There are 8 tutorials here;
you will need:
- pencil or pen
- Notebook (s)
- Magnifying Glass
- A French Language Book – optional
- My downloadable common words flash lists:
- Free Printable Family Tree Data Charts
- Organizing Your Genealogy with OneNote
- Free EverNote
- RootsMagic Essentials Free Genealogy Program
A few things you need to know about researching your ancestry in France, Belgium and Canada:
1 . Always check the Indexes in the archive records first! Most of the time, they’re for Civil Registrations that starts at 1793, though you can sometimes find parish records indexes for earlier years in certain towns.
2. Go to the archives of the department you’re researching. Depending, you’ll find ‘en ligne archives’, or a page that tells you to choose between civil registers, recensements (census) or Registres matricules. In this exercise, you’ll click on Civil actes (actes de registres). It should bring up a page where you can search through the communes. It will either be a drop down box when you click on the commune form or there will be a little box next to the Commune space. Click on that and you should see alphabetical letters along the top of the page, with names of towns underneath, click on the ‘letter’ that begins with your town, then scroll down to that name and click. You will now see years available for that town. Look for “TD” (that is the index) The Index will be divided by years, actes de (of) naissance/ne’s (birth), mariages (marriage) and deces (death). Click on your years and you can start looking.
3. Maiden names are always used for married women. I love the French way of recording information!
4. Adding an “e” at the end of words means it is in feminine form. example né (masculine) for women, née (feminine) for women. When in doubt of sex of child, look at these; né/le/un are masculine, neé/la/une feminine to describe the baby’s birth, sex and name
5. Simplified: France has Departments labeled with numbers, and Regions; Belgium has provinces and regions; Canada has provinces and territories
6. French People from Québec are called Québécois
7. People from France are usually called “The French People”
8. French Belgians are called Walloons (Wallons). Southern Belgium is the French part known as Wallonia/Walloonia.
You will have to learn some French words and phrases if you want to communicate with fellow French genealogists and visit French genealogy sites. Write down words, and translation snippets you’ve come across into your notebook/Evernote/OneNote. I’ve provided flash lists on common words found and used in French records to print out and study. You’ll need to refer to when examining records. There are free online lessons, French language programs, and workbooks, new and used, available at Amazon.com to help you on your way.
Do not become frustrated. As in all things, it takes time, study and practice to get where you want to be. If I can learn to do it, so can you!
Now, onward to Tutorial 1 – Dates –>