Post by Hot Air Balloon During the Siege of Paris
Read Our Article in the March Issue of BBC WDYTYA Magazine

The French Immigrants in South America - A Labour of Love


It has been some time since we have written about the Archives Diplomatiques and explained how the French consulates and embassies registered births, marriages and deaths abroad. More recently, we described our visit to the now closed (to the public) centre at Nantes. The difficulty for researchers has been that this rich resource can only be mined on location, not on the Internet, until now, for those fortunate enough to be researching French ancestors who went to South America.

Working two days a week, every week, over a period of seven years, Ms. Josette Solan filmed the registers of French citizens made at the French embassies and consulates in Latin America. She took over 57,000 photographs, of which more than 45,000 are available online at the website, Gen Francesa (in Spanish and Portuguese). Registers for the following countries are available:

  • Argentina (numerous locations)
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Cuba
  • Ecuador
  • Haiti
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • Puerto Rico
  • Trinidad
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

For each place, there is an explanation of which volumes were filmed and the years that they cover. The types of records filmed include:

  • Civil registrations of births, marriages and deaths
  • Military records, such as responses to call-ups in France
  • Registrations with the consulates
  • Notarial records
  • General correspondence
  • Indices to some of the above

Many, many people worked on the website and to help upload the photographs taken by Ms. Solan, including one of our honoured guest contributors, Pablo Briand. However, it is clearly the heroic work of Ms. Solan that is the core of this project.

Monsieur M. and Madame I., who were researching French ancestors in Argentina, Madame W. , Monsieur M. and Monsieur H. who were researching French ancestors in Brazil, and many more who have contacted us -- take note! This is an amazing accomplishment and we are much indebted to the association, Gen&OGénéalogie et Origines en Pyrénées-Atlantiques, for bringing it to our attention.

©2016 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy