The Buyse Library Research Center


AUGUST 5, 1976 - Michiel Mispelon, co-founder of Vlaamse Vereniging voor Familiekund* in Antwerp, Belgium, gave a talk on geneaology at St. Angela's Church Hall in Roseville. Mr. Mispelon carried with him the family trees of several prominent Detroiters who were of Flemish origin. He suggested to those in attendance that they form a genealogical group to record the sequence of events in the history of the Flemings after their arrival in the Detroit area.

The late Morris and Margaret DeFour very generously offered the use of the conference room of their new law office as a meeting place for the founding group of a dozen or so members.

APRIL 26, 1977 - The late Leon Buyse, then editor of the Gazette van Detroit (and the unofficial historian of the Belgian community), invited the fledgling group to meet at his home. Mr. Buyse informed them of his intentions to donate his collection of books, photographs and other memorabilia to them. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Buyse took an apartment at the Taillieu Residence and a room in the lower level of the building, across the hall from the Gazette office, was provided to house his very extensive collection.

SEPTEMBER 1977 - present - The GSFA now holds its meetings in this room and began to build its unique resource library.

NOVEMBER 9, 1986 - The room is formally dedicated as the Leon Buyse Library. The Buyse Library houses a vast number of books and other research material to aid those doing family research or just wishing to learn about Belgian history and culture.

You can learn more about Mr. Mispelon, Mr. Buyse and many other Detroiters of Belgian/Flemish origin by visiting the library.

  • VVF Flemish Association for Family Research.


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.

The Genealogical Society of Flemish American' s Buyse Library Research Center has become 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. Learn more about our Library Services.

Please come by and take a look around or ask questions. We also have a new Belgian American Museum of interesting traditional cultural pieces, as well as books, shirts, and many other items for sale.