OudeBoeken BSKEMPEN Civil Registry of the Campine, Antwerp Province



The BSkempen database

In the BSKempen database you will find all the records of the Civil Registry of all municipalities which have been elaborated to date. The data are the same as the ones in the index files but in the form of a database which allows queries of all municipalities at once.

Via the link below you can download this database in the form of a 22 Mb zip file . Upon extraction, you get three separate files: the BSKdb program, a BSKdb helpfile and the BSKempen database itself.  Keep these three files together in one folder on your computer.  The total size of the extracted files is 72 Mb.  Nothing else is installed on your computer so you can extract the files onto a USB stick and run them on any computer. The program BSKdb will check whether a BSK.ini file is already present, if not, it will create this file in the same folder where BSKdb is located.

Database (program BSKdb v2.1, helpfile, database BSkempen)

The BSKdb program has four tabs:

- Home: a welcome screen and logo.

- Werkbank (work sheet): here you can see which data are in the database. You can open an index file and add it to the database, provided it is one the the BSKempen index files. You can also choose one of the files in the list,  delete it from the database or export it back to an index file.

- Overzicht (overview)::  Click on the button Bijwerken (edit) and you see the statistics of the actual contents and a graph of the municipalities.

- Zoeken (search):  This is the sheet you will use to search and find records. More information on this below.

The help file explains the use and possibilities of the database. It is strongly recommended to read this help file first. On the menu bar, click on Help and Handleiding (manual).

The function Zoeken (search)  is very powerful. Here is an example of how it works:

Suppose you are looking for records which contain the surname 'Tielemans', anywhere in the database. In het sheet Zoeken (search) you specify
type akten (type of records) as 'alle akten' (all records).
gemeente (municipality) as 'alle gemeenten' (all municipalities).
familienaam (surname) as 'begint met' (starts with) and fill in 'Tielemans'.

Clicking the Zoeken (search) button produces an overview of all records of all municipalities which contain the surname  'Tielemans'. You can repeat the search with a different spelling such as 'Thielemans' or 'Tilemans'.

The first search results show a birth record in the municipality of Morkhoven of 'Biermans, Theresia'. This is not an error : clicking on it shows the details of this record in a pop-up screen and reveals that the record was selected because the mother was Rosa Tielemans.  This record is thus useful.

Looking further down the list of search results,  we find a record in Morkhoven for the marriage of Hieronymus Gastmans with the above mentioned Theresia Biermans (the daughter of Rosa Tielemans). We can now search whether any children were born from this marriage.
We set the tab sheet Zoeken (search) now as follows:

type akten (type of records) as 'alle akten' (all records).
- gemeente (municipality) as 'alle gemeenten' (all municipalities).
- familienaam (surname) as 'begint met' (starts with) and fill in 'Gastmans'.
- Check the case 'een tweede persoon insluiten' (add a second person).
- Set  familienaam (surname) as 'begint met' (starts with) and fill in 'Biermans'.

Clicking the Zoeken (search) button now produces an overview of all records containing the surnames Biermans as well as Gastmans, thus including any children of Hieronymus Gastmans and Theresia Biermans. They are the grandchildren of Rosa Tielemans. The results shows seven birth records and four death records.

In the search parameters you can also use SQL characters (wildcards):

-% (several or no characters).
- _ (underscore) exactly one character.
- ? (one or no characters)
- [list] (a number of characters between square brackets):  a single character from this list.
- [!lijst] (a number of characters between square brackets, preceeded by an exclamation mark): a single character, not shown in the list.

E.g. for a search of surnames which start with "tub" or "tib", set familienaam begint met  to 't[ui]b'. To find Tielemans as well as Tilemans , search for  'Tí%lemans'.  A surname starting with a 'T' and ending with 'ax' is found using 't%ax'.  Using 't[!u]%ax' we find all surnames starting with 'T', and ending with 'ax', but with the second character not being a 'u' .

For an optimal use of these search possibilities, please consult the helpfile for more information and examples on thes SQL characters.

 Note: the database is based on the Microsoft Jet Engine, which treats vowels with or without accents as different characters. Searching for 'Marien' or 'Mariën' will thus yield different results. To find Marien as well as Mariën use 'Mari[eë]n'  as search parameter, or  'Cl[eé]' if you want to find Clé and Cle.

The indexfiles and the database show names and surnames as they were originally written in the records. Their spelling is by no means uniform. E.g. the first name "Coleta" is spelled in 14 different ways in the Noorderwijk records.

The search results can be stored as an Excel file which will contain three separate sheets; one for birth records, one for marriage records and one for death records (with the names BS Geboorten, BS Huwelijken en BS Overlijden). Each of these sheets has the same format as the BSKempen index files.

The database is updated only once monthly.  You can add any index files which have been  added or verified meanwhile,without problem. On the page  Werkbank (work sheet) , check  'Toevoegen aan de databank' (add to the database), and click on the button Openen (open). Choose the indexfile you want to add and it will be inserted in the database. That's all there is to it.

The database was developed by Jan Dillen, PhD, at present professor at the university of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Jan is an enthousiastic supporter of BSKempen and one of its first 'customers'.