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French Genealogy & Family History

Search for your French and French-Canadian ancestors in this collection of genealogy and family history databases and resources for France. Includes tutorials for researching French ancestors, suggestions for writing to France and translating French records, and information on civil records, parish registers and other French genealogical records.
  1. Planning Your Trip to Fr...
  2. French Records Online (4)
  3. French Language Translation

Genealogy in France
Learn how to research your French family tree with this guide to genealogical records in France. Includes information on both online and offline records including birth, marriage, death, census and church records, plus a letter writing guide and tips on sending research requests to France.

French Republican Calendar
Following the Revolution, France adopted a reformed calendar called the French Republican or French Revolutionary calendar, to replace the Gregorian calendar. Learn when the French Republican calendar was in use and how to understand and read months and dates written during this time.

French Civil Registration
Official civil recording of births, deaths and marriages in France began in 1792. Best of all, a good number of them are available for research online. Learn how and where to locate the birth, marriage and death records of your French ancestors with this handy guide.

Beginner's Guide to Researching Your French Ancestry
Genealogy research in France is easier than most people believe due to their excellent system of record keeping. Learn about major genealogical sources in France, including the information contained by the various records and how to obtain copies.

French Surname Meanings & Origins
Uncover the meaning of your French last name with this free guide to French surname meanings and origins. Includes links to related French genealogy resources.

How to Request French Genealogy Records by Mail
If you can't get in a visit to France to research your French ancestry, some archivists might be willing to look up a record for you. They are under no obligation to do so, but these tips will help increase your chance of success!

Model Letter for Requesting French Genealogy Records
A sample letter in French with fill in the blanks for your surnames and other pertinent information. Includes an English transcription for your understanding.

American-French Genealogical Society
Genealogical and historical society, located in Rhode Island, is primarily dedicated to people of French-Canadian descent.

Archives Départemental
Find addresses and other information for each of the archives in France.

Association Française de Généalogie
The French Association of Genealogy offers a wealth of information useful to people researching their French ancestry. In French.

Civil Registers in France
Read this excellent overview of the system of civil registration which has taken place in France since 1792, including information on birth, death and marriage records.

Family History Centers in France
Branch facilities in France provide access to most of the microfilms and microfiche of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to help patrons identify their ancestors.

Family History Library Catalog - France
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah has wonderful resources for French genealogy. Browse online through over 150 different genealogical topics, and then order the records you need through your local Family History Center.

France GenWeb
Excellent guide to French family history research includes sections for each departement and region. Some information available in English.

FrancoGene
Denis Beauregard maintains this wonderful guide to Franco-American and Franco-Canadian genealogy on the Internet. French version.

Geneactes
Search through free online databases of French civil and parish records (organized by departments), or use the online tools to add your own files for free! Available in English and French versions.

GeneaNet
Search this free database to find French family names prior to 1900 (with contact information) which have been submitted by fellow researchers. Some links lead to online family trees and/or databases. Click on the appropriate flag in the upper right-hand corner to view the site in languages other than French.

Guide Pratique de Généalogie en France
This guide to genealogy in France provides access to over 23.5 million indexed acts which are useful to genealogy researchers (such as birth, marriage, and death records) via subscription.

Images de la France d'Autrefois
Very neat old French picture postcards (over 80,000) which are searchable by locality. In French, but pictures speak for themselves. Select "Carte de France" to view the photos. The ability to save and download the images used to be free, but now requires payment and is not yet available in the U.S.

FamilySearch - French Letter Writing Guide
This guide is for researchers who don't speak French but must write in French to request genealogical records. It  includes sentences you may need in English and in French.

Genealogy Research Outline - France
An outstanding compilation of research strategies and resources that can help you learn more about your French ancestors. From FamilySearch.

Maps and Geography of France
Maps and other good geographical information for France and its cities, from About.com Geography Guide, Matt Rosenberg.

Parish Registers
An excellent overview of the system of Parish Registers (pre 1792 Church records) in France.

Bastille Day
Learn about Bastille Day, the French National Holiday, and how to research French ancestors who participated in this momentous event.

French Military Conscription Records (Registre Matricule)
Louis Volant, great-grandfather of J.K. Rowling, was awarded a Croix de Guerre for his bravery and courage during WWI. See his registre matricule (military conscription record) and learn more about his service to France, his injuries, and his valor.

French Military Conscription Records (Registre Matricule)
J.K. Rowling great up with stories of her great-grandfather, Louis Volant, and the Legion d'honneur he was awarded for his bravery in the battle of Verdun. A close look at the military record of Legion d'honneur recipient Louis François Alexandre Volant, however, reveals that he is likely a different Louis Volant altogether.

France Genealogy Records Online
France genealogy research is pretty easy to conduct online, with plenty of digitized records and genealogical databases available for viewing, browsing and searching on the Internet. Explore French birth, marriage and death records ( actes etat civil ), French census records ( recensements de population ) and French parish registers ( registres...

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