We have written a number of posts on French Jewish genealogy (to find them all, click on that category toward the end of the column on the left of this page) but in preparing for our recent talk on the subject, we discovered some very fine guides have been put online.
Not yet the best source of all, that being "Les Familles juives en France, XVIe siècle - 1815 : Guide des Recherches biographiques et généalogiques" by Gildas Bernard. That superb work details all of the holdings in all of the archives and libraries in France relating to Jewish people. When you search on the websites of those various archives and libraries, you will find what is digitized easily. Possibly, what has not been digitized will be mentioned in the nether regions of a finding aid. With Bernard's book, you can have the full listing. It also contains superb essays by local archivists about the history and archives in the main regions of France of Jewish history:
- Avignon and the Comtat Venaissin
- The Southwest
Unfortunately, this book has not yet been digitized. However, an updated version of his earlier work has been put online by the Archives nationales and can be downloaded as a PDF here. We plan to keep checking, in the hope that they will do the same with Les Familles juives soon.
In the mean time, here are links to a number of very good guides to researching Jewish genealogy in France:
- The Departmental Archives of Vaucluse have four very brief guides to their important holdings on the Jewish families of the Papal States:
- The Departmental Archives of Bas-Rhin have produced two guides relating specifically to their resources on Jewish families in Alsace. They can be downloaded here.
- JewishGen has a very clear, if a bit outdated, summary of the basics of French Jewish research, in English, here.
- GenAmi - The Jewish Genealogical Association, has excellent guides by region, and in English.
- The Jewish Virtual Library probably has the best page on French Jewish history, which will help you with your genealogical research:
We plan to write more posts on the subject, but the above will keep you going until we do.
©2022 Anne Morddel