Tutorial 5 -Examining Civil Birth Records

In this tutorial, you will need your notebook, pencil, and magnifing glass. Your study on baptism records should help you with understanding the next pages. You'll understand why naissance (birth) records are different from baptism (baptême) ones. Examine samples of wording, phrasing, from several You will be introduced to and get acquainted with "dit/dite' names. The birth flash list will be referred to. If you don't have Microsoft Office, you can download this free fully functional Office program at

In 1793, the French Revolution swept in and swept away the Catholic Church's authority of recording documents, and installed the secular civil system as the official one. The French Revolution also introduced the confusing French Republican Calender. For more information refer back to my
dates page. An easy to use calender converter is located here. Thankfully, that French Republican calender didn't last too long, dissolving in 1805.

Data in civil records varies as well. Information such as, father and mother's occupation, place of birth for each or residence, age of parents, names of other witnesses, their ages, occupations and relationship to the baby might all be included.

  • French Belgian and Luxembourgish records

    As with France, Belgium and Luxembourg went from Catholic Church records to Civil ones. Post 1810, data would be entered into a certificate, which will have areas to include date of recording, official person, town in which acte is being recorded, province, name of person who appears before the official to record the baby's birth -usually the father (though other family members have done so), age of father, his occupation, place of residence, possible place of birth, mother's name, her age, occupation, place of residence, possible place of birth, actual date of birth for baby, *sex and name of child, and names, ages of witnesses..

  • French Canadian Record

    Unlike the European countires, French Canada kept the baptism form of recording of the actes, especially in fledgling towns. The Catholic and Protestant churchs, were still the sources for all records. The information can be recorded in a template, or written out depending on what province or parish,it's very concise and information provided is varied. I've decided to place these 1800s batm
    An example of baptism record from 1883 Ontario:

    Click on image to view

    Click on image to view
    Breaking it down - I'll only include the important information
    What are 'dit' names? Find out Here

      Le quinze Juin mil huit cent soixante trois - the fifteen of June 1863
      baptisé - baptised
      Joseph Elie Napoléon
      né quatorze - born the 14th
      légitime mariage de - legitimate marriage of
      Napoléon Sauvé dit Laplante - Napoléon Sauvé know as Laplante
      cultivateur - farmer
      domicile en cette parroise - residence in/at this parish
      (et de )Aurélie Tessier dit Lavgnie - Aurélie Tessier know as Lavgnie
      Le parrain Emilién Sauvé dit Laplante - the godfather Emilé Sauvé know as Laplante
      cultivateur -farmer
      la marraine Zoé Denerts - the godmother Zoé Denerts

      Extractable Information:
      Date of Record - 15 June 1863,
      event - a baptism,
      Name of child : Joseph Elie Napoléon, born the 14th (June 1863)
      Names of parents: Napoléon Sauvé dit Laplant and Aurélie Tessier dit Lavgnie
      Occupation (of father) farmer
      Godparents: Emilién Sauvé dit Laplante and Zoé Denerts
      Emile's occupation -farmer

    • Examining a Belgian Birth Record:

      Click on image to view

      Breaking it down
      - I'll exclude the non extractable information
      L'AN mil huit cent quatre vingt - The year 1880
      le vingt huit, du mois de mars - the 28 of the month of March
      de la commune de St. Mard - de of the town of St Mard
      canton de Virton, province of Luxembourg - canton of Virton, province of Luxembourg
      est comparu Jules Nicole - has appeared (before the official) Jules Nicole
      âgé de trente cinq ans, age of 35 years
      tenanier/temanier/tessanier (?) some kind of laborer? ?
      perésente une enfant du sexe féminin neé à St. Mard - presents an infant/child of the feminin sex, born at St Mard
      le vingt six de (même) mois a trois heures du matin - the 26 of the same month
      et de son espouse Vitaline Galichet - and de his spouse Vitaline Galichet,
      âgé de vingt huit ans, sans profession - age of 28 years, without a profession
      domiciliee à St Mard - resides at St Mard
      le prénom de Léonie Joséphine - name of Leonie Joséphine Extractable information:
      Date of Record: 23 March 1880
      Father's name: Jules Nicole age 35, profession of laborer,
      Mother's name: Vitaline Galichet, age 28, no profession,
      both parents live in St Mard.
      Child's name: Leonie Josephine Nicole, a girl, born 26 March 1880,

    • *Is it François or Françoise? When in doubt of sex of child, look at these; né/le/un are masculine, neé/la/une feminine, in determinating the baby's birth, sex and name
      ? unknown, further study

      Let's move to Tutorial 5- Marriage Records--->