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  • France

    France_deparetme&#110.jpgFrance will always be famous for its wine exports, Paris for monuments such as the Eiffel tower and fine buildings such as The Louvre. France's famous include Marie Antoinette, former queen of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, Christian Dior and Coco Chanel.

    Capital Paris

    Language French

    Currency Euro

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    • webwiz
      webwiz commented
      Editing a comment
      Pascal Mallet sent me these notes which I think merit a place here:

      Few hints to manage online French archives

      French archives are not centralized yet. As European France has 96 “départements” (Corsica, n°20, is now split in 2A and 2B), you must know where to search. They are sorted by alphabetical order (mostly) and you can find the list here:

      When searching for a town, first go to Internet to see where it is located. It will give you the name of its département, that you can also see as the two first digits of its zip code.

      Then, type “Archives departementales xx” (“xx” is the département number) in Google and connect to archives website. You can also connect to and then click on the archives button. Only six départements are not online (“en ligne”) yet: 30 (2017), 32, 39, 65, 87 (late 2014), and 93. Except two départements (14 and 16), everything is free.

      Most of the time, you will need to see “Etat civil” (BMD records). First choose a town, then year(s) and type of record you search for. Few hints:
      – Remember that things are different before (“Ancien Régime”) and after French Révolution. Big changes took place by 1790-1792.

      – Before Révolution, B-M-D records are parish records and are called B(baptême)-M-S(sépulture), and after N(naissance)-M-D(Décès). For parish records, big cities have several “paroisses” (parishes), and you must search them all if you have no better information. After Révolution, parish records are called “Actes de catholicité” and are very seldom online (protestant Church and Jews have their own records that I never saw).

      – In parish records, “paroisse” (parish) stands for “town” (or part of town) or “village”, and “village” stands for “hamlet”.

      – From 1792-1793, if you don’t know a date, you can look in “Tables Décennales” (TD) where names are sorted by first letter (sometimes by full name, but you must be cautious, sometimes by full name and by year). Then you got the record date to search in “Actes”. Sometimes, you also find lists at the end of each year in records files (parish or civil).

      – Some months are sometimes abbreviated: “7bre” means September (not July!), “8bre” means October, “9bre” means November, and “Xbre” (sometimes “10bre”) means December.

      – If year (“an”) is between 1 and 14 (XIV), you are welcome to Revolutionary calendar (1792-1806). Not easy to handle for anyone: search for explanations on Internet.

      – For privacy reasons, records after 1912 (most of the time after 1902) are not online.

      Depending of archives, you may also find the records below online:
      – "Recensements" are censuses. They start in 1821-1826.

      – "Registres matricules" are soldier military data but they start in 1867. As age for army was 20, if your ancestor was born in 1847 or after, you can find his record, but remember it is in the département he was living when he was 20, not where is was born. By exception to privacy, because of WW1 celebration, you can find online records up to 1921-1922 (men born in 1901-1902).

      – Very seldom, "Contrôle des actes" (fees before Révolution) can help you to find a marriage, a contract of any kind, a will, an inventory after death. They are sorted by first letter then by date. Records are not yet online.

    • Caroline
      Caroline commented
      Editing a comment
      Link added:

    • Christine in Herts
      Christine in Herts commented
      Editing a comment
      I have found this link for Paris records - this bit is, specifically, a BMD search, by Arrondissement and year (or record number, if you know it): It leads to images of the records in question. I had a quick look at the main list, but couldn't see it there.
      It's part of the Archives de Paris - in French, obviously. In hunting for a particular record, I have come across a couple of English- and USA-linked ones.

      Last edited by Christine in Herts; 15-03-18, 21:11.
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