Do you have French ancestry and wonder where to start learning more about them? As you learn about your ancestors, take some time to learn about the country and the records that you can access to discover more about them. You'll learn that a wealth of information and records are available to help you!
France is a country with a long, storied past. If you’re new to French genealogy research and looking for a place to start, this FamilySearch article gives fascinating insight into French history and the records that are available. However, if you’re looking for basic how-to starters, read on!
FamilySearch Research Wiki
The FamilySearch Research Wiki is a good place to start. To find the wiki, as well as other helpful information, click the Help button at the top of the main FamilySearch page. The wiki focuses on research strategies, gives lists of websites and suggestions for finding records, and offers a clickable map of countries that leads you to pages to browse for information. For French research, you can find information and help including the following:
- The France Research Guide, which gives specific information about available records and research strategies.
- An eight-part video series on French research that gives in-depth information about searching for French records, such as how to find civil and church records.
- Articles on French research in the FamilySearch Help Center.
- Classes on finding French ancestors online, which give strategies to help with researching records. For example, one class focuses on calendar changes in France, and other classes explain how to find records online.
- Additional tools to help make your research easier, including:
- Interactive maps.
- The French alphabet.
- Keys words and phrases.
- French spelling.
The France Online Genealogy Records button on the wiki page takes you to a page with more links to available records, histories, lists, directories, and periodicals.
More Help Available
The FamilySearch wiki page also has links to other genealogy sites that can help you find your French ancestors. Take a look at these sites that may give more information that you need.
- My Heritage
- Cyndi’s List France
- France GenWeb
- Mémoire des Hommes is a special website that identifies casualties from World War I and World War II.
Still looking for more help? Do you want to connect with others searching in the same area? Modern technology makes it easy to connect with others who have similar interests.
At the bottom of the wiki page, click the Ask the Community button to find groups that you can connect to, such as the Southern Europe Genealogy Research Community. Who knows? Maybe you’ll connect to a cousin!
Start Now to Explore Your French Connections
Our ancestors were affected by events surrounding them, so as you start researching your French ancestors, take time to learn the history and culture that impacted them. One of the ways to help make history and geography come alive is by accessing the FamilySearch Where Am I From? feature, which can give you a view of where your ancestors lived during important world events, allow you to trace family lines across the world, and more! Try using this feature in tandem with Google Maps to see photos of your family’s homeland and virtually stand where your ancestors stood.
Be sure to share what you learn on your FamilySearch tree and the FamilySearch Memories page to help them come alive for future generations.