Making French Genealogy Easier

Tutorial 5: Examining French Marriage Records

In this tutorial, you will use the Marriage flash list to recognize the most common words used. You will apply what you have learned from the baptism and birth records tutorials to recognize the phrasing, patterns, words, and discount what’s not important. With help with the dates, refer to the marriage“>Dates webpage and refer to the handwriting chart of letter forms available here. You will need notepaper, pencil and magnifying glass if needed. For now, copy what is underlined, writing down what you see. If you can’t make out letters in names, just give it your best guess.

Extensive List of Words

Extensive Lists of Occupations

Marriage records can be long form which holds most of the information concerning bride, groom, parents of both. It could all be written out, or again, in a template form

Remember, you’re looking for phrases and patterns in your document. What I mean by that, is certain information will be grouped together, such as date and place, names of groom, his parents and other information connected with him. Same for the Bride. Since these patterns of information are not set in stone as to the location within the document, I’ve defined the following as Generic.

I would categorized a long marriage record as divided into 4 parts as specified below. Focus on the highlighted and/or underlined words and phrases. It is the data you want to extract. The other parts are either legal yadda, yadda, giving consent, and maybe some interesting info, but it’s not necessary to translate that at this point. (You can always work on that later ). Keep in mind, this is a loose format and generic.

Let’s begin:

1) The day of week, month, year, the hour, what act is being recorded, then yadda, yadda (information that isn’t really important) announcements, prelimary and formal introductions of place, who is conducting the service, I.e civil officers, parish priests, whether the marriage is legitimate, consentment of the parents or of the couple and some more yadda yadda. (All of can take up quite a bit of space.)

2)Name of groom, his occupation, his place of residence or origin, name of a deceased spouse if applicatable, son (fils), legal age status, of.. names of parents, their occupation, place of parents residence or origin, and whether they are deceased or not.

(yadda yadda)

3) Name of bride, occupation, place of residence or origin, either name of a deceased spouse, names of parents, whether they are deceased or not, their occupation, and their place of residence or origin.

(yadda, yadda)

4) Names of witnesses, their relationship to the groom or bride, the parish, the official who acknowledges himself as the informant and who signs the document.Then, signatures..

A Marriage Record from Dampicourt, Luxembourg,(Wallonia) Belgium

“L’An mil huit cing soixante, le vingt-six du mois de décembre à huit heures du matins par devant nous par Bourgmestre officier de l’état civil de la commune de Torgny canton of Virton, province de Luxembourg”

Pertinant information:

26 Dec 1860, 8:00 in the morning, in front of the Mayor, civil officier (<- yadda stuff) of the town of Torgy, canton of Virton, in the Province of Luxembourg

Sont comparus Leopold Morenier (groom), scieur de long, âgé de vingt-deux ans, domicilié a Torgny né a Corbin canton de Roullon, le vingt-deux avril mil huit cent trente-huit, mayeux fils legitime de Henri Barnard Joseph Morenier, (occupation)_ et Anne Catherine Guiot……son epouse

Pertinant information:
Groom: Leopold Morenier, a sawyer, age of 22 years, home at Torngy, born at Corbin, canton of Roullon, 22 April 1838. Legitimate son of legal age of Henri Barnard Joseph Moreiner, unknown occupation, and Anne Catherine Guiot, his spouse

et Demoiselle Marie Catherine Mahu, sans profession, âgé de dix-sept ans, domicilee a Torgny, neé le vingt-trois julliet, mil huit cent quatrante trois, fille mineure de feu Henri Mahu décèdé at Dampicourt le vingt juin mil huit cent cinquante un et de defunte Marie Catherine Berg décèdeé…Dampicourt le vingt-six Novembre mil huit cent cinquante deux

(Since, she is a minor with deceased parents, her family has given their permission to the marriage)

Pertinant Information: Miss Marie Catherine Mahu, without profession, 17 years, minor daughter of Henri Mahu, deceased/died at Dampicourt 20 June 1851 and of, deceased Marie Catherine Berg, died at Dampicourt 26 November 1852

présence de temoins

Jean Baptiste Morenier, scieur de long, âgé de vingt-six ans domicilé à Torgny, frère de l’époux

Jean Verton, journalier, âgé de vingt trois ans, domicilé à Torgny, beau-frère de l’époux

Jean François Mahu, sans profession, âgé de soixante neuf ans, domicilé à Torgny, l’oncle de l’épouse

Joseph Mahu, sans profession, âgé de vingt-sept ans, domicilé à Torgny, cousin de l’épouse

(pay attention to the relationships )

Pertinant Information
Presence of witnesses

Jean Baptiste Morenier, sawyer, age of 26 years, lives/resides at Torgny, brother of groom (m)

Jean Verton, day worker, age of 23 years, lives/resides at Torgny, brother-in-law of groom (m)

Jean François Mahu, without profession, age of 69 years, lives/resides at Torgny, uncle of bride (f)

Joseph Mahu, without profession, age of 27 years, lives/resides at Torgny, cousin of bride (f)

French Canadian Marriage Record from Saint-André-Avellin – A Shorter Form
Marriage Record Part 1

Marriage record part 2

Remember, we are not reading the whole document, just finding and translating the extractable info.
The underlined words and phrases are the information. The phrases with brackets are not nessary but interesting to know.

Le trois d’août mil huit cent quatre-vingt dix-sept

The three of August 1897

le publication de deux bans de mariage (interesting to know)

The publication of 2 bans of marriage

paroissiale à St. André

Parish at Saint André

entre Isaïe Mantha

Between Isaïe Mantha

5.fils majeur de Seraphin Mantha et de Marie Laroce/Larou

Legal aged son of Seraphin Mantha and of Marie Laroce/Larou (?)

de St Felix de Hartwell

of St Felix of Hartwell (parish)

d’une part

on one hand

et Eva Pilon, fille mineur de Magloire Pilon et de Mélina Trepanier

and Eva Pilon, underaged daughter of Magloire Pilon and of Mélina Trepanier

d’autre part
on the other hand

Extractable information:
Date of marriage: 3 August 1897
Place of marriage: Saint-André-Avellin
Groom: Isaie Mantha
Legal age (25 or older)
Parents: Seraphin Mantha et de Marie Laroce/Larou
Groom and Parents reside at St Felix de Hartwell, attend the parish
Bride: Eva Pilon underage/minor daughter (age 21 or under)
Parents: Magloire Pilon and Mélina Trepanier

Early Marriage Record of Saint-Hilaire-sur-Risle, Orne, France

Underlined words:Le mardi vingt cinquieme jour de février mil sept cent quatre-vingt trois.

Tuesday, 25th day of Febuary, 1783

Entre Bonaventure Gallichet fils legitmate mineur de fue François Gallichet et de Marie Mesnel ses pere et mere de la paroisse de Ste Columbe-sur-Risle d’une part.

Between Bonaventure Gallichet, legitmate son and minor of deceased François Gallichet and Marie Mesnel, his father and mother of the parish of Sainte Columbe-Sur-Risle, on the one hand.

et Marie Le Roux, aussi fille legitime et mineure de Hughes Le Roux et de feue Anne Le Male ses père et mère de cette pariosse Alencon, Orne)

and Marie Le Roux, also legitimate daughter and minor of Hughes Le Roux and of deceased Anne Le Male, her father and mother of this parish

cure de Saint-Hilaire-sur-Risle (in Alencon, Orne)
Legal yadda and names of family members and witnesses with their relationship to the couple. (write down See if you can make out it out).

Extractable information:

Date: 25 Feb 1783, Tuesday
Place of Marriage: Saint-Hilaire-dur-Risle

Groom: Bonaventure Gallichet, minor age, legitimate son.
Place of birth: Sainte-Columbe-sur-Risle (Orne, France)

Groom’s Parents: François Gallichet, deceased and Marie Mesnil (living), both of the parish of Sainte-Columbe-sur-Risle

Bride: Marie Le Roux, minor age, legitimate daughter
Place of birth: Saint-Hilaire-sur-Risle
Bride’s Parents: Hughes Le Roux and Anne Le Male, both of the parish of Saint-Hilaire-sur-Risle .

Witnesses :

About Records from the 1600s

At this time, I have not listed marriage records from this century because of the level of difficulty. Words and names become abbreviated (Guil = Guillaume), different spellings (Jean = Jehan), letters are formed differently (i.e. uppercase R, is a uppercase V with a horizontal line through the middle), and the handwriting becomes more sloppy and crunched (not always)

ps: Maiden names were used in documents instead of the married name. That is great when recording the names of the mothers for the bride and the groom. Don’t you wish the US did that as well? I do

Next – Tutorial 6- Death and Burial Records –>

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