Until very recently, this page started with the statement: "Well, what can I tell you about my Van de Weghe background? Not much so far, I'm afraid. I guess everyone has some mystery of whatever kind in his family. This is mine..."

But as we all know, even though genealogy is "a thing of the past", a relentless quest to uncover ones roots, it is also a very dynamic search, and things can change with the blink of an eye. Although, it took quite some blinking to track down my 'Van de Weghe' history...

By the way, I'll do things a little different this time: I'll start in the present and work my way back.

I can tell you that my grandmother on mothers side was called Aline Van de Weghe. She was married to Gerard De Baere (see the De Baere pages).

Aline had 2 brothers: Adolf Van de Weghe and Achiel Van de Weghe. Their parents were Joannes Albert Van de Weghe and Anna Maria De Keukelaere. Joannes was born (June 19th, 1883) and died in Ghent (February 14th, 1979). And this is where the mystery starts...

According to my great grandmother, Anna Maria De Keukelaere, her husband (Johannes Albert) belonged to a family of 13 children. We knew 2: Joannes himself, and his brother Achiel Van de Weghe. It was said that they use to belong to "De Kulderkes", the orphans of the city of Ghent. Yet, till now, we had no official data of this story.

But now, after a long period of status quo, we can tell you the following:

Johannes Albert Van de Weghe was indeed born on June 19th, 1883 in Ghent. His birth was announced by Sophia De Becker, his grandmother. His father, so his birth certificate states, was absent. However, we now also knew the complete names of his parents: Felix Van de Weghe and Isabella Joanna De Rijcke. Felix was said to be 39 years of age at the time of Johannes' birth; his mother was 38. Furthermore, Sophia De Becker (55 years of age) was accompanied by the 23 years old Josephus De Rijcke, possibly a brother of Isabella.

The birth certificate also mentioned an adress: Felix and Isabella, and also Sophia, are recorded as living in the 'De Vreezebeluik'. This 'beluik' was located in the vicinity of the 'Sint Pietersplein' in Ghent, where we nowadays find the central library of the Ghent University. If you'd like to read more on this 'beluik', have a look at this page (in dutch).

A search through the archives of the Ghent orphanages resulted in the following. We found no trace of Johannes Albert, but we did find Achilles. According to Achilles' record, he was born in Ghent, December 22nd, 1881. The decision that he was to enter the orphanage was taken October 25th, 1886 (at the age of four, going on five). He left the orphanage at the age of nearly 18, on December 5th, 1899. No further details were given about his destination.

Yet, relentless inquiry with family members turned up the following little pieces of info: Johannes Albert, so we were told, somehow ended up in Bottelare, where he learned his occupation (black smith) from a certain "Polet" (if you'd like to know more about the Polet family from Bottelare, some intruiging info can be found in: Duportail, P. (1995) - Bottelare, een plattelandsgemeente in Wereldoorlog Twee. Prosopografische analyse van het verzet. Studie van het dagelijks leven. Waardenonderzoek. Verhandeling voorgelegd tot het behalen van de graad van licentiaat in de geschiedenis. Universiteit Gent). After living in Bottelare for a while, Achilles ended up in Antwerp, where he was married to a woman that was called 'tante Sos' within the family.

Till now, this was just about it! But, we kept on searching! And guess what: Joannes Albert and Achilles did have a rather large number of siblings, 7 to be precise, all born in Ghent: Victor Josephus (born November 23rd, 1867); Eugenia (born June 18th, 1870); Juliana Maria (born January 1st, 1874); Adolphus (born August 28th, 1875); Ludovica (born March 18th, 1877); Gustavus (born September 26th, 1878); and Leonardus (born June 9th, 1880).

Their father, Felix Van de Weghe, was born in Nevele on March 18th, 1844. He married Isabella Joanna De Rijcke (born in Ghent on November 11th, 1844), in Ghent on January 1st, 1867. Felix was the son of Joseph Vandeweghe and Eugenia Van Hoorebeke. He had 10 siblings, all born in Nevele except the last two (they were born in Ghent): Rosalie (born January 18th, 1837); Virginie (born March 21st, 1838); Pelagie (born June 28t, 1840); Philomena (born October 6th, 1841); Camilus (born May 11th, 1845); Mathilda (born February 18th; 1847); Camil (born May 11th, 1845); Florimond (born September 5th, 1850), and the twins Clementina Catharina and Franciscus (born in Ghent, December 8th, 1853).

Joseph Vandeweghe was born in Tielt, on June 21st, 1809. He died in Ghent on January 31st, 1892. Joseph married Eugenia (born in Nevele, on August 17th, 1818; died in Ghent on August 27th, 1883), in Nevele on June 12th, 1836. Joseph was the son of Josephus Vandeweghe (born in Ruislede, around 1764) and Joanna De Vriese (born around 1774). Most probably (but this is not a certainty yet!) Josephus Vandeweghe was the son of Petrus Jacobus Vandeweghe and Maria Theresia Van walleghem.

If this story has made you curious, have a look at the tree (click the button at the end of the page). But it is only fair to worn you: these pages need updating and the info provided above has not yet been entered! So, check again in a little while!

And that's it! More to follow, I hope. And, if any of this sounds familiar, please let me know! Maybe together we can figure things out...

Finally, we would like to conclude with a thank you note: we sincerely want to express our thanks to the staff of the OCMW archives in Ghent, for their patience and help in our search through the orphanage archives!

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