At the UFSIA University in Antwerp, Belgium the "soc.genealogy.dutch" mailing list was started as a personal initiative of Johan Berteloot. The initiative was taken after some discussions in the Internet forums on genealogy, where a regional and/or ethnological and/or methodological split was proposed as a solution for the increasing number of (irrelevant) messages in the original discussion forums. This site volunteered to take the Dutch part on a test server and set up a mailing list.
The mailing list kept growing and soon people suggested to rename it to soc.genealogy.benelux, which was done after some discussion. The original name was kept as an alias for conveniency reasons.
With the growing interest, it was suggested to start the voting procedure to create a newsgroup in parallel with the mailing list, to reach a broader audience. The voting procedure was succesfull and the newsgroup has been created. See below for more details.
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At this site the soc.genealogy.benelux newsgroup was started as a personal initiative of Johan Berteloot.
This is what appeared in the charter for the discussion groupto be created on Usenet:
soc.genealogy.benelux is for genealogy and family history discussion among people researching ancestors, family members, or others who have a genealogical connection to any people in any part of the Benelux countries (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg).
The group is open to anyone with an interest in genealogy in any of the populations in or from this area, including, but not limited to: people who live, lived, or may have lived there; emigrants; immigrants; colonists; residents of former colonies; and their descendants.
The scope of the group reflects language, history, migrations, and the realities of researching public records and genealogical data archives, and includes questions of local customs and history, or of regional or national history which affected the lives ofthese people and which are difficult to research in the present. Posts are expected to be mostly in English, but may be written in any language. Dutch, French and German are spoken in different parts of the region, and posts in those languages are anticipated and will be welcome. Posters who wish a translation of a post into another language may ask in the group for help.
The focus of the group is on people, researched for genealogical purposes. Postings on topics unrelated to genealogy are not welcome.
Messages to the list are to be send to GEN-BENELUX-L@rootsweb.com. If your WWW browser supports mailing and you are subscribed, you can click the addressnow to start contributing. Remark: you have to be a subscriber to be able to post to the list. This is to avoid spam postings and mail forgery.
This mailing list was started late January 1995. The number of subscribers has been growing for quite a long time, but with the increased internet usage, many new mailing lists were started with a more focused scope on any of the regions within the Benelux.
For questions you can mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.