Religious Marriage Record - Antwerp #records

Rick Zeckel

My maternal grandparents met in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1922. My grandfather, Hirsch Singer, arrived as a boy with his family from Poland in 1906. They spent the World War 1 years in London, but returned in 1919. My grandmother, Feiga Meir, arrived in Antwerp in February, 1921. She was born in Targu Neamt, Romania, but her passport indicates she left from Bucharest. Family lore says she was headed to America to marry a cousin, but that she got sick once in Antwerp and then met my grandfather. Regardless of the reason, she sold her passport and her tickets to a woman who wanted to travel to the States to be with her fiancé.

Records from Belgium show that Feiga and Hirsch lived at different addresses in 1921, but had the same address in 1922. My mother was born in 1923. Belgium records show that Feiga and Hirsch were married in 1929. Various police reports from the 1920s show that Feiga was having issues because she had no passport and couldn't get a letter from the Romanian government authenticating who she was and that she had permission to be in Belgium. Several of the reports indicate the government wanted to deport her, but they couldn't find her. Based on all of the reports I've seen, it appears that Feiga and Hirsch had a civil marriage in order to get the Belgium government to leave them alone.

This all begs the question of whether or not they had been married earlier. Our theory is that they were married in a religious ceremony but that the event was never reported to the government, possibly because of Feiga's immigration status. I haven't been able to find anything that confirms or denies this theory, however. I am told there is a hole in the Jewish records of the early 1920s. Does anyone have any ideas on how to determine whether or not there was, in fact, a religious marriage between the two?

Rick Zeckel
13919 Springmill Ponds Circle
Carmel, Indiana  46032

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