• From Here to France

    I think the most frustrating factor of French Genealogy is tracing your Ancestor back to France with nothing to go on. I know how it feels. No parent’s names, no places, nothing but the ‘they were born in France or Belgium’. Here is a path you can take to find information that might lead you to the town, province or department your French and Belgian ancestor came from I know this must sound elementary, but start in the state or province your ancestor lived and died in. It is the starting point. Most likely, your French ancestors were Catholic, so start with the church records in the town they lived…

  • French Municipal Archives

    Saved at Last What are these? Simply put, they’re the vital records stored in the archives of the town or city instead of archived at the French Department. What makes them important is if you come across towns that are not available through the Departmental archives of France there’s still hope in finding what you need through the communal archives. Let’s take the large city of Nantes located in the department of Loire-Atlantique for example. There are no vital records listed with the department but they are found with the municipal archives of Nantes. Francegenweb.org has made french genealogy much more easier for us by providing links to all the…

  • Records Written in Latin

    Q: What’s worse than sloppy written records in French? A: Sloppy written records in Latin! In the old European world, the Catholic Church and parishes were the registry for all vital records; baptism, marriage and burial, until the French Revolution that is. Parish Priests were well versed in Latin, and certain parts of France and in Wallonia, records were written by them in either in Latin or French. In French Canada, older records are also written in Latin. Not only indicator words; date, type of record, relationships, and even the names of countries and towns. So what to do? Here are a few things: Download this Latin translation list from…

  • Quebec, Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1979 -Online

    Exciting news for those looking for French Canadian ancestors! Family Search.org has uploaded Québec Church records to their server! Not all years for certain parish’s are uploaded, and at this time, they’re only partially indexed. So it is limited in search, but the records are browseable. Quebec, Catholic Parish Registers and Quebec, Births and Baptisms, 1662-1898 All Free!

  • What Are “dit” names?

    In your research, you may have come across individuals with seemingly two surnames with ‘dit’ in between them. Quoting from Denis Beauregard’s article from Francogene.com “A “dit name” is an alias given to a family name. Compared to other alias or a.k.a. that are given to one specific person, the dit names will be given to many persons. It seems the usage exists almost only in France, New France and in Scotland where we find clans or septs.” Example: Pierre Verger dit Bertaut. IN this case, Bertaut is the ‘also know as’ name, but in other cases it might be something different. Why are there ‘dit’ names? Which name do…