French and Belgian records, or what the French call ‘matricules militaire’ or ‘registres matricules’ are becoming more available over both countries. The trouble is, there’re not all in one place, but scattered across the internet. So the problem becomes finding these pockets of records easily instead of all endless searching across the internet.
So, voila, the birth of this page. Here you can find places that offer a variety of different collections of military information I do this, so you don’t have to.
Military Enlistments and Records can offer multiple of genealogical information. You could find the names of parents as well as date and place of birth of soldier.
Early French military enlistment records of the “Ancien Regime” (pre-revolution) can be exasperating and confusing to search through. Do we understand the different regiments and their functions? Do we understand the provinces of the Ancient Regime and how the armies operated then” Do we know what “Dragons” and “Hussards” are? How to search and navigate through all of available records at ‘Memoire des Hommes?
Post Revolution military records are easier to find and in a lot of departments, they are searchable. Starting with the Napoleonic era of 1802-1815, through 1918 are available. Each French department can hold military enlistments records as early as 1836.
France’s Departmental Military Archives You can find online enlistment records under each department here, as well as other Depending on the department, you might find military records as earlier as 1836 up until 1946. These enlistment records would be found under each Department’s ‘matricules militaire’ category.
Military Enlistments of the “l’Ancien Régime” 1682-1793 at Mémoire des Hommes. Military Enlistments of the Ancient Regime for France (including what is now known as Belgium) is a MASSIVE repository of image records of enlistments, different branches of army i.e. Infantry, Calvary, Artillery and more. It covers the units, towns of Enlistments and battlefields. Early records have the old names of regions and Provinces (ex: Anjou) that don’t exist today. Unfortunately, this is not a searchable database but a browsable one. This requires a lot of time going through each regiment looking for ancestors. There are filters on the right side of the page that help narrow down fields so you can browse better. Click here for instructions on how to navigate through this database..
Military Troops & Enlistment of Soldiers at Mémoire des Hommes. This is an incomplete, but ongoing and growing search by name‘ project. The years of 1747 – 1839 and 1802-1815 are being indexed, and the one that are already indexed are available.
Geneanet’s Military Archives Geneanet continues to shine with their ongoing indexing project of the Napoleonic War enlistments 1802-1815. This is an index.
FrenchGenWeb 1914-1918 A cross referenced database of French soldiers who died for France during the first World War
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”
New! The Honor Roll 1914-1918 A browsable index of soldiers, with photos and citations, recognized for valor in combat and gallantry in action against an enemy of France. Photos were first published in “L’Illustration” newspaper. Researched and compiled by the hard work of Jean-Luc Dron
New! The World Remembers 1914-1922, A searchable database of French and Belgian soldiers who died during the first World War. Includes other countries as well.
Genealomaniac -Search for your French ancestors though the massive listings of websites available at Bookmark it!
Ancestramil – An online database of military men, with detailed facts of service who served 1792-1918 Contributions for the Search of French Military Ancestors