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Alain Van Wayenberge, Genealogist //FR//

“How do you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re from?”

My great-grandmother was found in a “tower” in Ghent, one of those “baby windmills” used in the 19th century, where unwanted newborns were abandoned. I often think about how this must have gnawed at her for her whole life. Actually, I’ve probably inherited this desire to explore and pinpoint my own and my family’s roots from her. Behind me, there are seven grandchildren driving me on.

//FR// After a career in language teaching and International Education, I was at last able to fulfil my dream and dedicate my time to professional genealogy and historical research. Inquiries started to come in from all corners of the world, America, Australia, New Zealand and Russia as well as Belgium, France, Italy and Great Britain. They came from families who had been abroad for 2 or 3 generations and who now wanted to find out about their Belgian ancestors, or from families who had been separated and wanted to find an estranged brother or a distant cousin.

I’m now also collaborating with "Héros Modernes", a publishing house that lets leading business people tell the story of their life and of their enterprise. This gives me the opportunity to do what I love most; transform the dusty records into portraits of the men and women who have humbly and patiently made us what we are today.

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Collaboration with CNN //FR//

Descending form a Belgian family

I was recently lucky enough to work with the American TV channel, CNN, to find the ancestors of one of their star journalists who had her roots in Liège. And the reactions are always the same; it is incredibly emotional to see where your ancestors lived, to put your feet in their shoes, to feel the enormous gratitude for the things they have accomplished, the surprise and the tears at all the difficulties that have been overcome.

Discover our different packs //FR//