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Death Announcement Cards for Genealogy

Death 1 r

We explained here some time ago the meanings and types of Faire-parts, invitations or announcements of deaths, marriages or births, but mostly of deaths. We would make the death cards something of a sub-category of the faire-part as they do not invite one to a funeral but merely inform of a death and ask for prayers, as in the card above.

For genealogical purposes, they are a bit less useful than a funeral announcement, as they usually do not name relatives. They do, however, give:


  • The deceased's full name
  • A photograph or drawing of the deceased
  • The date of death
  • The place of death
  • In some cases, the deceased's profession

In the case of the card above, Louis Charles Joseph d'Halluin was the mayor of Quesnoy-sur-Deûle, in the department of Nord, where he died on the 12th of June 1884.

The reverse of the card is usually religious in nature, as can be seen here:

Death 1 v

Where to find these cards? Well, we picked up ours at various vide-greniers. Dozens are available for almost nothing on the French document vendors' website Delcampe. To search that website for a death card with your French ancestor's surname, scroll down the main page to the rubric Vieux papiers and click on it.

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Then, scroll down the categories list to Faire-part and click on décès:

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Then, type the surname you seek in the search box:

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We typed in the name Richelme, with the result of one card, for sale for two euros:

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Happy hunting!

©2017 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy