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Introduction

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
     Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and—sans End !
quatrain 23 of
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
as translated by Edward Fitzgerald
 
 

They may change the law some day (as if there were nothing more urgent or important for politicians to do), but in the meantime, in Belgium a newborn inherits the last name of his father if known.  When a woman gets married she doesn't entirely lose her maiden name.  So if I say that Joannes De Langhe is the son of Jozef and Maria De Corte, it means he is the son of Jozef De Langhe and Maria De Corte.  And in the vast majority of those cases Jozef and Maria were married to each other and very often especially in formal and official documents we speak of this married couple as Mr and Mrs. Jozef De Langhe-De Corte.

If the Flemish or Dutch names appear unpronounceable to you or if you want to have some idea of how we pronounce them then here is a page for you :  a crash course if not of Dutch then at least of Dutch pronunciation.  We hope the simple rules outlined there will come in handy when you come to this country of ours and see for yourself what it is like.

We have received several e-mails from people who almost by accident found this website.  Some think NOE is a very rare last name.  So they write to me and ask me if James Joyce Noe, born in Kansas City in 1781 is related to my line ?  Here is the answer I gave one of these correspondents.

We have tried throughout this website to put historical notes in italics.  We wanted to bring the genealogical information but also give the reader a better idea of what it must have been like for our ancestors.  They worked hard and suffered and the result is their investment into the future: they gave more to each new generation to build on, to improve and to make things easier and less painful for us.  Whether that was a good idea is neither here nor there.

If you have a document relevant to these pages, a picture of someone mentioned on this website or a photograph of some place in our Meetjesland, old or recent, please send me a copy.  Please do not send originals if you want them back.  And please tell me a little about it.  Who are the persons appearing in the photograph ? What town, hamlet, farm or street is this ?  Who made the picture ?  When was it taken ?  I would be very happy to publish it here if at all possible.  Contact us !

If you click on button up  you should find yourself (back) at the top of the page.

Date formats throughout this work are day/month/year, the day before the month, as is the habit in our country.

Most of you use Internet Explorer.  You may be able to do something about it if the text you see here is too small for you:  in Internet Explorer please click on View / Text size and choose a larger size.

The translation and the opinions expressed here on this website as far as they diverge from the book by Marijn Claeys are my responsibility alone.

We cannot be held responsible for the content of websites we link to.  Please contact us should you find something offensive or in any way unsuitable in a website linked to here.

The results of many years of research are here for you free of charge.  However we cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in the information given here.  We do not promise to provide proof of authenticity or photocopies of the source of any statement made here.

Thanks to Freefind.com you can search for any word or phrase on this website.  Here is the Search page with a word of explanation and a warning. 

We wish to express our thanks to MyCinnamonToast Surname Search for their support.  They provide a very valuable service which you too may find useful.

We especially wish to thank the good people of Rootsweb who host this website free of charge.  They have done and continue to do so much for genealogical research.  One not so small part of that help is Rootsweb Freepages Help: volunteers help just about anyone who cares to ask with the creation and maintenance of their web pages.  They don't realise it but where would I be without their daily advise ?

Of course not much of that daily advice would have made sense to me without the HTML Course of Mr Alan H. Levine.  I went through it and then returned to quite a few of the lessons.  This was allowed and even encouraged.  The whole course took me quite a while but no one ever told me I was a bad student or that I would never amount to much anything.  I'm sure this is what the very best teaching will soon be like in many fields.  Thank you Mr. Levine.  I don't know you personally but this I know: you are a great and very patient teacher.

And finally I would still be nowhere without the computer basics which Mr. J. Lanckriet and Mr. L. Smismans so ably taught me and so many other students at the Brucemo Institute in Brussels, Belgium.  Perhaps unintentionally they also taught me a few other fundamental things and one of these might be called perserverance.  Like so many others they certainly merit my gratitude.

We hope this website will be under construction for a while yet.  What's that supposed to mean ?  Well, we hope we will be able to add more for some time to come.

For your comments, corrections, or suggestions, for emendations, dear visitor, please contact us.  Thank you.

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Most recent update: 25 August 2017

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