Making French Genealogy Easier

Tutorial 4 -Examine French & Belgian Birth Records

In this tutorial, you will need your computer, notebook, pencil, and magnifying glass. You’ll understand why naissance (birth) records are different from baptism (baptême) ones. Examine samples of wording, phrasing, from several You will be introduced to and get acquainted with “dit/dite’ names. The birth flash list will be referred to. If you don’t have Microsoft Office, you can download this free fully functional Office program at WPS

In 1793, the French Revolution swept in and swept away the Catholic Church’s authority of recording documents, and installed the secular civil system as the official one. The French Revolution also introduced the confusing French Republican Calender. For more information refer back to my dates page. An easy to use calender converter is located here. Thankfully, that French Republican calender didn’t last too long, dissolving in 1805.

There’s not much difference between civil birth and church baptism ones besides possibly better handwriting. Data in civil records varies as well. Information such as, father and mother’s occupation, place of birth for each or residence, age of parents, names of other witnesses, their ages, occupations and relationship to the baby might all be included.

French Belgian Records

As with France, Belgium went from Catholic Church records to Civil ones in 1793. Post 1810, data would be entered into a certificate, which will have areas to include date of recording, official person, town in which acte is being recorded, province, name of person who appears before the official to record the baby’s birth -usually the father (though other family members have done so), age of father, his occupation, place of residence, possible place of birth, mother’s name, her age, occupation, place of residence, possible place of birth, actual date of birth for baby, sex and name of child, and names, ages of witnesses.

Nadrin, Luxembourg, Belgium

The extractable information

  • L’an mil neuf cent six, le vingt-cinq du mois de Septembre (date record was issued)
  • The year 1906, the 25 of the month of September
  • la commune de Nadrin, canton de Houffalize, Province de Luxembourg
  • the town of Nadrin, the ‘canton’ of Houffalize, Province of Luxembourg
About the Father:
  • est comparu Jean Joseph Bay, (profession) cultivateur (farmer)
  • come before or appears Jean Joseph Bay, ( before the bourgmestre, mayor or public official of town)
  • âgé de trente-quarte ans
  • age 34 years,
  • né à Nadrin, domicile à Nadrin
  • born in Nadrin, home in Nadrin

About the Infant:

  • (presenté un) infant du sex feminine, né le vingt-trois Septembre mil neuf cent six
  • (father presents an) female baby/child , born 23 Sept 1906
  • les prenoms de Clementine Marie Henriette
  • the names of Clementine Marie Henriette

About the Mother:

  • son épouse, Adrienne Marie Marguerite Grégoire
  • (Jean Joseph Bay) his wife
  • Living, residence, makes home in Nadrin
  • Temoin #1
    • Bastin Victor, âgé cinquante-trois, cultivateur, domicilé à Silly (Hainaut)
    • Bastin Victor, age of 53, Farmer, home in/at Silly (hainaut)
  • Temoin #2
    • Victor Marvet, âgé quarante ans, journalier, domicilé â Ollomont
    • Victor Marvet, 40 yrs old, day worker, home in Ollomont

LaChapelle, Lot-et-Garonne

Extractable Information: (In left margin)

  • l’acte de naissance de Marie Lasserre, 18 octobre 1866
  • the record of birth of Marie Lasserre, 18 October 1866

(Date the the birth document was issued)

  • L’an mil huit cent soixante-six, le dix-neuf octobre
  • the year of 1866, the 19 October
  • Commune de Lachapelle, canton de Seyches, départment de Lot et Garonne
  • Town of Lachapelle, canton of Seyches, department of Lot-et-Garonne
About the Father:
  • Comparu
  • comes or appears (before the mayor)
  • Pierre Lasserre
  • âgé de trente-trois ans,
  • age of 33 years
  • maçon (profession)
  • domicilé en cette commune (LaChappelle)
  • home in this town (LaChappelle)
  • déclaré qu’hier
  • declares here

About the Mother:

  • Marie Berbineau, son épouse
  • Marie Berbineau, his wife
  • âgée de twenty-six, sans profession, accoucheé
  • age of 26, without a profession, delivered (gave birth)

About the Infant:

  • un d’enfant du sex feminine du
  • sex of the baby female
  • la prenom de Marie
  • the first name of Marie
About the Temoins (witnesses)
  • présence de
    • Jean Pesquier, âgé de trente-deux ans, garde-champètre (profession)
    • Jean Pesquier, age of 32 years, (profession) see *
    • Pierre Arsène Guilhot, âgé de vingt-cinq ans, institueur public (profession)
    • Pierre Arsène Guilhot,, age of 25 years,
    • tous deux domicilé en cette commune
    • all two makes their home in this town


Let’s move to Tutorial 5- Marriage Records–->

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