Genealogical Society of Flemish Americans

NEW! We are proud and excited to announce that access to the years of 1916-1942 of the digital versions of the Gazette van Detroit are now available online! The remainder of issues will be added over the next 4-6 months. Click here to visit now! 

The "Save The Newspaper" project is complete! After several years of hard work we have recently completed scanning, digitizing and creating searchable documents of every page of every issue of the Gazette van  Detroit. The Flemish language newspaper  was published in Detroit for nearly 105 years.  

The site was paid for by the generous donations from the members of the Genealogical Society of Flemish Americans, especially the Late Margaret Roets. Click here to learn more about our dear friend and mentor.

Welkom! Thank you for visiting our GSFA website. As the largest collection of Flemish genealogical records outside of Belgium, the GSFA helps people trace their Flemish and Belgian heritage; publishes a newsletter and magazine of pictures, stories, queries, and genealogy information; and has a large library of genealogy and Belgian heritage material at the American House in Roseville, Michigan, USA. 

NOTE: The Gazette van Detroit and it's parent, The Belgian Publishing Company, ceased publishing and operation on December 31, 2018. All content and holdings have been transferred to GSFA. Please contact the GSFA library with questions about the Gazette at 586-777-2720.

8/23/22 - To All Flemish Heritage Magazine Subscribers:  Due to unforeseen issues with the post office, over half of our Heritage Magazine recipients, myself included, have not received their magazine.  The digital copy is posted below. We have initiated an investigation with USPS. Thank you for your patience and understanding. - Cheryl Heckla

You can scroll through this entire issue of Volume XXXXI Issue 2, July 2022 of the Flemish American Heritage Magazine below or click the upper right hand of the document and it can "pop out" in full size. GSFA members receive 3 issues of the Flemish American Heritage Magazine per year. Click here for more information on becoming a member. 

Volume XXXXI Issue 2 verticle.pdf

GSFA News 

It is with great sorrow that we report the passing of Margaret Roets, who died May 20, 2022, at the age of 101.  She will be missed by all of us at GSFA - she was truly the backbone of this organization and worked at the library here until quite recently. She was the pround member of the BAA Retirees, BAA Auxiliary, Genealogical Society of Flemish Americans, The St. Clair Shores Historical Society, Friends of the St. Clair Shores Library, and the Roseville Historical Society. She was the President of the Historical Society of St. Clair Shores for 10 years and was also the recipient of the 2010 Alexander Macomb Historical Award.  Visitation is Monday, May 23, 2022 from 4 - 8 PM.  Service is Tuesday, May 24, 2022 from 10:30AM - 11:30AM. Click the link for her obituary for  locations and other details. 

In lieu of flowers, we are asking for donations sent to Genealogical Society of Flemish Americans. This library/museum was her passion.  Please click here to donate.

Events and Programs:

After a long break due to the Covid crisis, we are happy to announce that we will re-start our special programs in the coming months. Programs in the past have focused upon writing classes for genealogy-related topics, historical presentations, speakers and much more. Watch for coming events and programs on this page, our Facebook  , Instagram @flemishlibrary, and Twitter @flemishlibrary for updates! 

We have an annual Christmas Bake Sale and Mini Christmas Mart every year where Lukken, raisin bread, other baked goods and crafts are available! Tours of the Leon Buyse Library and our museum are available, contact Fran at the number below. 

The Leon Buyse Library Photo Tour:

The GSFA Library Research Center and Belgian American Museum are open for business.

January - October: We are generally in the office on Mondays and Fridays, 10:30 am until 3 pm EST . We are open to the general public for walk-in services, 10:30 am until 3 pm EST, the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month.

November & December: We are generally in the office on Mondays and Fridays, 10:30 am until 3 pm EST. We are open to the general public for walk-in services, 10:30 am until 3 pm EST, the 2nd Saturday of each month.

 Please call ahead to ensure we are available, 586-777-2720.

Special hours available by appointment.


Volunteers Needed:

We are always in need of volunteers of varying skill sets to assist with  our many projects & events - visit our Volunteer page for more information. 


On June 6, 2019, Cheryl Heckla was interviewed by ATV (Belgian TV) during her visit to the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium. She is currently touring Belgium for several weeks. You can see the interview here -->  


The GSFA's new Youtube Channel is now available! 


"Five Things All Family Historians Should Do Before They Die" by Curt B. Witcher, published in a recent "Genealogy Gems Newsletter".  This is a timely and insightful article that discusses the necessity of getting our family stories recorded and the current available methods to do so. 

Our Mission - To share and promote with pride the preservation of our heritage and to help educate persons interested and learning about genealogy by providing resources and assistance.

GSFA is proud to be the largest library of Flemish genealogy records outside of Belgium. Please come by and take a look around or ask questions. We also have a museum of interesting traditional cultural pieces, as well as books, shirts, and many other items for sale.

The GSFA is staffed by volunteers and is funded by donations and proceeds from memberships. Please consider becoming a member or making a donation today. There are several ways to help us with funding. Check out our Membership  & Donations page for further information. Thanks!

GSFA is always looking for volunteers! Do you have a few extra hours a month during the day and/or an occasional Saturday to assist with several ongoing projects or help with special events? In many cases, your genealogy skill level doesn't matter! Please Visit our Volunteer page and learn about the various opportunities we have or call, email or drop-in for details.