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French Jewish Genealogy - Online Guides

Research Your Ancestor Through Archives on the Town

French village

A nice tool is gradually being added to the websites of various Departmental Archives. It can be of great help to you in tracing your family if you know where they lived in France. The tool is usually within the section entitled Archives en ligne (Archives online) or Archives numérisés (digitized archives), and it is usually called something like Recherche par commune (Search by town).

Click on that, then enter your ancestor's town or village name and voilà, you are presented with, in the best versions, an array of information about the town and of what the archives hold concerning it and its people:

  • A history of the town
  • Its location and neighbouring towns
  • Links to useful administrative websites
  • Parish and civil registers
  • Indices to them
  • Census returns
  • Military enlistment registers
  • Maps
  • Probate records
  • Tax records
  • Postcards

It is a wonderful way to know in an instant what is available and to target your research.

Not all of the Departmental Archives websites have this facility. One of the best we have found in on that of Pas-de-Calais. Saône-et-Loire has a less attractive but still useful version. Check the Departmental Archives websites you use to see if they have this option and give it a go. (You can also try searching these terms on Google: the department name and "recherche par commune" "archives départementales".) You may discover a resource missed when you were searching only by a family name.

Bonne chance!

©2022 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy

 

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