Us Seniors

Elder et Soeur Arn & Jody

Wednesday, January 14


We have seen such a variety of documents here in Belgium that we decided to document the documents we have seen. Everything we have been working with are marriage records from 1881 to 1900 from the District of Charleroi. The following are some of the interesting things we have come across.These are some of the town crests that we thought were fun. These lions have human faces.These humans have no clothes! As Belgium is a mixture of French-speaking and Dutch-speaking communities, we find documents in both languages.Is this where McDonalds got their start? We think this is Dutch for "City Hall" -- it looks sort of like a burger stand.This one is all the way from Italy. Kind of a long way to go to find a bride.As they did not have staples or paperclips, we found a variety of ways to keep documents together. We found a lot of documents stitched together in a variety of places.The two corner approach. They used very heavy thread -- more like small cord.
Documents folded and then stitched diagonally down the side.Stitched down the side with large knots.Stitched down the side with no knots.Wrapped around a folded set of documents.Straight pins were very popular. This is one of the fancier ones.The pins come in all sizes, from very tiny to almost the size of nails.

They used regular round brads to connect documents; but they also used square ones.

This one is held together with a thin piece of wire.

There is a surprising amount of color in these 100 plus year old documents. This is a seal with ribbon tails.Following are the many colors of covers that we found surrounding the documents. Many of these colors were found in documents from the same communities. They seemed to enjoy variety. Sometimes each year had its own color; sometimes they just randomly appeared during any one year.Most of the documents were in pretty good shape but some had damage caused from a variety of causes. These were chewed on by mice or rats.Some were just mishandled and poorly stored. Also some types of paper did not hold up as well as others as seen by the paper "crumbs" surrounding this document.Often the documents were very dirty from being stored for so long. Part of our job was to "dust" them.

This rag shows the dirt from just one swipe of the cloth. All clean at last.

These show some of the variety of "chemise" that were used to protect each set of marriage records.


Post a Comment

<< Home