Databases

 
A couple of years ago, departmental archives of France went on line, and uploaded their church and civil records, most up to 1902. Military and census records are available as well. This is basically a miracle for those of us with French ancestors. Below are, some recognizable and some not so recognizable, databases available over the net. I've listed the free and paid subscription databases covering France, Belgium and Quebec.


Family Search
Family Search has come a long way since it's humble beginnings over 10 years ago. Before, we had to order microfilm from a LDS family history library, make a possible long trip to the local LDS library, and, depending upon the hours, and try to cram as much time as possible to view the microfilm. Now, Belgian images of records are now available to *browse" (they're not indexed) for all provinces from 1797 up until 1911 It can be quite tedious to go through expecially since they're other records sandwiched in between but it's worth it . France has some vital records uploaded, as well as Canada.

Searchable Database for Corbion, Belgium -1796-1912
Search and Browse this database of marriages, birth and deaths for Corbion, Luxembourg, Belgium. Created by Michel TOUSSAINT.

Searchable database for Herbeumont, Saint-Vincent, and Torgny, Luxembourg, Belgium
Part of an ongoing project by members of Geneanet

Searchable Database of communes in Namur

Searchable Database of various Communes in Walloon Provinces

Databases for each Department of France A clickable map of all the departments of France. Use the main search, or you can browse through the towns listed for each department.

Archives of France
Is a directory of every online archive deparment of France listed (Archives Departementals en ligne) Most of the Departments are free to access but some, like the Department of Calvados, have a small subscription price to access their records.

Online Archives of Belgium
Register for Free, and have access to all the parish and town records in Belgium! What is really exciting is all the parishes have indexes so you don't have to tediously search through each record to find your ancestors. They do have civil records, but with limited years. So visit FamilySearch.org for them.

Wallonia-asbl
An ongoing project of encoding vital records for their searchable database of surnames for most of the towns in Wallonia. This is where I found the bulk of my Belgian ancestors and records. The members are trustworthy and helpful, and I highly recommend them. There is a membership fee. Either use the contact form at the website (accès membres/contact), or contact for membership details. You can write to them in English

Bigenet
Another database of surnames and records of France and Belgium researched by members of a French association for their particular department. It's free to search a surname in each department. If there are results, the first names will also appear along the surname with the kind of act it is (BMS, or NMD). In order, to get the records, you have to purchase a 'wallet' of either 20 or 50 euros. Click here see the exchange rate to USD. Each record you buy is 2 euros. Archives.com This is an American database that focuses primarly on with vital and military records, but also has French Records. An affordable and welcome version to Ancestry.com. I mentioned it here, because if you're still searching for records in the USA that might contain place of birth in your French country, you might be able to find it there. I've had success with it. You can search for free, but then in order to view the records, you need to sign up for their free 7-day trial subscription. Then search away!

Geneanet
Geneanet is my favorite of online collection of international family trees . It has a multi-parameter search engine, databases, online records, surname forums and more. This is a great place to network with french contributors with like interests of the surnames. Contributors upload and offer their information for free, while other professional genealogists have a pay for each record system. You can sign up at Geneanet for free, but there will be some limitations. Right now, they're offering a free 1 month trial for their full services.

Ancestry.com
The mother of all Genealogical databases. Who hasn't heard of these guys? The site offers mostly US, UK, Irish, Canadian and Western European records. The Drouin Collection of the Quebec Vital and Church Records was published a couple of years ago, that and with their growing French Arcadia, Quebec, French and Belgium vital and census photographed records makes this a valuable service. The bad part? The World Explorer is rather expensive. Thirty five dollars a month or $149 for six months. The good part? You can sign up for a 14 day free trial. Search Happy!

Genealogie.com (France)
The French version of Genealogy.com. This site holds repositories of records of each departments of France and records of Belgique(a department is sort of like an American state.) Besides searching the database for records, you can find out the population of your surname broken down by each department. You will need to know some French words in order to navigate the site. Don't look at the big picture of all those french sentences, you'll just roll your eyes and give up. Stay focused on locating certain words and phrases to click your way to the right page(s). ~This service does not offer photographed copies of records, just the information from the record

Your Folks
Your Folks is a "point exchange system" service just for Quebec marriages. Instead of paying for an annual subscription, You purchase a package of points and then redeem them for each record of information. You have to join YourFolks (it's free) to have access to an integrated database of marriage records starting from earliest colonization to the twentieth century. In order to gain all the detailed information for a particular couple, you will need to buy points. Once you sign up for a free membership, you can then pick and pay for a point package that meets your needs. This service does not offer photographed copies of records, just the information

Geneabank
Is another point exchange system but with a difference. All the massive amount of records of information are contributions made by numerous French genealogical societies. Then placed into a searchable "bank" for other researchers to search anbrowse through. Geneabank is a very impressive accumulation of record information provided by Genealogical associations of France. The drawback is you have to become a paid member to one of these societies in order to access the databases and purchase points. Here are the lists of the Participating Genealogy Associations. You'll notice numbers in parentheses after each Society. The numbers represent the names of departments in France (a department is something like a US state).