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Paris Funeral Announcements - Placards de Décès - Newly Online

Placard de deces

The placard de décès (which we explain in some detail here) was an announcement of a funeral or burial posted about town and was a mostly seventeenth and eighteenth century custom, before the later custom of the faire-part, which served the same purpose but, with the advent of a postal service, could be sent to individuals. In both cases, examples that survive can be very helpful in tracing relatives and are particularly valuable for research of families in Paris, where so many important documents have been lost.

One large collection of placards of Paris is in the Departmental Archives of Paris. The other is in the National Archives collection of Parisian notarial records, called the Minutier central des notaires de Paris. This latter collection is in fifty-five cartons which contain more than six thousand placards. Hitherto, they have been inaccessible due to their fragility. Now, they are available online on the website of the Salle des Inventaires Virtuelle of the Archives nationales. This really is wonderful. 

The placards can provide:

  • The name of the deceased
  • His profession
  • His or her address
  • His or her spouse
  • The date and cemetery of the burial
  • Relatives

The system is not perfect. Results are merely highlighted in a long list to the side, which is quite awkward to scroll. There are duplicates within the collection that can give false hope to the breathless researcher when the number of results is given and one discovers that a third are copies of some already seen. Nevertheless, the images are excellent (to see them, click firstly on a highlighted name, then on Consulter les archives numérisées associées) and this new resource will be a joy to those researching Parisian families.

We look forward to hearing of what you may find.

©2016 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy

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