Sunday, June 12, 2016

Great-grandfather Louis Sterckx

I never knew a lot about my great-grandfather (the father of my maternal grandmother). I decided to dedicate a blog post to him to share what I have so far...
His name was Louis Sterckx and he was born in the Belgian village of Wommelgem in 1883 to Josephus Sterckx and Philomena Hermans.

Great-grandfather Louis Sterckx
In 1902 Louis married Maria Van Hout. He was a gardener just like his father. In 1909 Louis and Maria had a baby girl they named Hilda and six years later, in 1915, during the Great War, they had a boy called Armand.

Great-great-grandmother Philomena Hermans
Great-great-grandfather Josephus Sterckx

Records show that, in 1909, great-grandfather Louis was no longer a gardener, but was now working in the Antwerp diamond industry as a diamond cutter. I've been told he was also a trader in diamonds, which is why he was traveling a lot and spent a great deal of time in France.

Great aunt Hilda Sterckx

Maria died quite young and great-grandfather Louis remarried my great-grandmother Anna and in 1928 they had a baby girl they named Hilda Jeanne, my grandmother.

Grandmother Hilda Jeanne Sterckx
(drawing by Ewan)

One of the few stories I do know about the Sterckx family relates to what happened to my great-uncle Armand. He was a cyclist. At the age of 18 he participated in a competition. He fell during the race and sustained injuries so severe he didn't survive. This was in May 1933. Louis was absolutely devastated...

Great uncle Armand Sterckx

1933 funeral of Armand Sterckx

Armand was burried in the most famous cemetery in Antwerp, Schoonselhof. When my grandmother told me about his funeral many years later, I remember she told me about the huge amount of people that had gathered to be there.
Regrettably Louis was only 56 years old when he died from tuberculosis. Many people working in the diamond industry suffered from tuberculosis in those days, which was caused by inhaling diamond dust...  




  1. You did a nice job Ewan .... respect!

  2. Thanks! I'm planning on finding out more!! To be continued!

  3. Ewan,

    I'd like let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. It is really fantastic. Because of all your research, Ewan, I finally know a bit more about my grandfather's family. Thank you very much.