In 1998, French Genealogy Databases, resources and the where, were in it’s infancy. Obtaining French records was a hard road to take. You had to write to French and Belgian governments in towns, cities and department archives. It wasn’t a fast procedure either. You couldn’t just ask “Find all the Dubois” in this town or neighboring cities. You had to know precise names, dates, and towns in order for archivist to obtain records for you. Then, wait, wait and wait some more.
Now, we have Genealogy companies that you can enter in “Dubois” in France, and find yourself swimming in results by a single click. There are paid subscriptions types, and people and companies that offer their information for free.
*I do not have affiliate links here. Some databases I’ve added here are paid subscriptions sites. I recommend them because of my good experience with them, what they have to offer and whether they are worth the price or not.
Jump to These Online Databases:
Database of French Protestant vital ancestors. You can search either by surname or by commune/Department. The database also includes towns in Belgium and Quebec
Jewish Genealogy Database
A great resource for Birth, Marriage and Death records of French Jewish Ancestors. This was compiled by the hard work of Jean Carcassonne and brought to you by the Jewish Genealogy Association
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 department of France listed (Archives Departementales en ligne) Most of the Departments are free to access.
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.
Geneanet $ or Free
Geneanet is my favorite go to online databases. This easy to use and suburb site is bursting with collections of international family trees, surnames, people, and uploaded French records, indexes, libraries, pictures and more. And they are indexing records continually. It has a multi-parameter search engine that scours through their individual databases. I found a missing ancestor of mine who was in an American newspaper article. I found another who was a witness to a horrible crime in a French newspaper.. You don’t know what you’ll come up with!
You can sign up at Geneanet for free but with limited access. A paid subscription offers so much more. The cost is about $50 USD per year.
Filae.com (France) – $ and Free
Once upon a time there was Genealogie.com and NotreFamille.com as one of the only means of researching French genealogy.. Now the creator of those two sites has brought all of that into one big fast growing and simple to use site called Filae.com. What’s brilliant and wonderful about this site is it’s dedication in bringing their subscribers a growing online vital records and census images with their search results. You click on the image and it takes you right to the repository to the exact image. You can also download it from their website. What I couldn’t find on Geneanet, I have found on Filae.
Just a reminder that French records are free online to anyone researching at the ‘Archive Departementales de France” It’s just that you need to know where to search that could take a lifetime going through towns in France. You need someone to translate and indexed the information on the records for you. And that is where Filae comes in. Like Geneanet, this is website that is well worth the modest subscription price.
(My one tiny critique of them, is that I have come across surnames that were inaccurately spelled and indexed as such)
Mémoire des Hommes 1802-1815 military service database generously provided by the ‘Ministère des Armees” of France
1914-1918 – A database of French soldiers who died for France during World War One
Memorial Genweb – “List and honor the soldiers and resistance fighters who gave their lives for France during conflicts or missions, the civilian victims of acts of war as well as the foreign soldiers who died on our territory”
Ancestramil – Contributions for the Search of Military Ancestors
A little difficult to navigate but they have the towns, type of record and dates very neatly laid out.
An ongoing project of encoding vital records for their searchable database of surnames for most of the towns in Wallonia and Brussels. 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
Family Search has come a long way since it’s humble beginnings over 10 years ago. Before, we had to pay to order microfilm from a LDS family history library in Salt Lake City, make a possible long trip to the local LDS library, and, depending upon the hours, try to cram as much time as possible to view the microfilm. Now, Belgian images of records are now available to *browse or search” for all provinces from the 1600s up until 1911.
- Hainaut, Belgium
- Liege, Belgium
- Luxembourg, Belgium
- Namur, Belgium
- 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
- Quebec GenWeb
- Archives of Canada
- Ontario Records
- Saskatchewan Records
- Quebec Records
- Catholic Church Registers
This is not the Drouin collection but the parish records
- Quebec Index to Civil Copy of Church Records, 1642-1902
Citizenship Registration Records
-Montreal Circuit 1851-1945
Genealogie Quebec $
Largest database of Quebec and French Canadian Records. For $5 you can access the database for 24 hrs, download up to 75 images, have unlimited look ups, and access to all their tools!
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.