We owe apologies to you all, Dear Readers. We have been remiss. We thought we had all ready told you about ETANOT when we put up the post about ETAREP last month, but one of you wrote to us in bewilderment, revealing our negligence. We are abject. We redress, pronto.
ETANOT is an online list of all of the notaires of Paris from the fifteenth century to the present day. The name is a clumsy acronym (aren't they all, these days?) for ETAt des NOTaires. It is maintained by the staff at the Archives nationales, where the Paris notairial files are stored. It is a wonderful tool for the first steps of delving into the world of Parisian notairial records. Because the archives store all of the files chronologically within the étude, which is known by number only (which is always written in Roman numerals), and because individuals refer to their documents as being with a particular notaire, a guide that connects a notaire with an étude is crucial: voilà ETANOT.
The initial page of the site explains it and gives credit where due. We always rush to the search box at the top:
One can choose to search for a specific étude, if the number be known, for the notaire by name, for an étude by address, and by two other quite importamt criteria: by area of Paris (sector géographique) and by historic period. Often, documents will mention a notaire's name and address, but not the étude. Or, perhaps you do not have a document but are certain that there should be one and wish to find the études that were functioning in your ancestor's neighbourhood when he or she lived there. This can be done with ETANOT.
Use ETANOT to find the possible étude and notaire. Then, use ETAREP to search the indices of documents made during the years of interest for your ancestor's name. That is as far as is possible to go via the internet at the moment, which is actually very far. With the details found in ETAREP, you must then go to the Archives nationales to see the document, or acte, the notaire wrote for your ancestor.
©2011 Anne Morddel