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Reincarnation in French Genealogy - Filae.com

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We have held off writing about this because we wanted to give it a proper try-out. We have spent the last week or so really putting Filae.com through its paces and really are so impressed. 

A couple of years ago, we were so fed up with the mess that was généalogie.com that we had some little rants here and here on the FGB. To be sure, not all of those problems mentioned there have been cleared up, but still...what a facelift!

The search pages and results pages are much easier to see and use. Sifting results is now possible using three categories:

  • Events / Evénements
  • Sources / Sources
  • Places / Lieux 

A perky little presentation is made by Stéphane Bern, a well-known royalty journalist in France with his own website on any and all royals of the world (where the difference between La France and the rest of the world is so evident on the "Boutique" page. No shoddy T-shirts with pictures of kings and queens or mugs or books, just a single box of elegant sweets on offer).

The real excitement about Filae comes from the fact that it has formed partnerships with some Departmental Archives and, rather excitingly, with at least one major municipal archive to present their parish and civil registrations online. Indexed. It is early days yet, but this is bringing us closer to the dream of many for a single index to all of the parish and civil registrations of France, from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. At the moment, those departments and the one city represented on the Filae website are:

  • Hautes-Alpes
  • Haute-Saône
  • Loir-et-Cher
  • Rhône
  • Savoie
  • Seine-Maritime
  • Touraine
  • Vendée
  • Yvelines
  • Lyon

These departments and the one city may be considered by some as traitors and by others as clever. For some years now, since at least 2010, the parent company of généalogie.com, Notre Famille (which now trades as Filae), had been fighting in courts to be able to present the same images of documents as the archives do on their own websites. To repeat what we explained here before, the commercial point of view has been that there is a market for such a unified index, while the genealogists of France have bemoaned that what has been free might no longer be so, as well as that the main source of income for genealogy associations has been their printed booklets of painstakingly extracted data from millions of parish and civil registrations. Because of this last point, even the august Fédération Française de Généalogie strongly opposed this commercialisation of the nation's heritage, as it has been put so often.

A few years down the road and it is clear that Toussaint Roze, the founder, has not and will not give up. The websites of the Departmental Archives remain free and some of them are encouraging collaborative indexing. The genealogy associations have not (yet) disappeared and have embraced the Internet as a new way to sell access to their extracts, on Bigenet, on GeneaBank, on Geneanet and yes, on Filae.

Tell us what you think.

©2017 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy