2017 Challenge A-Z
Italian Refugees in Marseille

Foreign-born French in Local Civil Registrations

Explorer

Some people simply do not trust the system, then blindly but in a different fashion, trust the system. So it is today -- we live in a time when people jettison logic, consistency and clarity (if they ever had it to jettison) to pick and choose only certain parts of the system they wish to follow -- and so it was a century or so ago, when some people, we have found, chose to trust one part of the system more than another. Our French examples today, however, show nothing worse than an odd, perhaps tribal, trust in the familiarity of local officialdom versus colonial or non-French officialdom. In both cases, people were living outside of France. They married and had children, events which were duly registered locally. Additionally, on returning to France, they registered the events a second time, something not at all required and rather rare.

Edouard Muller was from Alsace, born in Soultz in Haut-Rhin in 1842.1 He left the area. In 1871, when it was necessary for those from the area annexed by Prussia to opt for French nationality or lose it, he was in Paris and declared he was French.2 A year later, he posted marriage banns hoping to marry Marie Josephine Jesslen.3  Fate seems to have intervened for the couple seem not to have married right away. They went to Odessa. There, they had two children -- Léonide Amélie, in 1881,4 and Abgard Edouard,5 born in 1887 -- after which they finally married in 1890 (the groom was a widower; light dawns).6 The children were baptised in and the marriage took place in the Roman Catholic Church in Odessa. The events were duly registered with the French consul in Odessa.7 In 1892, twenty years after they first posted their banns, they were in Paris, where they had the births and marriage registered again (as transcriptions of the consular registrations), in the 4th arrondissement.

 Marie Marcellin Edouard Palmero was born in Toulon in 1819.8 He became and army engineer and worked in Reunion for many years, a point noted in all the registrations that follow. In Reunion, he married Eugénie Octavie Emma Advisse-Desrouisseaux in 1854.9 They had three children there: Emma Marie Secondine in 1855,10 Marie Celina in 186111 and Antoine Marie Jérôme in 1863.12 By the time he was granted his pension in 1868, he and his family were living in Toulon. In 1876, he died in nearby Hyères.13 Two months later, his widow presented court-approved and notarised copies of the Reunion registrations of their marriage and of their children's births to the civil registrations officer and had them entered into the register of Toulon. 

What is so interesting about these registrations is that they should not have been necessary, were not required and so, in all the genealogy books the cover such procedures, they are not mentioned. Yet, they are incredibly valuable, especially where originals may have been destroyed, as may have been the case with the church records of Odessa. The Muller family in Odessa had registered their marriage and births with the French consul in Odessa, so their French nationality was ensured. Why did they feel it necessary to do so again in Paris? The Palmero family's registrations had been in a French colony and their identities, too, were certain (though, given the death of Marie Marcellin Edouard Palmero just before the registrations, one can imagine that they may have been required by a cautious notaire handling his estate).

Finding these registrations is like any other search in civil registrations. Note that they are all transcriptions, that is, complete copies of the registrations made elsewhere into the local register. In the case of the Mullers, the transcriptions were entered into the ordinary birth and marriage registers of the 4th arrondissement of Paris. In the case of the Palmeros, Toulon maintained a separate register for transcriptions for each year. The officer would have placed the authenticated copy in the back of the register, but these have almost never been filmed and, in many cases, were discarded.

So, if you are researching a French ancestor who lived abroad and then returned to France, look at the local registers in the town where he or she lived in the years after returning to see if such transcriptions may not have been entered. They could be a very nice find, indeed.

 

©2017 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy

1 Haut-Rhin, "Registres d'état civil (1793-1892)" (Parish and civil registrations from 1793 to 1892), digital images, Archives départemental du Haut-Rhin, (http://archives.haut-rhin.fr/ : accessed 13 July 2017) for Commune de Soultz, Actes de naissances 1842-1852 (archive code 5E 472), entry no. 107, Edouard MULLER, 4 June 1842, access available online.

2 "Bulletin des lois de la République française", (French National Gazette), 1872, no. 212, p3792, digital images, Filae.com (https://www.filae.com/v4/genealogie/HomePage.mvc/Homepageconnected : accessed 13 July 2017), line no. 680, Option d'Edouard  MULLER (incorrectly indexed, giving his place of birth as Soultz-les-Bains, Bas-Rhin when it was Soultz, Haut-Rhin), access available online.

3 "Publications de Mariage des Paris et Banlieu" (Marriage Banns of Paris and its Suburbs), digital images, Filae.com (https://www.filae.com/v4/genealogie/HomePage.mvc/Homepageconnected : accessed 13 July 2017), Paris, Edouard MULLER et Maria Jesslen, 25 August 1872, access available online.

4 Paris, "Registres d'état civil (1860-1902)" (Civil registrations from 1860 to 1902), digital images, Archives de Paris, (http://archives.paris.fr/r/124/-at-civil-de-paris/ : accessed 13 July 2017) for 4e arrondissement, Actes de naissances 1892 (archive code V4E 5633 ), entry no. 1318, Léonide Amélie MULLER, 23 June 1892, access available online.

5 Paris, "Registres d'état civil (1860-1902)" (Civil registrations from 1860 to 1902), digital images, Archives de Paris, (http://archives.paris.fr/r/124/-at-civil-de-paris/ : accessed 13 July 2017) for 4e arrondissement, Actes de naissances 1892 (archive code V4E 5632 ), entry no. 742, Abgard Edouard MULLER, 15 April 1892, access available online.

6 Paris, "Registres d'état civil (1860-1902)" (Civil registrations from 1860 to 1902), digital images, Archives de Paris, (http://archives.paris.fr/r/124/-at-civil-de-paris/ : accessed 13 July 2017) for 4e arrondissement, Actes de mariages 1892 (archive code V4E 5676 ), entry no. 308, MULLER-JESSLEN, 19 April 1892, access available online.

7 Ibid. As is stated in each of the registrations.

8 Var, "Registres d'état civil (1793-1892)" (Parish and civil registrations from 1793 to 1892), digital images, Archives départemental du Var, (https://archives.var.fr/arkotheque/consult_fonds/index.php?ref_fonds=2 : accessed 13 July 2017) for Commune de Toulon, Actes de naissances 1819 (archive code 7E 146/80), entry no. 526, Marie Marcellin Edouard PALMERO, 28 June 1819, access available online.

9 Var, "Registres d'état civil (1793-1892)" (Parish and civil registrations from 1793 to 1892), digital images, Archives départemental du Var, (https://archives.var.fr/arkotheque/consult_fonds/index.php?ref_fonds=2 : accessed 13 July 2017) for Commune de Toulon, Transcriptions des Actes 1876 (archive code 7E 146/331), entry no. 38, PALMERO-ADVISSE DESROUISSEAUX, 29 July 1876, access available online. (The index to this record on Filae.com incorrectly gives the year as 1873.)

10 Var, "Registres d'état civil (1793-1892)" (Parish and civil registrations from 1793 to 1892), digital images, Archives départemental du Var, (https://archives.var.fr/arkotheque/consult_fonds/index.php?ref_fonds=2 : accessed 13 July 2017) for Commune de Toulon, Transcriptions des Actes 1876 (archive code 7E 146/331), entry no. 33, Emma Marie Secondine PALMERO, 20 July 1876, access available online. 

11 Var, "Registres d'état civil (1793-1892)" (Parish and civil registrations from 1793 to 1892), digital images, Archives départemental du Var, (https://archives.var.fr/arkotheque/consult_fonds/index.php?ref_fonds=2 : accessed 13 July 2017) for Commune de Toulon, Transcriptions des Actes 1876 (archive code 7E 146/331), entry no. 34, Marie Celina PALMERO, 20 July 1876, access available online. 

12 Var, "Registres d'état civil (1793-1892)" (Parish and civil registrations from 1793 to 1892), digital images, Archives départemental du Var, (https://archives.var.fr/arkotheque/consult_fonds/index.php?ref_fonds=2 : accessed 13 July 2017) for Commune de Toulon, Transcriptions des Actes 1876 (archive code 7E 146/331), entry no. 35, Antoine Marie Jérôme PALMERO, 20 July 1876, access available online. 

13 Var, "Registres d'état civil (1793-1892)" (Parish and civil registrations from 1793 to 1892), digital images, Archives départemental du Var, (https://archives.var.fr/arkotheque/consult_fonds/index.php?ref_fonds=2 : accessed 13 July 2017) for Commune de Hyères, Actes de décès 1876 (archive code 7E 73/60), entry no. 5, Marie Marcellin Edouard PALMERO, 29 May 1876, access available online.

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