We spend a lot of time in the military archives at the Chateau de Vincennes (reflected in the brass above). In fact, it is one of our favourite research locales, being a bit fusty and tacky, in spite of its recent tarting up, and retaining an air of the bygone days during which lived the soldiers and sailors we research. Much as we love it, we had to miss the genealogy conference held there last month, during which the archives and their use to genealogists were described and explained.
Discussed were Italians in the records of the Hôtel des Invalides, military administrative records, and the many different locations of the military archives. Fortunately, the slides for two of the presentations have been put on the website of the Service Historique de la Défence (SHD) and we point them out to you, our loyal Readers.
The first discusses the archives at Pau of the military's administrative archives, the Bureau central d'archives administratives militarires de Pau, or BCAAM. These include not only military censuses but some colonial administration files.
The second is a very nice overview of genealogical resources in the military records of the SHD, with an explanation of what is available online: les ressources généalogiques du Service historique de la Défense et les inventaires disponibles en ligne. Since our post on military pension files, much more has been added.
Both go into some discussion of the expected opening this year of the facility at Pau to the public for research. (Which would be good news, as they seem to be swamped and tetchy when it comes to responding to postal requests.)
Good reading for those hunting ancestors in French uniform.
©2012 Anne Morddel