In researching Jewish families of Paris, the Consistoire de Paris provides a unique resource. Before going, one should have all possible états civils and other documentation about births, marriages and deaths. This will greatly aid in using the archives of the Consistoire. The holdings include:
- register books of marriages in Paris synagogues tied to the Consistoire from 1822 onwards; these will give the name of the Rabbi officiating, at which synagogue the marriage took place and, often, whether it was a charity wedding;
- register books of burials, from 1882 onwards; in addition to the name of the deceased, the age, address, and hour of burial, these give, most importantly the name of the cemetery, allowing one to then go to find the grave;
- names from the lists of various censuses of Jewish people in Paris
- there are also a number of publications which have extracted information from the above censuses and register books, in particular, the book entitled "Relevé des Ketoubot au Consistoire de Paris, 1872-1884" by Veronique Cahen.
The Consistoire is located in the 9th arrondissement in a building with high security. To use the archives, one must telephone first and make an appointment. On arrival, one is escorted to the reading room, where there are no archives, but the shelves contain 100 years of L'Univers Isréalite (see a sample copy on the internet archive here ) and of Archives Isréalites (see a sample copy on Wikimedia commons here ). One must explain what is being researched and the appropriate volumes will be fetched from the nether regions and brought forth. The gentleman who does the fetching will also suggest other research possibilities. Photographs of the registers are permitted; photocopying is not. We had a very successful research day, finding the cemeteries where a number of the people we have been researching are buried. Afterward, we took many photos of the graves that still exist.
Archives du Consistoire de Paris
17-19, rue Saint Georges
telephone: (+33) 1 49 70 88 00
website : www.consistoire.org
©2009 Anne Morddel