have tried to reproduce the original data as accurately and completely as possible while respecting the original. No data, however insignificant, has been lost. All data have been reproduced with painful precision and exactly as they were recorded in the original registers. No non-original data has been added except in the notes.

Why are we doing this?


Consulting original parish records is not possible or even advisable due to various reasons. After all, the old valuable books must be carefully preserved and protected. At some local history or genealogical societies, one can do searches in a copy of the old registers. But this requires some knowledge of genealogy, Latin and ancient writing.

What is a parish register, a birth certificate, baptismal certificate, marriage certificate, death or burial certificate?

Parish registry

Parish registers are the most important databases of previous centuries. The major events in a person's life were written down in the parish registers. At a baptism, marriage or death, the date and family relations were recorded in a deed. You will find more information in the deeds of the 19th century than in the first deeds of the 16th or 17th century.

Baptismal register

Baptism registers contain the first and last name of the baptised person, the date of birth and/or the date of baptism, and sometimes the time of birth. The name of the father and mother, godfather and godmother are almost always also listed in the deed. Sometimes the age of the parents and godparents or the place they came from are also mentioned. If the child was a foundling or if the parents were not married, this is certainly mentioned in the deed. Some deeds have more very interesting information.

Marriage certificate

A marriage certificate states the date of marriage and the first and last names of the marriage partners and witnesses. Most deeds also mention the names of the parents. Sometimes the place they came from, their age or date of birth are mentioned. In the 16th century, betrothals were also carefully recorded. If the bride or groom were widows or widowers or if they were (from afar) related to each other, this is usually also mentioned in the deed.

Death or burial certificate

A death or burial certificate contains the name and surname of the deceased and date of death and/or burial. The age is almost always given. In the case of children, the name of the parents is given. In adults, the name of the partner is given. Sometimes the exact time of death or cause of death is also given. Some parish priests noted in the deed whether funeral expenses had been paid or not.

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