Belgium Genealogy

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Getting started with Belgium research

Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy.


Brussels* (Bruxelles) capital region

Flanders* region (five provinces):

  • Antwerpen (Antwerp) Province
  • Limburg Province
  • Oost-Vlaanderen (East Flanders) Province
  • Vlaams-Brabant (Flemish Brabant) Province
  • West-Vlaanderen (West Flanders) Province

Wallonia Region (five provinces):

  • Brabant Wallon (Walloon Brabant) Province
  • Hainaut Province
  • Liege Province
  • Luxembourg Province
  • Namur Province

Note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a complex division of responsibilities.

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