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A Small Point on the Use of Capital Letters in French Documents


In a comment recently received, a reader complained about the many words in upper case letters in French records and, consequently, in search results on Filae and Geneanet.  We thought our explanation might be of interest to you all (comments do not get the attention they deserve, it seems).

Generally, in all French documents, surnames are in upper case letters. This helps to make it very clear what is a surname and what is not, because there are many surnames that could be first names, e.g. MARIE, HENRY, GEORGES, MARTIN, etc. So, if you see a name written as "MARTIN", you know it is a surname; if you see it written as "Martin", you know it is one of the first names. 

The title to this post may be longer than the content, but life is full of grandiose façades billowing in front of titchy realities. We do hope this small fact will not be as disappointing as they can be.

©2022 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy