Tutorial 1- Examining French Dates and Numbers

This tutorial will show you how to spot, understand, translate and extract the important French dates along with general words that pertain to time, days, months, years and hours. These are spelled out usually located at the beginning of each record. Though, sometimes it can be located at the every end or the middle of the record.

IT’s confusing at first, but with study and ‘ Dates and Numbers flash lists” you will get the hang of it.

Let’s start with the names of the days, months, numbers to 20 and years:

mil = thousandjanvier -January
cent = hundredfévrier – February
an(s) = year(s)mars – March
mil six cent = (1600)avril – April
mil sept cent (1700)mai – May
mil huit cent (1800)juin – June
mil neuf cent (1900)juillet – July
 août – August
un – oneseptembre – September
deux – twooctobre – October
trois – threenovembre – November
quatre – fourdécembre – December
cinq – five7bre – September
six – six8bre – October
sept – seven9bre – November
huit – eight10bre – December
neuf – nine 
dix – tendimache – Sunday
onze – elevenlundi – Monday
douze – twelvemardi – Tuesday
treize – thirteenmercredi – Wednesday
quatorze – fourteenjeudi – Thursday
quinze – fifteenvendredi – Friday
seize – sixteensamedi – Saturday
dix-sept – seventeen 
dix-huit – eighteenmois – month
dix-neuf – nineteenheure – hour
vingt – twentyjour – day
vingt-et-un – twentyoneaujourd’hui – today
trente – thirtyhier – yesterday
quarante – fortyavant-hier – the day before yesterday
cinquante – fiftydernier – last
(as in last year, month or week)
soixante – sixtydu matin – morning
soixante-dix – seventydemain -tomorrow
septante – seventy 
quatre-vingt – eighty 
quatre-vingt-dix – ninety 
nonante – ninety 

The following are examples of years:

mil six cent (1600) quatre-deux (42): mil six cent quatre-deux = 1642

mil sept cent (1700) neuf (9): mil sept cent neuf = 1709

mil huit cent (1800); vingt (20): mil huit cent vingt = 1820

mil six cent soixante neuf : 1669

mil sept cent quatre-ving et un: 1781

mil huit cent quatre-ving treize: 1893

mil neuf cent cinq: 1905

‘nonante’ is sometimes used to denote 90 as in
mil huit cent *nonante cinq : 1895

‘septante’ is sometimes used to denote 70 as in
mil huit cent septante deux: 1872

Now, let’s start putting it together:

“L’an mil huit cent quatre-vingt dix – The year 1890

le vingt-un mai – (the) 21 May

à sept heures du matin – seventh hour in the morning; 7:00 am

L’an mil huit cent quatre-vingt dix, le vingt-un mai à sept heures du matin

Extractable information:

*Date of birth: May 21 1890; optional: born 7:00 am

Example of an older record:
“aujourd’hui lundi, de six jour d’août mil sept cent trente-cinq – Today, Monday, the sixth day of August 1735

The important information: *Date of baptism: Aug 6 1735, optional: Monday

The French Republic Calender

And just when you were getting all this down pat, along comes the French Republican Calendar. This is one that begs for a brick wall to smash. Remember the French Revolution? That is where it began; 1792 to 1805. To read about this confusing system, you can study it at this site. You can download a chart here It’s a crazy system, but then it was a crazy time. In a nutshell, there are 12 months, 10 days of the week and 14 ‘decades’ plus complementries (compli) days, and years are in Roman numerals. Don’t despair there is a way to ‘conquer’ it by using an online Converter.

What is the French Republican Calender?

French Republican Calendar Convertor -You Need This!

French Republican Calendar by Erik Laforce Interesting chart and info

Autumn months
Vendémiaire, Brumaire, Frimaire
Winter Months
Nivôse, Pluviôse, Ventôse
Spring Months
Germinal, Floréal, Prairial
Summer Months
Messidor, Thermidor, Fructidor
Days of the Week
primidi (first day)
duodi (second day)
tridi (third day)
quartidi (fourth day)
quintidi (fifth day)
sextidi (sixth day)
septidi (seventh day)
octidi (eighth day)
nonidi (ninth day)
décadi (tenth day)

Let’s use an example:
onze (day) floreal(month) VIII (year)or onze floreal ans huit. Use the online converter to convert to our Gregorian date.

French Republican Calendar Convertor or this one as a back up French Republican Calendar Convertor

On the web page, the converter has a pull down menu for both Republican and Gregorian. In the Republican space,, select the day, month, and decade (which will be in numeral numbers and then click the Gregorian button. It will be May 1, 1800. Now, you try converting Republican to Gregorian (and visa versa).

Convert these dates (and don’t forget the complimentary days):
cinq frimaire an IV;
sept frutidor six ;
27 Brumaire an II;
2 j.compli. an XIII ;

You’ll be encountering this calendar in the some of the records

Now, you are one more step ahead

Next, you’ll be examining and studying Tutorial 2 -Key Phrases . Onward!