Tag Archives: archives

An introduction to the Belgian Statearchives and its immigration files

The Public Safety Organization:
In 1840 the Belgian state, which was founded in 1830, entrusted the Public Safety (in Dutch: Openbare Veiligheid, in French: Sûreté Publique, in German:Öffentlichen Sicherheit) which was an autonomous board under the Minister of Justice, to monitor the aliens on its territory.

Note: Both Dutch, French and German are spoken in specific parts of Belgium as can be seen on the following map:

In order to preserve public order, the Public Safety Organization had to remove undesired aliens from Belgium’s territory. In order to be able to implement this order, they had to rely on the support from the municipal authorities who had in their turn to report each registration of any alien in the register of the municipality as soon as possible to the Public Safety.

This Public Safety organization would then decide whether the person could remain in the country. If this was the case, the Public Safety organization would keep a close eye on the alien citizen during his or her stay in Belgium. All authorities, including the army and the judiciary, were supposed to forward any document about the foreigner to the Public Safety Organization.

How was the information collected:
Most information was obviously gathered from aliens who voluntarily went to the municipalities to register. In addition, information was directly obtained by the police who found foreigners on Belgian territory and of foreigners that had to resort to the use of public services such as hospitals, etc.

Some files were opened on aliens even though they never reached Belgian territory. The organization opened these files preventively for “subversive” and possible criminal foreigners in order to be prepared in case they would enter Belgian territory.

When the foreigner in question passed away or Continue reading An introduction to the Belgian Statearchives and its immigration files

German historical street addresses

A model of the Jewish Ghetto in the Jewish Museum in Frankurt

I came today across an interesting post in one of the newsgroups I am subscribed to (gersig digest from May 08, 2011) regarding street addresses in Germany.
Not all street addresses from the past stayed the same.

I am sure that there are other places in Germany and abroad with about the same issue.

(If you are looking for the online copies of the Berlin addressbooks, here is the link: http://adressbuch.zlb.de.)

Subject: German historical street addresses – FACT FILE
From: Andreas Schwab (andreas.schwab. .mcgill.ca)
Date: Sun, 8 May 2011 09:41:24 -0400
X-Message-Number: 1

Many of us wish to visit the places where our ancestors lived and to take photographs of their houses. One has to consider, however, that very often, the street addresses have changed over the years. In Germany and Austria, there are two systems of numbering:
1. The traditional German numbering, also known as horse-shoe numbering, starts at 1 on the right side of the street, with consecutive numbers on one side until the end of the street, continuing on the opposite side of the street in the opposite direction such that the highest number is opposite to the number 1.

2. The European numbering starts with 1 at the left side and continues with odd numbers, and with 2 on the right side, then continuing with even numbers (this is the opposite of the American system where the odd numbers are on the right).

Many, but Continue reading German historical street addresses