The Fichier Laborde is a card index and a true treasure for anyone researching their Parisian ancestors IF they were lucky enough for said ancestors to have been artists or crafts-persons. This index was made as a labour of love by the Marquis Léon de Laborde during the nineteenth century. He combed the parish and civil registrations of Paris of the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries for any relating to artists of al types and artisans. Crucially for modern researchers, he did this before the great torching of the Paris Hôtel de Ville in 1871, which burned over eight million records of Paris baptisms, marriages and burials. Concerning many persons, the Fichier Laborde is the only source of data about them and so, it is quite remarkable.
Laborde's definitions of artist or artisan were broad and include:
- Goldsmiths and silversmiths
- Metal founders
Now, the entire collection has been scanned and is on Gallica, eleven pages of volumes. As ever with Gallica, we find it extremely annoying that search results -- and the fichier is a good example -- can never be put in any logical order. These volumes are clearly numbered and contain alphabetical headings, so one would think that a national library, which surely ought to be something of an expert in alphabetization, could have come up with a system that could put items such as these in alphabetical and/or numerical order, but no. It is a mess, but a most valuable mess. It took the more precise and very hard working volunteers at Geneawiki to put the mess in order, so we recommend that you begin your search there.
Good luck finding your Parisian jeweller ancestor!
©2015 Anne Morddel