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Re: [Genealogy Research Club] Newbie with questions

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  • Ron Lahav
    Hello Sandi, Contrary to popular belief, while there is indeed a country called Belgium there are no such people as Belgians. The population is about equally
    Message 1 of 15 , Jul 4, 2006
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      Hello Sandi,

      Contrary to popular belief, while there is indeed a
      country called Belgium there are no such people as
      Belgians. The population is about equally divided
      between the Flemish people, who speak a form of Dutch
      (one of my Dutch friedns refers to Flemish as
      Yorkshire Dutch) and the Walloons/Wallons, who speak
      French, but a dialect which differes somewhat from
      that spoken in Metropolitan France. There is a small
      german population, and since 1970 there has been
      increasingly large numbers of Africans from the former
      Belgian colonies and also Muslims who have been
      admitted as asylum-seekers. The thing to remember is
      that for the 176 years that the flemish and Wallons
      have lived within the same national borders they have
      hated one another with a deep and unyielding passion.
      The only thing which holds the country together is the
      Royal Family, and they are ethnic Germans.

      In order to find out more about your ancestor you
      first have to identify his ethnic heritage, You should
      be able to get this from his Certificate of
      Naturalisation. Once you have that then we can proceed
      further.

      Hope this helps.

      Ron in Geordieland
      --- Sandi <lavenderrott@...> wrote:

      > Hi! I am new to the group and new to Geneology.
      >
      > It all started with a search to discover what my
      > Grandfather's
      > military medals represent. (I know most of them but
      > one is a unit
      > insignia and I don't know which unit.) All I had
      > was the medals and
      > Grandpa's name.
      >
      > Well, that was yesterday.
      >
      > Today I have enough information on Grandpa to send
      > to the DOD and
      > get his military records but in getting the
      > information I ended up
      > with more questions.
      >
      > My Great Grandfather immigrated from Belgium around
      > 1890 and
      > apparently changed his last name. So I am stuck!
      >
      > Of course, I e-mailed the appropriate family members
      > who might have
      > mre information (who are enjoyng the holiday weekend
      > away from their
      > computers apparently)in hopes of finding out more.
      > I have a feeling
      > I am still going to be stuck as I don't speak Dutch.
      >
      > I am open for any and all suggestions as to how to
      > find out more
      > about my Belgium heritage!



      __________________________________________________
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    • Rebecca Betz-Festa
      Hi Sandi: What was your Great-Grandfathers name and your Grandfathers name, and what state did they live in? I ll see what I can find. Rebecca ... and ...
      Message 2 of 15 , Jul 4, 2006
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        Hi Sandi:

        What was your Great-Grandfathers name and your Grandfathers name, and
        what state did they live in? I'll see what I can find.

        Rebecca


        --- In genealogyresearchclub@yahoogroups.com, "Sandi"
        <lavenderrott@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi! I am new to the group and new to Geneology.
        >
        > It all started with a search to discover what my Grandfather's
        > military medals represent. (I know most of them but one is a unit
        > insignia and I don't know which unit.) All I had was the medals
        and
        > Grandpa's name.
        >
        > Well, that was yesterday.
        >
        > Today I have enough information on Grandpa to send to the DOD and
        > get his military records but in getting the information I ended up
        > with more questions.
        >
        > My Great Grandfather immigrated from Belgium around 1890 and
        > apparently changed his last name. So I am stuck!
        >
        > Of course, I e-mailed the appropriate family members who might have
        > mre information (who are enjoyng the holiday weekend away from
        their
        > computers apparently)in hopes of finding out more. I have a
        feeling
        > I am still going to be stuck as I don't speak Dutch.
        >
        > I am open for any and all suggestions as to how to find out more
        > about my Belgium heritage!
        >
      • Heidi Graf
        Hi Sandi, You can try www.ellisisland.org to see if you can find him on a ship manifest. Heidi Rebecca Betz-Festa wrote:
        Message 3 of 15 , Jul 4, 2006
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          Hi Sandi,

          You can try www.ellisisland.org to see if you can find him on a ship manifest.

          Heidi

          Rebecca Betz-Festa <vct@...> wrote: Hi Sandi:

          What was your Great-Grandfathers name and your Grandfathers name, and
          what state did they live in? I'll see what I can find.

          Rebecca

          --- In genealogyresearchclub@yahoogroups.com, "Sandi"
          <lavenderrott@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi! I am new to the group and new to Geneology.
          >
          > It all started with a search to discover what my Grandfather's
          > military medals represent. (I know most of them but one is a unit
          > insignia and I don't know which unit.) All I had was the medals
          and
          > Grandpa's name.
          >
          > Well, that was yesterday.
          >
          > Today I have enough information on Grandpa to send to the DOD and
          > get his military records but in getting the information I ended up
          > with more questions.
          >
          > My Great Grandfather immigrated from Belgium around 1890 and
          > apparently changed his last name. So I am stuck!
          >
          > Of course, I e-mailed the appropriate family members who might have
          > mre information (who are enjoyng the holiday weekend away from
          their
          > computers apparently)in hopes of finding out more. I have a
          feeling
          > I am still going to be stuck as I don't speak Dutch.
          >
          > I am open for any and all suggestions as to how to find out more
          > about my Belgium heritage!
          >






          ---------------------------------
          Yahoo! Messenger with Voice. Make PC-to-Phone Calls to the US (and 30+ countries) for 2¢/min or less.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Ron Lahav
          Hello Jon, You are quite correct in stating that Sandi s ancestor may not have been Belgian but merely sailed from the port of Antwerp. A lot of the smaller
          Message 4 of 15 , Jul 4, 2006
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            Hello Jon,

            You are quite correct in stating that Sandi's ancestor
            may not have been Belgian but merely sailed from the
            port of Antwerp. A lot of the smaller companies
            engaged in the immigrant trade, not only to the US and
            Canada but to Australia/New zealand, South Africa,
            etc, operated from Antwerp as the costs and overheads
            (e g Harbour dues, etc) were lower there than in many
            other ports. Also mitigating against the fact that
            your ancestor was Belgian is that both numerically and
            proportionately speaking both communities of Belgians
            made up the smallest European immigrant groups to the
            US, although some Walloons emigrated to Michigan in a
            group sometime during the 1840s. I would take issue
            with you on claiming that the 1890s were turbulent
            times in Europe. Times were indeed hard in Eastern
            Europe, and also in Spain and southern Italy, but
            Germany was undergoing an economic boom which led to a
            significant decline in German emigration overall after
            1890.

            Ron in Geordieland

            > Don't give up on the relatives. Sometimes they are
            > slow. See if you can
            > find out where he came into this country and where
            > he settled long
            > enough to get his citizenship papers. If you find
            > this application, it
            > has a lot of needed info. Some older family member
            > may even have the
            > original paperwork. These papers will also tell you
            > what country he
            > actually came from. He may have just SAILED from a
            > port in Belgium. Many
            > countries were in turmoil at that time, both
            > politics and religion were
            > among factors for leaving.


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          • Sandi
            Grandpa s last name is Wackus and I can track him through Census records in 1920 and 1930. Great Grandpa s last name is listed as Wackus also, but in talking
            Message 5 of 15 , Jul 4, 2006
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              Grandpa's last name is Wackus and I can track him through Census
              records in 1920 and 1930. Great Grandpa's last name is listed as
              Wackus also, but in talking to my Aunt - I know that Wackus was not
              his name in Belgium, it was quite a bit longer and harder to spell.
              LOL! There is a possibilty that my Father (whom I will not speak to
              if the world was coming to an end) has the spelling of G. Grandpa's
              name and my Aunt is trying to find out and get that from him.

              I found out today that G.Grandpa did not come to the States as a
              passenger on a ship, he had to work stoking the ships furnace to pay
              his passage. I don't know if this will have any affect on where I
              would look for information once I get the proper spelling of his
              name.



              --- In genealogyresearchclub@yahoogroups.com, "Rebecca Betz-Festa"
              <vct@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Sandi:
              >
              > What was your Great-Grandfathers name and your Grandfathers name,
              and
              > what state did they live in? I'll see what I can find.
              >
              > Rebecca
              >
              >
              > --- In genealogyresearchclub@yahoogroups.com, "Sandi"
              > <lavenderrott@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi! I am new to the group and new to Geneology.
              > >
              > > It all started with a search to discover what my Grandfather's
              > > military medals represent. (I know most of them but one is a
              unit
              > > insignia and I don't know which unit.) All I had was the medals
              > and
              > > Grandpa's name.
              > >
              > > Well, that was yesterday.
              > >
              > > Today I have enough information on Grandpa to send to the DOD
              and
              > > get his military records but in getting the information I ended
              up
              > > with more questions.
              > >
              > > My Great Grandfather immigrated from Belgium around 1890 and
              > > apparently changed his last name. So I am stuck!
              > >
              > > Of course, I e-mailed the appropriate family members who might
              have
              > > mre information (who are enjoyng the holiday weekend away from
              > their
              > > computers apparently)in hopes of finding out more. I have a
              > feeling
              > > I am still going to be stuck as I don't speak Dutch.
              > >
              > > I am open for any and all suggestions as to how to find out more
              > > about my Belgium heritage!
              > >
              >
            • Sandi
              Thank you, Heidi. I hadn t found that website yet! ... ship manifest. ... and ... unit ... medals ... and ... up ... have ... more ... 30+ countries) for
              Message 6 of 15 , Jul 4, 2006
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                Thank you, Heidi. I hadn't found that website yet!




                --- In genealogyresearchclub@yahoogroups.com, Heidi Graf
                <familybranchesgenealogy@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Sandi,
                >
                > You can try www.ellisisland.org to see if you can find him on a
                ship manifest.
                >
                > Heidi
                >
                > Rebecca Betz-Festa <vct@...>
                wrote: Hi Sandi:
                >
                > What was your Great-Grandfathers name and your Grandfathers name,
                and
                > what state did they live in? I'll see what I can find.
                >
                > Rebecca
                >
                > --- In genealogyresearchclub@yahoogroups.com, "Sandi"
                > <lavenderrott@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi! I am new to the group and new to Geneology.
                > >
                > > It all started with a search to discover what my Grandfather's
                > > military medals represent. (I know most of them but one is a
                unit
                > > insignia and I don't know which unit.) All I had was the
                medals
                > and
                > > Grandpa's name.
                > >
                > > Well, that was yesterday.
                > >
                > > Today I have enough information on Grandpa to send to the DOD
                and
                > > get his military records but in getting the information I ended
                up
                > > with more questions.
                > >
                > > My Great Grandfather immigrated from Belgium around 1890 and
                > > apparently changed his last name. So I am stuck!
                > >
                > > Of course, I e-mailed the appropriate family members who might
                have
                > > mre information (who are enjoyng the holiday weekend away from
                > their
                > > computers apparently)in hopes of finding out more. I have a
                > feeling
                > > I am still going to be stuck as I don't speak Dutch.
                > >
                > > I am open for any and all suggestions as to how to find out
                more
                > > about my Belgium heritage!
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ---------------------------------
                > Yahoo! Messenger with Voice. Make PC-to-Phone Calls to the US (and
                30+ countries) for 2¢/min or less.
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Sandi
                Great Grandpa was Flemish. According to the 1930 Census, he spoke Dutch - so that was what I had to go by. I find I am learning somethng new all the time!
                Message 7 of 15 , Jul 4, 2006
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                  Great Grandpa was Flemish. According to the 1930 Census, he spoke
                  Dutch - so that was what I had to go by.

                  I find I am learning somethng new all the time!


                  --- In genealogyresearchclub@yahoogroups.com, Ron Lahav
                  <shmendrik1812@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hello Sandi,
                  >
                  > Contrary to popular belief, while there is indeed a
                  > country called Belgium there are no such people as
                  > Belgians. The population is about equally divided
                  > between the Flemish people, who speak a form of Dutch
                  > (one of my Dutch friedns refers to Flemish as
                  > Yorkshire Dutch) and the Walloons/Wallons, who speak
                  > French, but a dialect which differes somewhat from
                  > that spoken in Metropolitan France. There is a small
                  > german population, and since 1970 there has been
                  > increasingly large numbers of Africans from the former
                  > Belgian colonies and also Muslims who have been
                  > admitted as asylum-seekers. The thing to remember is
                  > that for the 176 years that the flemish and Wallons
                  > have lived within the same national borders they have
                  > hated one another with a deep and unyielding passion.
                  > The only thing which holds the country together is the
                  > Royal Family, and they are ethnic Germans.
                  >
                  > In order to find out more about your ancestor you
                  > first have to identify his ethnic heritage, You should
                  > be able to get this from his Certificate of
                  > Naturalisation. Once you have that then we can proceed
                  > further.
                  >
                  > Hope this helps.
                  >
                  > Ron in Geordieland
                  > --- Sandi <lavenderrott@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > Hi! I am new to the group and new to Geneology.
                  > >
                  > > It all started with a search to discover what my
                  > > Grandfather's
                  > > military medals represent. (I know most of them but
                  > > one is a unit
                  > > insignia and I don't know which unit.) All I had
                  > > was the medals and
                  > > Grandpa's name.
                  > >
                  > > Well, that was yesterday.
                  > >
                  > > Today I have enough information on Grandpa to send
                  > > to the DOD and
                  > > get his military records but in getting the
                  > > information I ended up
                  > > with more questions.
                  > >
                  > > My Great Grandfather immigrated from Belgium around
                  > > 1890 and
                  > > apparently changed his last name. So I am stuck!
                  > >
                  > > Of course, I e-mailed the appropriate family members
                  > > who might have
                  > > mre information (who are enjoyng the holiday weekend
                  > > away from their
                  > > computers apparently)in hopes of finding out more.
                  > > I have a feeling
                  > > I am still going to be stuck as I don't speak Dutch.
                  > >
                  > > I am open for any and all suggestions as to how to
                  > > find out more
                  > > about my Belgium heritage!
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > __________________________________________________
                  > Do You Yahoo!?
                  > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                  > http://mail.yahoo.com
                  >
                • Sandi
                  We are assuming that G. Grandpa sailed out of Antwerp - the family used their entire savings getting him to the port. My G.Grandfather literally came to
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jul 4, 2006
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                    We are assuming that G. Grandpa sailed out of Antwerp - the family
                    used their entire savings getting him to the port. My G.Grandfather
                    literally came to America with the clothes on his back.


                    --- In genealogyresearchclub@yahoogroups.com, Ron Lahav
                    <shmendrik1812@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hello Jon,
                    >
                    > You are quite correct in stating that Sandi's ancestor
                    > may not have been Belgian but merely sailed from the
                    > port of Antwerp. A lot of the smaller companies
                    > engaged in the immigrant trade, not only to the US and
                    > Canada but to Australia/New zealand, South Africa,
                    > etc, operated from Antwerp as the costs and overheads
                    > (e g Harbour dues, etc) were lower there than in many
                    > other ports. Also mitigating against the fact that
                    > your ancestor was Belgian is that both numerically and
                    > proportionately speaking both communities of Belgians
                    > made up the smallest European immigrant groups to the
                    > US, although some Walloons emigrated to Michigan in a
                    > group sometime during the 1840s. I would take issue
                    > with you on claiming that the 1890s were turbulent
                    > times in Europe. Times were indeed hard in Eastern
                    > Europe, and also in Spain and southern Italy, but
                    > Germany was undergoing an economic boom which led to a
                    > significant decline in German emigration overall after
                    > 1890.
                    >
                    > Ron in Geordieland
                    >
                    > > Don't give up on the relatives. Sometimes they are
                    > > slow. See if you can
                    > > find out where he came into this country and where
                    > > he settled long
                    > > enough to get his citizenship papers. If you find
                    > > this application, it
                    > > has a lot of needed info. Some older family member
                    > > may even have the
                    > > original paperwork. These papers will also tell you
                    > > what country he
                    > > actually came from. He may have just SAILED from a
                    > > port in Belgium. Many
                    > > countries were in turmoil at that time, both
                    > > politics and religion were
                    > > among factors for leaving.
                    >
                    >
                    > __________________________________________________
                    > Do You Yahoo!?
                    > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                    > http://mail.yahoo.com
                    >
                  • Ron Lahav
                    Hello Sandi, What you have written about your GGF tends to confirm my earlier posting and also Jon s that he was not Belgian by birth. If he had been Belgian
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jul 5, 2006
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                      Hello Sandi,

                      What you have written about your GGF tends to confirm
                      my earlier posting and also Jon's that he was not
                      Belgian by birth. If he had been Belgian it would have
                      cost him virtually nothing to get to Antwerp from
                      anywhere in Belgium, and even in the 1890s the train
                      trip would have taken less than ha;f a day. The fact
                      that he changed his name also leads me to believe that
                      he was of Eastern European origin, and in fact he may
                      well have been Jewish; many Jews when they arrived in
                      the New World changed their names to more American
                      sounding or at least less Jewish sounding ones. Some
                      Jews wished to bury their past in the New World and
                      chose completely non-Jewish names as well.

                      Hope this helps.

                      Ron in Geordieland

                      > We are assuming that G. Grandpa sailed out of
                      > Antwerp - the family
                      > used their entire savings getting him to the port.
                      > My G.Grandfather
                      > literally came to America with the clothes on his
                      > back.


                      __________________________________________________
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                      Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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                    • Ron Lahav
                      Hello Sandi, What you have written about your GGF really surprises me! As a Flemish speaker he would have lived not further than 36 miles from Antwerp, and by
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jul 5, 2006
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                        Hello Sandi,

                        What you have written about your GGF really surprises
                        me! As a Flemish speaker he would have lived not
                        further than 36 miles from Antwerp, and by the late
                        19th Century there would have been fast and frequent
                        train service to Antwerp from all parts of Belgium.
                        Also, byt that time he would have had a bicycle like
                        most Belgians and Dutch. Finally, I think that your
                        GGF was laying it on with a trowel a bit; Flanders has
                        always been the wealthiest part of Belgium, although
                        by the 1890s Wallonia had caught up because of its
                        heavy industry. Still, there would probably have been
                        less pocerty in Flanders or Holland, for example. than
                        even in other parts of Western Europe. If your
                        ancestor left in such haste and with so little money
                        then I think there was another reason for this and not
                        family poverty.

                        Hope this helps.

                        Ronin Belgium

                        > Great Grandpa was Flemish. According to the 1930
                        > Census, he spoke
                        > Dutch - so that was what I had to go by.
                        >
                        > I find I am learning somethng new all the time!


                        __________________________________________________
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                        Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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                      • Sandi
                        G. Grandpa was VERY Catholic, my Aunt tells me. He married a Protestant woman (my G. Grandma) but wouldn t associate with her family and while he agreed to
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jul 5, 2006
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                          G. Grandpa was VERY Catholic, my Aunt tells me. He married a
                          Protestant woman (my G. Grandma) but wouldn't associate with her
                          family and while he agreed to let her raise the children Protestant -
                          he had her baptised as a Catholic when she was in a diabetic coma
                          and as soon as she died, he pulled the kids out of public school and
                          enrolled them into Catholic school. Needless to say - his inlaws
                          were furious.







                          --- In genealogyresearchclub@yahoogroups.com, Ron Lahav
                          <shmendrik1812@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Hello Sandi,
                          >
                          > What you have written about your GGF tends to confirm
                          > my earlier posting and also Jon's that he was not
                          > Belgian by birth. If he had been Belgian it would have
                          > cost him virtually nothing to get to Antwerp from
                          > anywhere in Belgium, and even in the 1890s the train
                          > trip would have taken less than ha;f a day. The fact
                          > that he changed his name also leads me to believe that
                          > he was of Eastern European origin, and in fact he may
                          > well have been Jewish; many Jews when they arrived in
                          > the New World changed their names to more American
                          > sounding or at least less Jewish sounding ones. Some
                          > Jews wished to bury their past in the New World and
                          > chose completely non-Jewish names as well.
                          >
                          > Hope this helps.
                          >
                          > Ron in Geordieland
                          >
                          > > We are assuming that G. Grandpa sailed out of
                          > > Antwerp - the family
                          > > used their entire savings getting him to the port.
                          > > My G.Grandfather
                          > > literally came to America with the clothes on his
                          > > back.
                          >
                          >
                          > __________________________________________________
                          > Do You Yahoo!?
                          > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                          > http://mail.yahoo.com
                          >
                        • Ron Lahav
                          Hello Sandi, It sounds as if he had been a true Fleming. The Flemish people were essentially Dutch Roman Catholics, and since the population of The Netherlands
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jul 6, 2006
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                            Hello Sandi,

                            It sounds as if he had been a true Fleming. The
                            Flemish people were essentially Dutch Roman Catholics,
                            and since the population of The Netherlands in 1830
                            (as today) was finely balanced between Portestants and
                            Catholics, the Dutch did not want to tip the
                            demographic balance in favor of the Catholics, who at
                            least until after WWI were second class citizens
                            there. The establishment of a state which would be
                            overwhelmingly Catholic in population, even if the two
                            main ethnic groups loathed each other, seemed to be a
                            way to solve the problem of the Dutch-speaking
                            Catholics, at least insofar as the Dutch Royal Family
                            was concerned.

                            Ron in Geordieland

                            --- Sandi <lavenderrott@...> wrote:

                            > G. Grandpa was VERY Catholic, my Aunt tells me. He
                            > married a
                            > Protestant woman (my G. Grandma) but wouldn't
                            > associate with her
                            > family and while he agreed to let her raise the
                            > children Protestant -
                            > he had her baptised as a Catholic when she was in a
                            > diabetic coma
                            > and as soon as she died, he pulled the kids out of
                            > public school and
                            > enrolled them into Catholic school. Needless to say
                            > - his inlaws
                            > were furious.



                            __________________________________________________
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                          • Jon P Czarowitz
                            Sandi I write this not as an expert, but just to add to the possible confusion. Some aras at that time were changing their politicians and political outlook.
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jul 10, 2006
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                              Sandi
                              I write this not as an expert, but just to add to the possible
                              confusion. Some aras at that time were changing their politicians and
                              political outlook. If your family held a office and was booted out,
                              they may have been fleeing for their lives and therefore wanted the
                              younger members to survive sending them to the coast while they went
                              elsewhere. Their income was no longer that of one in office and the
                              story may well have been true.
                              I have a family line that scattered across Europe and beyond because
                              of this change of office. They and all relatives not agreeing with
                              the "office holders" were run out of town or killed, Jewish or not.
                              These lines show up regularly in the area around Poland and her
                              borders, but it was true all over in those days as Germany and
                              supporters expanded. The line I speak of fled both east and west.


                              ---- Original Message ----
                              From: shmendrik1812@...
                              To: genealogyresearchclub@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [Genealogy Research Club] Newbie with questions
                              Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 08:58:01 -0700 (PDT)

                              >Hello Sandi,
                              >
                              >What you have written about your GGF really surprises
                              >me! As a Flemish speaker he would have lived not
                              >further than 36 miles from Antwerp, and by the late
                              >19th Century there would have been fast and frequent
                              >train service to Antwerp from all parts of Belgium.
                              >Also, byt that time he would have had a bicycle like
                              >most Belgians and Dutch. Finally, I think that your
                              >GGF was laying it on with a trowel a bit; Flanders has
                              >always been the wealthiest part of Belgium, although
                              >by the 1890s Wallonia had caught up because of its
                              >heavy industry. Still, there would probably have been
                              >less pocerty in Flanders or Holland, for example. than
                              >even in other parts of Western Europe. If your
                              >ancestor left in such haste and with so little money
                              >then I think there was another reason for this and not
                              >family poverty.
                              >
                              >Hope this helps.
                              >
                              >Ronin Belgium
                              >
                              >> Great Grandpa was Flemish. According to the 1930
                              >> Census, he spoke
                              >> Dutch - so that was what I had to go by.
                              >>
                              >> I find I am learning somethng new all the time!
                              >
                              >
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