ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2005-01 > 1106690056
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2005 16:54:16 EST
I saw a couple of enquiries about family research in France. Hopefully I can
point you in the right direction,ish.
Here things are a bit different to the U.K. Every family has a book of their
family, this is a legal document that in pricipal replaces BDM certs. It
will also inlcude divorces and adoptions. All entries are registered, validated
and copied by the local Maire. Further copies are also sent to either Nancy or
Aix-en -Provence, depending on where you live. The Marie copies are only
maintained for 100yrs before being returned to Nancy or Aix.
If you are looking to go back further things can get very difficult,
especially pre 1789. Thanks to the Marsellaises, they not only took the Bastille but
they also sacked virtually every official building destroying most records.
Just to add to the difficulties, if you haven't enough, French surnames did
not really come into being until about the 12th century, if you can get that
A Google search will reveal many French family history sites which can prove
useful but beware. Some that I have visited are orientated to families that
are believed to have links with the USA, these I have had difficulty in
proving other than name similarity. Others give very little detail other than
name, date (year only) and town of origin. England has its supply plus some of
Smiths, here its the Duponts and some.
Any queries, please ask but no guarentee of a an easy answer!! Nothing is
simple in France!!!!
Regards, from a bitterly cold with 100kph winds but no rain or snow,