Tutorial 7a- Examining Baptismal Records 1700-1792

By now, if you went step by step through the tutorials, you will have gain some level of recognizing patterns, phrasing and letter recognition. You will again be studying real documents with varying degrees of difficulty and from various departments in France from 1700 -1792. The important and extractable information has been underlined. This will help train you to zone in on the words and phrases that matter, and zone out the ones, like Church official yada, that don’t. You will write and translate only the important words, then extract that information


Make sure you have your notebook, pencil and magnifying glass out. Even though I do everything by computer, I still take notes and write everything down



Print out from page 4 on of this handwriting chart , to help and aid you in figuring out the difficult letters in names and places; ‘n’ can look like ‘u’, ‘r’ can look like ‘v’ or ‘e’, squiggly line, or ‘chicken scratch’. It’s a matter of training your eyes, and repetitive viewing of records before one can recognize the confusing letters for what they are.


Refer to the printed out list of common words on baptism records. For a more comprehensive French word list including all the date numbers I haven’t covered Click here


After you’ve studied the handwriting samples and gone over the flash list. You’re ready to begin. Examine the two examples before reading the translations, look at the highlighted words and phrases, then look it up in the flash list if need be.


Just take one or two at a time. There will letters and words, and church yadda that are hard to understand or are undecipherable. You just have to give it your best guess. I will write out just the highlighted phrases, translate it, and then list the information for you.


Let’s begin-


Example 1


Moisset, Puy-de-Dôme, France

L’an mil sept cent cinquante deux et le deuzsime juillet

The Year 1752, the 2nd or 12th of July

Baptise Benoit Cogdeniat fils legitimate Jean and a Michele Belisme

Baptise Benoit Cogdeniat legitimate son of Jean and to Michele Belisme

né le meme jour

born the same day

Le Parrine Benoit Madeaure

The godfather Benoit Madeaure

La marraine Michele Belisme (not the mother)

The godmother Michele Belisme

Les temoins Gilbert Tourgon et Pierre Demone

The witnesses Gilbert Tourgon and Pierre Demone


Extractable Information:

Date of Baptism: July 2nd or 12th July

Place of Baptism: Moisset, Puy-de-Dôme, France

Name of Child: Benoit Cogdeniat

Names of Parents: Jean Cogdeniat and Michele Belisme

Names of Godparents: Benoit Madeaure and Michele Belisme

Names of Witnesses: Gilbert Tourgon and Pierre Demone


Example 2

Manqueville, Pas-de-Calais, France




Le vingt un de decembre mil sept cent quatre-vingt onze
The 21 of December 1791

est né , baptizé
is born, baptised

Auguste Joseph Guilman

fils legitimate de Mare Guilman, Laboureur au hameau de Manquéville
legitimate son of Mare Guilman, laborer in/at the hamlet of Manquéville

de cette pariosse
of this parish

et de Leonore Blondel, son epouse
and of Leonore Blondel, his spouse

parain et marain
godfather and godmother

Pierre Joseph Guilman, cousin germain
Pierre Joseph Guilman, first cousin

et Seraphine Joseph Duhameller
and Seraphine Joseph Duhameller

The words ‘baptizé, parain, maraine’ tells us what kind of record it is. In records, this is the second thing you try to look for in a document.


Extractable Information

Type of Record: Baptism
Date of Record: December 21 1791
Place of Record: Manquéville, (Lillers, Pas-de-Calais, France)
Place of Baptism: Manquéville, (Lillers,Pas-de-Calais, France)
Date of Birth: Looks to be the same day as baptism
Name of Child: Auguste Joseph Guilman
Names of Parents: Mare Guilman, a laborer in Manquéville, and Leonore Blondel
Names of Godparents: Pierre Joseph Guilan, first cousin; Seraphine Joseph Duhameller


Example 3

This next record has additional information concerning the godparents

Dammarie, Eure-et-Loire, France


L’an mil sept cent quatrante trois, les treize d’April
The year 1743, the 13 of April

baptizé une fille née aujourd’hui
baptized a girl/daughter born today

legitime mariage de Nicolas Roch, chartier, en cette pariosse et de Marie Hamelin
Legitimate marriage of Nicolas Roch, waggoner, in this parish and of Marie Hamelin

Le parain Michel Duhayes fils de Pierre
the godfather Michel Duhayes son of Pierre

La maraine Denise fille de Toussaint Calais tous deux de cette pariosse
the godmother Denise, daughter of Toussaint Calais, all two(both) of this parish

nommée de Marie Marguerite

Name of Marie Marguerite

Extractable Information:

Date of Baptism: April 13, 1743

Place of Baptism: Dammaire (Eure-et-Loire, France)

Name of Child: Marie Marguerite

Names of Parents: Nicolas Roch et Marie Hamelin

Place of Residence: Dammaire

father’s occupation: waggoner

Names of Godparents: Michel Duhayes, (son of Pierre) and Denise Calais (daughter of Toussaint)

Godparents Residence: Dammaire


On to more challenging Baptism Record Examples #2 –>

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