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French Jewish Genealogy - Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants

Book Review - Petit Guide de Généalogie

Petit Guide cover small

 This is a livre de jeunesse, a children's book, though not for very young ones. Less than one hundred pages, including the table of contents and index, it is divided into two parts. The first is a very simple guide to genealogical research in France, a "first steps" guide. The second half is a collection of stories revealed via research. As one would expect with a children's book, there are plenty of illustrations, both drawings and photographs. The mildly technical first half is enlivened with a few cartoons, as seems de rigeur whenever formulae or procedures are to be learned. (We imagine that students by now know that a jokey cartoon immediately means a dull text and do not read either. So much for pedagogical theory.)

Why do we recommend this book to you our erudite and presumably adult readers? Because it is exclusively about Breton genealogy. Every example of a document is a Breton document, every map and address is of Bretagne, and every single one of the stories is about Bretagne:

  • Much discussion of just what defines a Breton and where the boundaries of the true Bretagne should be drawn
  • Peddlers from Auvernge who invaded Bretagne
  • Bretons in Acadia and the story of Belle-Ile
  • Spanish republican refugees in Bretagne
  • Breton emigration within France and around the world: Argentina, Canada, the United States
  • Breton schools
  • Breton soldiers

For anyone with Breton ancestors to research, we are certain that there will be in this book one or two helpful points not yet discovered. For anyone wishing to share Breton history and culture with a young person, this is  a cheery little beginning.


Petit Guide de Généalogie : une Enquête à Mener, des Histoires à Raconter

Roger Bossard and Hervé Peaudecerf

Editions Skol Vreizh

ISBN 978-2-915623-66-6


©2010 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy