Let’s Be Realistic

In French ancestry genealogy research, count on roadblocks and bumps in the road to conquer. Let’s go over what you should know and might encounter as you go through these online French civil and parish...

Where to Find France’s & Belgium’s Military Records

Early French military enlistment records of the “Ancien Regime” (pre-revolution) can be exasperating and confusing for those of us who only know English. Do we understand the different regiments and their functions? Do we understand...

The 1766 Belgium Census Introduction

  Yes, there are early online census records of Belgium! This 1766 Belgium census of what is now called the (French community) Wallonia region. This census is a ‘dénombrement’ instead of a recensement or population...

Explore The Online France Department Archives

We cried “Where can we find French birth, baptism, marriage, death, military and census records?” And then it was so. The France department archives went online and it’s free. A French Genealogy miracle for those...

How to Research Your French & Belgian Ancestry

Researching and finding your French and Walloon (French Belgium) ancestory can be a herculean feat . Where to start, where to look, how to make sense in what you are reading, and navigating through the complicated websites: Welcome to the “Brick Wall Zone’

Brick Walls:

  • 1) You don’t know the language,
  • 2) live in an another country or continent,
  • 3) don’t know the town they’re from
  • 4) finding records and help online
  • 5) deciphering sloppy handwritten old records
  • 6) navigating through complicated French websites of records, censuses and military enlistments

Good news is, you can overcome those pesky hurdles with the help of my tutorials, guidance help, and genealogy resources. And you can do it cheaply.

In 1998, the free Rootsweb website was flourishing, Ancestry.com was in it’s infancy, FamilySearch launched, Geneanet was barely on it’s feet and FranceGenWeb was not in existance yet . France departmental archives were not online, as well as most of the French genealogy information. It was only available by writing to the towns and archives. You had to know exact names, towns and dates for your request to be fulfilled.

Today, Rootsweb of free information is long gone, replaced by other costly searchable genealogy repository sites. Seemingly, overnight, genealogy became a quite profitable business. These sites do offer an an abundance of French and Belgian genealogy and records, but with a hefty subscription price tag attached. Genealogy subscription websites are very helpful, I’ve used them, but the rising cost of membership fees for most of them, makes it unaffordable. You can skip that investment by finding the genealogical records via the free French Departemental Archives & Belgium’s parish & civil archives, FamilySearch.org, free FranceGenweb sites, and with the help of Geneanet, a freemium collaborative genealogical website with family trees and networking through online genealogy email groups. These will guide you in finding starting points, indexes, records and information so you can find or search through French & Belgian towns yourself. Sounds overwhelming, sounds impossible, sounds time-consuming. My website, with it’s 10 tutorials and genealogical resources, will help you overcome that. You’ll be able to research, to understand, discover, navigate and extract the vital genealogical information from parish, civil, military enlistments, census records and more. My mission is to help you succeed in your French and Belgian ancestry quest.

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