Receiving FGB Posts

Dear Readers,

You may have noticed that you do not receive anymore our new posts in your e-mail inboxes. The service that organized that no longer exists. We have tried alternative services without success. Additionally, we have cancelled our accounts with facebook and Twitter, so no notices of posts have been going out that way.

We have decided that we will send links to new posts via Patreon. A membership to support the blog costs just 1€ per month. This means that only Patreon supporters will receive news of a post. In essence, the blog remains free but a subscription that informs you of new posts will cost one euro per month. If you do not wish to pay for a subscription, you can still check the blog pages regularly to read new posts for free,. However, your support would be greatly appreciated and would help to keep the blog uncluttered by advertisements. You can subscribe to the blog on Patreon here:

Thank you all for your continued support of The FGB.


Ancestors From Alsace? - Share Their Story With Others Around the World

Alsace Ancestors

We have touted, in the past, the very fine blog Généalogie Alsace, sharing their posts and encouraging any of you who have ancestors from Alsace to read that blog regularly. Once again, the writers are attempting something very interesting. They have put out a call to all those around the world to share their stories of their Alsatian ancestors. You can read some of the stories here.

The blog authors are preparing a series of posts on emigration from Alsace, which they plan to publish in November as their contribution to the big French genealogy bloggers event, "Challenge AZ". That requires one post per day for the month, so the authors will be keen to know your story. They will not simply reproduce your story. They will do some genealogical research about your ancestor to be able to present as full a story as possible. That, surely, is a very nice gift to you in exchange, non?

If you would like to submit your Alsatian ancestor story, have it be considered for the ChallengeAZ, and perhaps have help with your research, write to the authors here. You may write in any language, sending full documents, even illustrations and photographs. This really could be a golden opportunity for some of you!


©2023 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy

War and the Mad Rush to Marry - August 1914

Mad Rush to Marry

It is late May, the time when, traditionally, many French couples were looking forward to Summer or Autumn weddings. The dress, the flowers, the long trestle tables in the garden, the organization of cooking for three days of feasting, the sleeping arrangements for the visiting relatives, all this occupied minds as the weather grew hotter and people grew more anticipatory.

The Summer of 1914 was different, of course. War was declared in August and the men in the reserves were called to serve. In the panic, thousands of couples rushed to the City Halls and Town Halls and married. Snooty French historians surmise that all were living in "concubinage" and merely wanted to regularize things, especially ensuring a wife could claim a pension (not that it was much) before the men went off to die.

We have noticed what seems to have been another impulse for these rushed marriages: citizenship. Pick the marriage register of any Parisian arrondissement in August of 1914 and look at the names. Many are Germanic. Looking at the places of birth, many people were from Alsace-Lorraine, which was then a part of Germany. For those people, their country of birth had just started a war with their country of residence. They could not know if Germans would be expelled from France, or rounded up and sent to camps, or if, should Germany invade, they would be seen as traitors. Marriage to a French national in France would guarantee some security; at least it is clear that many thought so.

This discovery came about because we were unable to find the marriage of a woman from Alsace in that region at all. She did not marry in her place of birth, her place of residence, or even the place given on her engagement announcement, printed in July of 1914. What she did, when war was declared, was rush to Paris, where her fiancé was living and where they married right away. Soon after, she applied for French citizenship and was able to remain in France for the rest of her life. 

Bear this in mind should you be researching a marriage at just that time. It could have been in a rush and in an unexpected place. Your search will be a bit complicated by the fact that not many of the marriage registers for that year have been digitized yet. You may have to guess a location (where did the wife live during the war? Where did the couple live after the war? If at least one person marrying was born in France, look at the marriage marginal note on the birth register entry) and request a copy of the marriage register entry the old-fashioned way, by post.

©2023 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy


Read more about Alsace-Lorraine here.


A Snapshot of Post-War France - the 1946 Census

1946 census

Dear Readers, thank you so much for your many messages of concern and support. We are well, recovering from yet another surgery and limping our way back to as normal a life as possible. As those of us who are passionate about genealogy tend to do, we have been spending much of our recuperation gazing at census returns from the past (so much more interesting than reality shows, don't you think?) We have been looking at page after page of peoples' lives, the details whispered not shouted, a community's interactions, liaisons, failures and successes revealed, but only to those who take the time to study and reflect upon the information in the returns.

The census of 1946 in France, just a few months after the end of the Second World War, we have discovered, is a wonder. There was no census in 1941, so the most recent was 1936. The difference in the ten years is, of course, dramatic. One can see which people returned from the war and which did not. Some towns, such as Villeneuve-Saint-Denis, listed the German prisoners of war who had been put to work there. (These prisoners were either in camps or put to work on farms or in mines. You can learn more about how to research them here.) 

Communities of foreigners, perhaps refugees, can also be seen. The village of Fublaines had a number of Belgians.  That of Jouy-le-Châtel had many Polish people.

Not all departmental archives have digitized the 1946 census yet and not all towns included in their enumerations the prisoners of war. Still and all, if you are researching someone in post-war France, this census can be very useful, indeed.

©2023 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy

Napoleon's Law on Children's Names


The English section of Radio France presents a regular podcast "Spotlight on France". It gives pithy and perky summaries of the events of the day, with occasional fillers of historical or cultural interest. A recent edition contains something of interest to French genealogists: a discussion of Napoleon's 1803 law on what people could name their children.

Coincidentally (or not?) the law was passed on the 1st of April and remained in effect for one hundred fifty years before it was relaxed a tad. It was not until 1993 that, at long last, parent could name their children what they pleased, with the courts intervening only if they deemed that the name were not "in the interest of the child". (Such names as "Ugly", for example, or "9X", which do make one reflect, not on the courts' intervention into family life, but on some peoples' idea of parenthood.) 

You can hear the podcast here. The portion concerning the law on names begins at at thirteen minutes and eight seconds (13:08). 

Some years ago, we wrote our own post upon the subject and we give that again :

Historically, the French have been very strict about naming. It is permitted to change a name legally, but very difficult, and only with a very good reason. Even when one does, every single official document about one gives one's name as "Monsieur X, who changed his name from Y...." One might as well not have bothered.

Forty per cent of all French surnames are religious, falling into general groupings, as determined by the authors of the Grand Dictionnaire des Noms de Famille (éditions Ambre, 2002)

• Biblical names, such as Adam, Daniel, Gabriel, Levy, or Salomon
• The evangelists' or apostles' names or Mary and Joseph, such as Jacques, Andrieu, Pierre, Marie, Joseph, Lucas, Marc
• Names of saints that may have Germanic, Greek, of Latin origins, such as Arnaud, Lambert, Nicolas, Vidal, or Clément
• Names of religious occupations, such as Clerc or Moine
• Names of religious festivals, such as Noël or Toussaint
• Names of pilgrimages, such as Pelerin
• Names of religious places such as Chapelle
• There are also surnames of a religious nature given to nameless foundlings such as Dieudonné, meaning God-given.

If surnames have been influenced by religion, first names have been even more so, and that religious influence was used by the government for its own purposes. Humorous stories abound of parish priests who imposed the name of a favourite saint upon every child, with generations of children having the name Martin or Martine. No priest would baptize a child who did not have a Christian name. The rigidity was continued by the officers in charge of entries into birth registers. As late as the 1970s, an acquaintance of ours tried to register the birth of his daughter Pénélope. The officer at the Mairie refused to accept the name because it did not comply with the 1803 law. Our acquaintance was stunned but possessed a formidable amount of French dudgeon and won the day; so Pénélope she is.

Some names were not permitted on the grounds of their not being French. The civil government extended the custom of the priests' limiting of names in order to prevent any child having a name from the suppressed language of lower Brittany. Breton names such as Aezhur or Tangi were not accepted by either priest for baptism or clerk for acte de naissance. The parents had to choose another name. Today, though Breton is still not recognized as a language by the French government (read here an in-depth CNN article on the subject of the Breton language's struggle for survival) such Breton names as Yannick and Annick are beginning to be heard again. 

©2023 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy

Fire at the Bordeaux City Hall - the Municipal Archives Are Safe

Singed signPhoto ©SudOuest


By now, Dear Readers, you may have noticed that things are somewhat disruptive here in France. In case you are not aware, we are experiencing many days of strikes called by many unions in protest against two things:

  1. A new law to change the age of retirement from sixty-two to sixty-four. It also will change how pensions are calculated and will reduce the pensions of many, especially women.
  2. The way that the law was passed, without a vote in the National Assembly, but by using an article in the Constitution that empowers the Prime Minister to declare the law passed. When this article, known as 49.3, is used, it is automatically permitted for the National Assembly to request a vote of no confidence in the government. Two such requests were made and neither was passed. So the law was.

The protests and strikes have been going on for a number of weeks. Perhaps the most tedious aspect for those in Paris is that the rubbish has not been collected. Not only are the mountains of bin bags high and most odoriferous, but the rat population has joyously exploded, with exultant and grateful rats visible in parks, on roads, in the Mètro tunnels and scrambling over the rubbish mountains.

Then things got more violent, and this is probably what you may have seen in news reports. Protestors throwing molotov cocktails and corrosive acid at police, police beating protestors with batons and worse. In France, one never witnesses such things without immediately thinking of the Revolution and the Paris Commune. In the latter, as we have explained here often, the Paris City Hall, with all of the city's hundreds of years of parish registers, was torched and completely destroyed.

Hotel de VillePhoto © Archives de Paris

Bordeaux has had her own loss of records, when the port archives, which could have been so useful to researchers of passenger lists, were destroyed by a fire, as we wrote here. In the protests this week, the people of Bordeaux and those researching their Bordeaux ancestors nearly missed another such loss. As the marchers chanted their rage at the government in front of the City Hall, some of them were seen to place wooden pallets and bags of rubbish against the grand eighteenth century doors and set them alight. The flames raged very high. For the genealogists amongst us who know that the building houses the more recent civil registers of the city (not the older archives, which are in the Municipal Archives of Bordeaux,) this was a moment of dread. 

Be reassured, Dear Readers, it was only the doors to the courtyard that were damaged, and the fire was extinguished within fifteen minutes, so they were not utterly destroyed. No part of the archives was damaged. Arrests have been made; the perpetrators appear to have been teen-aged boys. The City Council are considering bringing charges against the mayor for not having provided better security. The next day of strikes and protest marches is planned for Tuesday. Let us hope that there will be no violence or fires.


A Reader Asks for Help

Alt Strasburg

We have received an unusual plea, Dear Readers. Perhaps one of you may wish to respond. If so, contact us and we will relay your interest. 

"My brother did extensive genealogical research on our family, concentrating on the branch from Alsace Lorraine, especially Saint Quirin. He died recently and I am investigating whether his research could be useful to others. His records are hand-written and include at least 2000 pages, all unindexed. We suspect that much of his work may have been done before so many archives and records became available on the Internet. This part of the collection, perhaps thirty per cent, would be obsolete. He also wrote many articles about his research findings, and had, on his numerous visits to France, copied documents that are not available online. This part of the collection is what we would like to share with other researchers.

We are hoping to find someone with significant knowledge of Alsace Lorraine genealogy and genealogical resources to go through this material. We would like an analysis of what to make available to other researchers and how to do so. We would like the material to be indexed and put in a logical order so that it may be easily used by others. As it would be impossible to scan this entire archive for online work, it is essential that this person be based in or near New York City and able to work with the physical archive. "

Having Trouble With the Côtes-d'Armor Departmental Archives Website?

Bad Day

We have heard from Madame T and a couple of others that the website of the Departmental Archives of Côtes-d'Armor are not working properly, nay, are blocked, for users outside of France. She reports that, from this screen, showing links to all digitized, online records of the archives:


C d A

when she selects parish records, she repeatedly is taken to this Screen of Torment:


C d A blocked

This does not happen when we use the site from our computer here in the nether regions of France. The intrepid Madame T managed to contact the Archives départementales des Côtes-d'Armor and received a reply (quite an achievement, that). They explained that they have locked online access to parish records from outside France for security reasons. This is the first that we have heard of such a xenophobic blockage. Madame T, never one to accept defeat, writes that she found the necessary parish registers on FamilySearch.

Have any of you, Dear Readers, found this on other websites of Departmental Archives? If so, were the records then found on FamilySearch?

Do let us know.

Many thanks to Madame T for this report.

©2023 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy


Black History Month - The 1807 census of People of Colour in France

1794 Abolition of SlaveryImage credit*


France, like other countries, does not have a stellar past in its relationship to slavery and people of colour. In 1794, during the heady days of the Revolution, the law of 16 pluviôse An II, abolished slavery throughout the French colonies. In 1802, when Napoleon, described by some historians as a "nègrophobe",  was First Consul, he reinstated slavery with a series of decrees. Further laws concerning people of colour were increasingly restrictive.

On the 2nd of July 1802, the Consulate passed the order of 13 messidor An X, which said that no foreign people of colour ("noir, mulâtre, ou autre gens de couleur") could enter France under any circumstances; additionally, except for those in the service of France, no people of colour from the colonies could enter continental France without specific permission from the authorities; finally, any people of colour who entered France in violation of this decree would be detained and deported. This began a new phase of documenting people of colour in France.

13 messidor An XLa Gazette nationale ou le Moniteur universel, 1 October 1802, p. 2, Retronews

(We touched on this in an older post but have since learned more of the history, especially the 1807 census of Black people in France.)

At the same time, the order of 29 May 1802 (9 prairial An 10) was passed, establishing three auxiliary companies of Black men, under white officers, in the French Army, one to be based in the south and two on the Atlantic coast.

9 prairial An X

La Gazette nationale ou le Moniteur universel, 1 October 1802, p. 2, Retronews

By 1807, what with all of Napoleon's campaigns, more men were needed for the army, many more. In part to find more Black men for the auxiliary companies, in part to identify and maintain surveillance of all people of colour in France, something of a census of people of colour within France was ordered. All of the prefects throughout the country made lists of the people of colour within their jurisdictions, such as this that we found in the Departmental Archives of Gironde.

1807 census in LibourneArchives départementales de la Gironde

1807 LibourneArchives départementales de la Gironde

The census was completed by October of 1807 and the prefects' lists sent to Paris. They survive in the Archives nationales, in series F7 8075. A few studies of them have been written, especially by Erick Noël, Julie Duprat and Olivier Caudron. We have not seen this collection but, if the prefects' lists are all like the one shown above, and the collection is as substantial as reported, representing a true census of people of colour in First Empire France, surely they are an important resource and need to be made available online. We hope that the reproduction department at the archives will take note. Perhaps this could be one of the projects to be sponsored by the Foundation for the Remembrance of Slavery.

Should we be able to get there ourself one day, we promise to report on it here.

© 2023, Anne Morddel

French Genealogy





Image credit: 

Image credit


FGB Free Clinic - Case no. 9 - Marie Fouyol, Parisian wife of Thomas Mansell, part 11 - Fanny Mansell's Sampler


From Monsieur E, we have received the most astonishing of responses to our series attempting to identify Marie Fouyol. He sends us a beautifully told and well-researched study of a lovely sampler by Marie Fouyol's daughter. Read on.

Fanny Mansell’s sampler of 1818

Recently I followed a link to Anne Morddel’s wonderfully helpful French Genealogy Blog and soon came upon her ten-part series of blogposts on her quest for records of Thomas Mansell, the Yorkshire weaver detained at Fontainebleau and then in Paris when renewed conflict between England and France erupted in 1803, and his French wife Marie Fouyol.

I was greatly excited by this because, some years ago, I purchased at an antiques show in Canada a textile sampler (marquoir) made in France by Joséphine Fanny Mansels (sic) in 1818 at the age of seven. The dealer thought it was French Canadian, and somewhat unusual for that reason. [Salahub] But upon doing some research I soon identified Fanny as Thomas Mansell’s daughter, the later Mrs. Greig, and realized her story was a lot more complicated. The wording on the sampler records, in French, the day they left Paris, which she evidently added later. This is the only sampler I have seen that records an act of migration. As it was produced in Paris under French influence it differs from English samplers in a number of respects. And it introduces some new hints about the family’s life in France.

Samplers originated as exemplars: oblong pieces of cloth bearing sample stitches as teaching and memory aids for young seamstresses. Over the course of the eighteenth century they became more ornamental: a demonstration of a young girl’s accomplishments and something to be framed rather than kept in a drawer for reference. Sometimes a series of samplers was produced as a girl gained in knowledge and experience [Mouillefarine 88]; usually only the last was retained once her training was complete. As many were produced in schools and female academies, they reflect standardized motifs typical of their time and place as well as occasional unique elements specific to the maker.

Some scholars view samplers as a form of life writing or autobiography. This viewpoint has been popularized by a spate of articles about an unusually introspective English sampler from the 1830s consisting of the textual lamentations of a servant girl who had been abused by an employer. [e.g. Flower, Pezzoli-Olgiati] Samplers in the English tradition tend to be more didactic than introspective. Many contain moralistic verses derived from books of instruction for children, but most are personalized to the extent of naming the maker of the textile, and stating her age and the date it was made. A location is also fairly standard, and less often the name of the school or instructor under whose direction the child produced the item. Samplers reveal or at least suggest information about the creator’s education and values: or at least the values which the instructor sought to inculcate.

Typically of early 19th century French examples, Fanny Mansell’s sampler was worked in silk threads on linen using cross-stitch. [Pouchelon 5, 108] Her sampler tells us nothing overtly about its creation – she names no school or teacher – but as is typical it gives her name and age and the year. But the text is in French, and the conventions of the sampler are culturally more French than English. Though French samplers are less likely to include moralistic or religious verses than English ones, they are more likely to include religious symbols. Fanny’s resembles other French samplers from the First Empire and Restoration in using an alphabet based on the Encylopédie of Diderot and d’Alembert and featuring discreet Catholic religious symbols and naïve flowers and animals, [Mouillefarine 48] with about 80% of the space devoted to the motifs. [Pouchelon 108]

The top row begins with the monogram of Jesus in blue: IHS with a cross atop the crossbar of the H, but with the S reversed. To the left of the alphabet is an outlined cross atop a stepped base. The alphabet commences, as in most French samplers, with a small cross with equal arms called the Croix de par Dieu:  Sampler historian Catherine Pouchelon explains that a French child reciting the alphabet began by making the sign of the cross and, following the Encyclopédie, model alphabets included the symbol as a reminder to the student. [Pouchelon 91-94]

While many French samplers from this period feature a centrally-placed altar, Fanny’s centres a monstrance (a stand incorporating a glazed shrine for displaying the host) below the alphabet but omits the altar. Above it two birds face a crown, as in an example from c.1814 [Pouchelon 110]. An 1819 example [Mouillefarine 66] similarly shows a crown above the monstrance but flanked by lions instead of birds. Even lacking the lions the crown may reference the Bourbon restoration of 1814. The monstrance in Fanny’s sampler is smaller than many of the other motifs. To the right below her name are five small tools. The third may be an arrow, the fifth a pair of tongs or pincers. If these are intended to represent the instruments of the Passion, a common set of symbols on French samplers, they are given a fairly token presence. Various potted plants dominate, with a few small birds and animals and in the bottom row a windmill, ship, and table-and-chairs, common motifs in samplers of the era.

The alphabet is in blue, with only a few letters having both capital and lower-case letters: Aa, Cc, Mm Nn Qq. The capital Q interestingly is in English form but with the tail pointing left, rather than resembling a backwards P following the Encyclopédie. As in most French alphabets there is no W. Z is followed by an ampersand and the numbers 1 through 10. In the texts toward the bottom of the sampler Fanny employs mostly lower case letters in recording her name and age (also in blue) but with upper case D and G (the lower case letters for which are lacking from her alphabet). But she makes liberal use of the lower case e despite not recording an exemplar in her alphabet. And again we find a reversed capital S. She is careful to include the accent on the “e” where appropriate, something her teacher may have emphasized. In recording her departure from Paris, in red, she employs all capitals apart from in the opening word “quiter”. Her arrival in England is added in white using mixed characters, omitting an “r” from “ARIVé” and abbreviating the month “Juillet” to “Jet”.

Despite the muted Catholic symbolism and the attempt at an anglo capital Q, Fanny’s sampler suggests she was raised in the Parisian cultural milieu of her mother – French and Catholic – rather than in a self-isolating English émigré community. In the 1901 census of Carleton Place, Ontario, Fanny stated her mother tongue as French, again suggesting she was raised and educated in a French Catholic environment. As her father seems to have been illiterate, this should not surprise.

Needlework was an integral part of girls’ education whatever their social rank, whether that education was formal or informal, though the formal education of girls in France lagged behind that in England. From practical exemplar to demonstration of accomplishment, learning this dexterous manual work was integrated with other types of knowledge. While some girls may have been instructed by their mothers, the samplers resulting would likely be less elaborate than those that were worked under the tutelage of a skilled needlewoman.

We have a clue to the possible identity of her instructor. Fanny’s godmother at the time of her baptism in 1814 at the age of two years and two months was Joséphine Thomassin, Mme. Cartier, a chamareuse [Morddel parts 2 and 6], one who decorates clothing with trimmings, lace, and braid. [Reymond n.p.] This implies that Thomassin made her living through sewing rather than embroidery and indeed chamareuse was accounted a humble occupation. But Mme Cartier was able to sign her name capably, and she may have worked below her skill level. Anne has traced Thomassin’s background, found record of her marrying Jean Baptiste Joseph Cartier in 1802, living in rue du Petit Lion Saint Sauveur, and having children in 1810 and 1812. While she has not tracked her beyond 1813 when she stood godmother to Françoise Joséphine Mansell (who likely took her middle name from her), the fact that her death has not turned up makes it plausible that she was still living in 1818 when Fanny made her sampler.

It is interesting that though she was baptized as Françoise Joséphine, she stitched her name as Joséphine Fanny Mansels, including the proper accent on the e but giving the name by which she was known, Fanny rather than Françoise. That she spelled Mansels with an s adds another spelling to the list of variants associated with documents relating to her English father, who was stated in French baptismal records as unable to sign.

The sampler includes an unusual biographical element in recording the date Fanny left Paris (April 1, 1819) and the day she reached her destination (July 20), presumably where members of the wider family were then living in Yorkshire. This was perhaps Strensall just northeast of York, where Thomas’s brother Robert lived in 1809, and where his brother John married in 1817. More likely Thomas joined his mother at Nunnington, in Ryedale, 21 km north. Here his father George had acquired a freehold by 1807 (having returned to his parish of birth) and had died in 1816. His widow Frances died there in 1829.

The information about the return from Paris appears to have been added later. The move is dated a year after the sampler itself, and the text breaks the symmetry, as for that matter does Fanny’s signature, which intrudes into the bottom tier of motifs. It is as if the idea of signing the sampler occurred as it was nearing completion, and even later the details of her travels were inserted in a small space remaining to the left.

Fanny understood the significance of leaving France, and gave it a permanent record here, and thus far this is the only record discovered of the precise dates of the family’s departure and arrival. She did not record their destination, but she did not have the space, and perhaps she thought they would be remaining there. Later changes to samplers are not unknown but they are unusual. Several authors refer to samplers in which the age or year have been unpicked later in life in an attempt to conceal a woman’s age. [Scott 47] Leaving Paris, journeying to England, and settling in rural Canada was also a major cultural shift for Marie Fouyol. Living in an Anglophone milieu, in localities where the Catholic minority was mostly Irish, she became Mary and appears to have made no attempt to retain her Catholicism. (Though recorded as Church of England in 1861 and in her death certificate, in the 1871 census the space for her religion was left blank: her son Alfred was Anglican but his wife was a Scot and she and the children were Presbyterians.) Did Fanny’s sampler move with her to Carleton Place, or 120 km north to Westmeath where Mary lived with Alfred? Hanging in either parlour, as it likely did, it was a tangible reminder of an earlier and very different life.

The story was not forgotten as Fanny’s gravemarker in the Auld Kirk Cemetery near Almonte, Ontario, records her birth in Paris, and the story is recounted in somewhat more detail in her newspaper obituary.[Morddel part 1] There are one or two factual errors due to the story being recounted by one of her children rather than by Fanny herself. Her younger brother Alfred was not born in England, as her obituary suggests, but rather in Elizabethtown Township near the St Lawrence River before the family relocated 90 km north to Ramsay. In the 1901 census Alfred gave his birthdate as April 28, 1821, and his death certificate states his place of birth as Elizabethtown. [Ont. d. cert. 1907/027101] This is consistent with Fanny’s obituary stating that the family lived at first near Brockville, though they may not have resided there all of the four years it claims.

Select bibliography

    • Flower, Chloe. “Wilful Design: The Sample in Nineteenth-Century Britain”, Journal of Victorian Culture 21, no. 3 (2016): 301-21
    • Lukacher, Joanne Martin. Imitation and Improvement: The Norfolk Sampler Tradition. Redmond, WA: In the Company of Friends, 2013
    • Morddel, Anne. French Genealogy Blog, Free Clinic, Case no. 9: Marie Fouyol, Parisian wife of Thomas Mansell (10 parts).
    • Mouillefarine, Laurence. Les Marquoirs Anciens de Catherine Pouchelon. Éditions Mango Pratique, Cahier du Collectionneur, 2005
    • Pezzoli-Olgiati, “’As i cannot write I put this down simply and freely’: Samplers as a Religious Material Practice,” Journal for religion, film, media 7, no. 1 (2021): 95-122
    • Pouchelon, Catherine. Abécédaires Brodés du Modèle a l’ouvrage. Paris: Les Éditions de l’Amateur, 2001
    • Reymond, Paul. Dictionnaire des Vieux Métiers. Paris: Brocéliande
    • Salahub, Jennifer E. Quebec Samplers: ABCs of embroidery. Montreal: McCord Museum of Canadian History, 1994
    • Scott, Rebecca. Samplers. Botley, Oxford: Shire Publications, 2009


Thank you so much Monsieur E!

©2023 Monsieur E

French Genealogy

Online Studies for French Genealogy

Seine lady

Well, Dear Readers, after a long period of convalescence from a variety of complaints, we have returned. During our inactivity, we attempted to use our time wisely and the Internet heavily to further our genealogy education.* What we first learned, to our distress, is that there is a lot of rubbish out there. We listened to the beginnings of a number of online lectures, talks, webinars and such, but had to stop most of them before the end because we could not endure another minute of bad grammar or downright inaccuracy.

We did find a few odds and ends that were useful and we share them with you here:

  • One of the very best talks on Huguenots is by Justine Berlière: "Comment suivre un ancêtre huguenot hors de France après 1685". For those of you who do not speak French, do not feel daunted by the fact that the talk is entirely in that language, nor by the fact that the sound quality is not of the best. The charts presented and websites suggested are very easy to understand and we found that this talk proposed a number of hitherto not discussed avenues of French research into Protestants and Huguenots.
  • For pithy and cheerful blog posts on the French Revolution and the eighteenth century in France, we suggest the blog Rodama. The writing is clear and the facts are correct. At times, the authors cover topics useful to genealogical research, relating to the documentation produced, such as the post on cartes de surêté, which we mentioned briefly here.
  • There is a large amount of unpublished, superb research on French history and on some families in doctoral theses. If you read French, it is well worth studying the catalogue of them all on the website of the National Centre for the Reproduction of PhD Theses. Reproductions can be ordered. Irritatingly, most reproductions are in the archaic form of microfiche, but there are many companies that can digitize the microfiche for you.
  • Continuing with theses, the Ecole nationale des Chartes has published many of their students' theses online. That school is one of the grandes écoles, which we explained here.
  • For lighter reading and a quite entertaining discussion of genealogical research, we recommend Dan Leeson's little essay.

*Continuing education is an important part of maintaining one's BCG certification, something we usually hope to be able to do. One can find an excellent page on general genealogy education on the BCG website here. Recall that for courses specific to French genealogy it is possible to purchase our own here.

The next post is to be a rather exciting guest post resulting from our very long Free Clinic search for the identity of Marie Fouyol. As we continue our slow recovery, we welcome submissions of guest posts from you, Dear Readers.

©2023 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy