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An Ancestor From Pondichéry?


We are enamoured of the euphonious and Pondichéry lures us with its syllabic charm alone, but it is of historical and genealogical interest to some of you, our Dear Readers. Historically, it was one of the five pockets that constituted French India, that thorn in the side of the Raj. Genealogically, it is a black hole at the moment, for the actes d'état civil, the civil registrations of birth, marriage and death, for some two hundred years of French presence, are not yet online at the excellent website of the Archives nationales d'outre mer (ANOM). On its superb search engine, IREL, one can find the actes d'état civil of many of France's ex-colonies, but not yet those of India. 

Our readers in India and those descended from Pondichérians under French rule may find it useful to know that the Société de l'histoire de l'Inde française, under the auspices of the French governor of the territory, Alfred Martineau, and working in the early twentieth century, published a listing of all of the births, marriages and deaths in Pondichéry from 1676 through 1784. They are presented in three volumes, with an alphabetical index at the end of the third volume. They can be viewed online at Gallica, and we give the links here:


Résumé des Actes de l

Résumé des Actes de l 



Résumé des Actes de l


Combine searching in these tomes with a search among the crew and passenger lists of the Compagnie des Indes and, perhaps, you will get very lucky.

©2012 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy

2014 Update: There is now a facebook page all about Pondichéry genealogy.