Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

9/7/2004

A Beginner’s Guide to Researching Your French Ancestry.

This is an excellent site on French Genealogy and well worth a visit. The introduction to the site and French genealogy is given By Kimberly Powell. There is a lot more on the site which can be found at http://genealogy.about.com/library/weekly/aa070700a.htm

If you are one of those people who have avoided delving into your French ancestry due to fears that the research would be too difficult, then wait no more! France is a country with excellent genealogical records, and it is very likely that you will be able to trace your French roots back several generations once you understand how and where the records are kept.

To understand the French record-keeping system, you must first be familiar with its system of territorial administration. Prior to the French Revolution, France was divided into provinces, now known as regions. Then, in 1789, the French revolutionary government reorganized France into new territorial divisions called departments (d̩partements). There are 100 departments in France Р96 within the borders of France, and 4 overseas (Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, and R̩union). Each of these departments has its own archives that is separate from those of the national government. Most French records of genealogical value are kept at these departmental archives. Genealogical records are also kept at local town halls (mairie). Large towns and cities in France are often divided into arondissements, each with its own town hall and archives. More on http://genealogy.about.com/library/weekly/aa070700a.htm

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