Are you ready to go in circles of frustration in order to know if your ancestor used a Parisian notaire? Try ETAREP. In truth, it is a wonderful resource, but so badly set up that one must have a year of zen study before attempting it, which is why we have taken so long to write about it.
ETAREP is a website of the Archives nationales de France in Paris. The acronym stands for ETAT des REPertoires des notaires de Paris du XVIe siècle à nos jours. Recall that repertoires are the indices made by notaires to the many actes or documents that they wrote for their clients. Generally, the repertoires are chronological; occasionally, they are alphabetical. Notarial records are invaluable in French genealogy, but especially so when researching those ancestors who lived in Paris, for they at times prove to be the only source for information since the burning of the Paris Town Hall and all of its eight million records.
ETAREP provides access to more than 10,000 pages of the repertoires of the notarial records of the Parisian notaires held in the Archives nationales, but not to the actes themselves. Thus it is an index online to files that can be seen only by visiting the national archives. Nevertheless, the index is a wonderful way to see if your ancestors had a Parisian notaire write their wills, marriage contracts, inventories after death, etc. Once something is found in the index, you can then go to the archives and request to see the document.
One can search on:
- the notaire's name
- the number of the étude
- a date range
- the archives' code for the étude
- a specific form of repertoire, such as alphabetic
The creators of ETAREP have written an excellent, page-by-page, PDF explanation of how to conduct a search. Once you have the notaire, his étude, and the date, you can then look through the images for your ancestor's name.
Why the zen training? Because the site can be used ONLY with the most recent version of Internet Explorer (which eliminates Mac users) and ONLY with the free, outdated and no longer updated Adobe SVG Viewer. How this site will be updated is anyone's guess.
©2011 Anne Morddel