Online records: Brabants Historisch Informatie Centrum
Brabants Historisch Informatie Centrum, or BHIC, is the name of the provincial archive in the province Noord-Brabant (often abbreviated to Brabant). Their website contains practical information about the archive, historical information, images, stories and genealogical databases, all related to Brabant.
What do they have?
The main database has church books (1582-1811), birth, marriage and death (BMD) acts (1811-1922) and population registers. Marriage acts (1811-1922) are complete, the other registers are a work in progress.
There are many other databases, all with their own search interface, like a database of criminal records, and a large image database. The site has also a lot of stories and some informative articles, but unfortunately these are only available in Dutch.
Is there an English interface?
Only the search interface of the main database and some information is available in English. To get to the main database, you have to find your way from an all-Dutch homepage and navigate through an all-Dutch menu.
How do I use it?
To reach the main database from the home page, select Voorouders binnen Brabant in the menu stamboom. Click English on the left hand side. Or use the direct link. The search interface works the same as the interface of Zeeuwen gezocht that we looked at in an earlier post. Use the help links to the right of each field to find out more.
The criminal records can be found by selecting Criminele voorouders in the menu stamboom. The search interface is in Dutch, search options include rechtbank (court), achternaam (last name), voornaam (first name), delict (crime) and periode (in jaren) (year from/to). In this database you will find, for example, that Gozewinus Johannes Jansen is condemned twice by the court in 's-Hertogenbosch (in 1902 and 1904), both times for landloperij (vagrancy). His sentence is not mentioned, you need to visit the archive to discover that.
The image bank can be reached by selecting Brabantse foto's zoeken in the menu stamboom.
How much does it cost?
All information that is currently available is free. Prints, maps and photos for which BHIC owns the copyright can be freely downloaded for personal use (source: BHIC colofon).
The website is regularly updated. Scans of church registers and BMD acts will be available on the website later this year.
The main database has a large overlap with Genlias, but also many records you will not find anywhere else. It's a pity that so little is available in English. I would also like to see a single search page for all databases, and an easier way to navigate the site. However, the site is a must if your ancestors are from Noord-Brabant.