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Re: [ZA] Researcch in Belgium

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  • Steve Hayes
    ... Thanks for that information - I m sending this reply to the African Genealogy group as well, as I think it may be of interest there. My wife s grandmother
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 10, 2006
      On 11 Sep 2006 at 14:51, Andrew Rodger wrote:

      > DRC was only a colony of Belgium for the last part of its history
      > before independence; before that it was a company colony, the main
      > shareholder of the company being the King of the Belgians; the company
      > was actually founded in 1822 under King Willem I of the Netherlands,
      > and became Belgian on the formation of Belgium after the revolution of
      > 1830, and indeed was the Belgian Central Bank until 1859. The Belgian
      > Government was compelled to step in and take the colony off it because
      > of the scandals surrounding its treatment of the natives. I imagine
      > that company (Société Générale de Belgique, which had links with Union
      > Minière in which Léopold II was also a major shareholder) must have
      > kept records of some kind, and if so the best course might be to find
      > out what happened to those when the Belgian Government took over the
      > administration of the colony. Failing that, given the dubious nature
      > of the company's administration, perhaps Belgian citizens resident in
      > that country would have elected to register their children's births in
      > Brussels. Union Miniére du Haute Katanga, whose operations were mainly
      > in that province, fell foul of both its own mismanagement and its
      > involvement with Moise Tshombe at the time of Lumumba's murder and the
      > secession of Katanga, and its remains are now known as Unicore. After
      > so many changes of Corporate structure, if it did retain such detailed
      > information at the time of the takeover, it may no longer be in the
      > company archives.

      Thanks for that information - I'm sending this reply to the African Genealogy
      group as well, as I think it may be of interest there.

      My wife's grandmother Emma Isabel Muriel DECKER married a Theodore Joseph
      Christopher CHELIN in Bulawayo in 1919, and their son Robert was born in the
      Belgian Congo the following year. Then they were divorced in 1921. My wife's
      uncle Bobby had great difficulty getting an ID book, because his birth wasn't
      registered in South Africa.

      Steve Hayes
      Web: http://hayesgreene.blogspot.com
      E-mail: shayes@...
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