France Emigration and Immigration

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How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Offices and Organizations to Contact[edit | edit source]

Le Havre Passenger Index[edit | edit source]

A French genealogical society has discovered a 100-year-old card file of 45,000 passengers, 25,000 sailors, and 5,000 retirees at Le Havre from 1780 to 1840. The source of the index is uncertain and it is difficult to determine how comprehensive it is. It does not correspond to the unindexed lists mentioned above. The passenger cards usually show name, maiden surname of the spouse (including cross references), birth date or age, birthplace, parents, date and place of embarkation and debarkation, and, for French ships, the vessel's name.

Researchers may send written inquiries to learn if a relative is indexed. The society can search only for passengers between 1780 and 1840, and they will search only for a specific name. They will not respond to vague requests to search for anyone with a certain surname.

Send the correctly spelled given name and surname of the passenger, a self-addressed, stamped envelope, stating your email address on the cover letter, to—

Liste de passagers
Groupement Généalogique du Havre et de Seine-Maritime
B.P. 80
76050 Le Havre Cedex

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Emigration and immigration records list the names of people leaving (emigration) or coming into (immigration) France. These lists are usually found as permissions to emigrate; records of passports issued, including passports for the interior; records of border crossings; and lists of prisoners deported. The information in these records may include the name of the emigrant, age, occupation; usually include the place of origin and destination; and sometimes include the reason for leaving. These sources can be very valuable in helping you determine where in France your ancestor came from. French emigration records are very incomplete and are not usually indexed.

In addition to their usefulness in determining where an emigrant lived in the nation before leaving, these records can help you construct family groups. If you don't find your ancestor, you may find emigration information about neighbors of your ancestor. People who lived near each other in France often settled together in the nation where they emigrated to.

Finding the Town of Origin in France[edit | edit source]

If you are using emigration/immigration records to find the name of your ancestors' town in France, see France Finding Town of Origin for additional research strategies.

Immigration into France[edit | edit source]

  • 1618-1648. Many Swiss emigrants come into Alsace-Lorraine as a result of the Thirty Years War.
  • 1755-1763. Acadians (French-Canadians) were exiled. Many return to France.
  • 1848-1850. German revolutionaries took refuge in Bas-Rhin.
  • 1831-1870. Polish refugees settled in Bas-Rhin.
  • 1915-1930. Armenian refugees settled largely in Marseilles
  • France's population dynamics began to change in the middle of the 19th century, as France joined the Industrial Revolution. The pace of industrial growth attracted millions of European immigrants over the next century, with especially large numbers arriving from Poland, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, and Spain.
  • In the wake of the First World War, in which France suffered six million casualties, significant numbers of workers from French colonies came. By 1930, the Paris region alone had a North African Muslim population of 70,000.
  • Right after the Second World War, immigration to France significantly increased. During the period of reconstruction, France lacked labor, and as a result, the French government was eager to recruit immigrants coming from all over Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.
  • A wave of Vietnamese migrated to the country after the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and the Geneva Accords, which granted Vietnam its independence from France in 1954. These migrants consisted of those who were loyal to the colonial government and those married to French colonists. Following the partition of Vietnam, students and professionals from South Vietnam continued to arrive in France. Although many initially returned to the country after a few years, as the Vietnam War situation worsened, a majority decided to remain in France and brought their families over as well.
  • This period also saw a significant wave of immigrants from Algeria. As the Algerian War started in 1954, there were already 200,000 Algerian immigrants in France. After the war, after Algeria gained its independence, the number of Algerian immigrants started to increase drastically. From 1962 to 1975, the Algerian immigrant population increased from 350,000 to 700,000.
  • Additionally, the number of Pakistani and Japanese immigrants also increased during this period.
  • There was also a great number of students and workers from former French colonies in Africa.
  • During the 1970s, France simultaneously faced economic crisis and allowed immigrants (mostly from the Muslim world) to permanently settle in France with their families and to acquire French citizenship. It resulted in hundreds of thousands of Muslims, especially to the larger cities, living in subsidized public housing and suffering from very high unemployment rates. Alongside this, France renounced its policy of assimilation, instead pursuing a policy of integration.[1]

Armenia[edit | edit source]

Armenia Online Sources[edit | edit source]

Armenia Background[edit | edit source]

The modern Armenian diaspora was formed largely after World War I as a result of the Armenian Genocide.The Armenian Genocide (other names) was the systematic mass murder and ethnic cleansing of around one million ethnic Armenians from Anatolia and adjoining regions by the Ottoman Empire. Although many Armenians perished during the Armenian Genocide, some of the Armenians who managed to escape, established themselves in various parts of the world.[2] There are an estimated 300,000 to 600,000 people of Armenian descent in France today.[3]

Emigration from France[edit | edit source]

  • Between 1848 and 1939, 1 million people with French passports emigrated to other countries. In the Western Hemisphere, the main communities of French ancestry are found in the United States, Canada and Argentina. Sizeable groups are also found in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay and Australia.[4]

Timeline[edit | edit source]

Significant numbers of emigrants left France during the following periods:

  • 1538 to 1685 Protestants (Huguenots) flee religious persecutions in France.
  • 1600s to 1700s French colonization, especially in the Americas, was prominent in the late 17th and 18th centuries.
  • 1632 to 1713 French settle Quebec and Acadia (Canada).
  • 1722 Alsatian colonies established in the Holy Roman Empire (Austria-Hungary).
  • 1764 to 1786 Alsatians colonize Russia, Ukraine, and Banat.
  • 1785:  Some exiled Acadians shipped from France to Louisiana.
  • 1789 to 1791 About 500,000 refugees flee the French Revolution for neighboring nations and the Americas. About half later returned.
  • 1804 to 1832 Additional Alsatians emigrate to Ukraine, Bessarabia, and Banat.
  • 1815 to 1817 Political turmoil after the fall of Napoleon leads to a wave of French emigration to neighboring countries and the Americas.
  • 1821-1920 Around 121,000 Basques and Bearnese people from Basses-Pyrénées emigrated to America—more than 108,000 from 1835 to 1901.
  • 1830 to 1962 French colonize Algeria (Africa).
  • 1830s, 1840s, 1850s, and 1860s Agents go from town to town recruiting emigrants, mostly in Alsace-Lorraine. Some went to America, others to Russia.
  • 1871 There is a wave of French emigrants, largely to North America.

Cultural Groups[edit | edit source]

  • French colonization, especially in the Americas, was prominent in the late 17th and 18th centuries.
  • At the end of the 18th century, French emigration (1789–1815) was a massive movement of émigrés mostly to neighboring European countries, as a result of the violence caused by the French Revolution. *Later emigration was often associated with economic conditions. From 1847 to 1857, almost 200,000 French people emigrated abroad.
  • From 1821 to 1920, around 121,000 Basques and Bearnese people from Basses-Pyrénées emigrated to America—more than 108,000 from 1835 to 1901. [4][5]
  • Occitans, from Southern France, often felt denied the right of their cultural heritage and some relocated out of France in quiet protest to other countries, esp. French-speaking Canada and other parts of the French Empire and French-speaking areas of Europe. Also there have been Occitan-speaking settlers in Pigüé, Argentina; sporadically Mexico and Chile; and even into the US in Valdese, North Carolina. [5]
  • Huguenots, or French Protestantsoften migrated to nearby Protestant majority lands like Netherlands, Germany, the UK, the United States and Canada (then British North America), South Africa, and other lands like Switzerland, Scandinavia, Poland (the Prussian Empire), Hungary; and Australia and New Zealand in the 19th century.[5]
  • Corsicans from the French administered island of Corsica, emigration to Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and the United States.[4]

French Colonial Records[edit | edit source]

It would be a massive undertaking to report the background of all the colonies France established. Countries with large percentages of French descendants are discussed in the balance of this article. However, French immigrated played a role in the following list of French colonies.

Birth, marriage, and death records were kept by the French in their colonies since 1776. These may have information on home towns in France for first-generation immigrants:

"Created in June 1776 by a royal edict, the Depot of public papers of the colonies, more commonly known as the DPPC, was responsible for keeping at the level of the central administration in the form of copies the most important documents drawn up in the colonies, which could guarantee the human rights and state security.
The civil status, kept on site in duplicate as in mainland France (the original for the municipality of birth, the copy for the tribunal de grande instance) was therefore also kept in the form of a third copy (triplicate) by this institution. It is this copy that the Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer keeps and puts online."

Records of French Emigrants in Their Destination Nations[edit | edit source]

Dark thin font green pin Version 4.png One option is to look for records about the ancestor in the country of destination, the country they immigrated into. See links to Wiki articles about immigration records for major destination countries below. Additional Wiki articles for other destinations can be found at Category:Emigration and Immigration Records.

Acadia and Quebec (Canada)[edit | edit source]

In 1755, England drove French settlers in Acadia (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, and Maine) out of their settlements to France, England, and English colonies in America. In 1785, Spain transported seven shiploads of Acadian exiles to Louisiana where Acadians were called Cajuns.
Several French Canadian sources mention the French home parish of an individual or his parents, for example:

Algeria[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Algeria Background[edit | edit source]

French Colonization of Algeria: Under the pretext of a slight to their consul, the French invaded and captured Algiers in 1830. Historian Ben Kiernan wrote on the French conquest of Algeria: "By 1875, the French conquest was complete. The war had killed approximately 825,000 indigenous Algerians since 1830." French losses from 1831 to 1851 were 92,329 dead in the hospital and only 3,336 killed in action."

  • From 1848 until independence, France administered the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria as an integral part and département of the nation. One of France's longest-held overseas territories, Algeria became a destination for hundreds of thousands of European immigrants, who became known as colons and later, as Pied-Noirs. Between 1825 and 1847, 50,000 French people emigrated to Algeria. Many Europeans settled in Oran and Algiers, and by the early 20th century they formed a majority of the population in both cities.
  • During the late 19th and early 20th century, the European share was almost a fifth of the population. The French government aimed at making Algeria an assimilated part of France, and this included substantial educational investments, especially after 1900.
  • Gradually, dissatisfaction among the Muslim population, which lacked political and economic status under the colonial system, gave rise to demands for greater political autonomy and eventually independence from France. Tensions between the two population groups came to a head in 1954, when the first violent events of what was later called the Algerian War began. The war against French rule concluded in 1962, when Algeria gained complete independence. [6]

Argentina[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Argentina Background[edit | edit source]

French Argentines form one of the largest ancestry groups after Italian Argentines and Spanish Argentines. Between 1857 and 1946, 261,020 French people immigrated to Argentina. Besides immigration from continental France, Argentina also received, as early as the 1840s, immigrants with French background from neighboring countries, notably Uruguay, which expanded the French Argentine community. In 2006, it was estimated that around 6 million Argentines had some degree of French ancestry, up to 17% of the total population.[7]

ed 1 May 2021.</ref>

Australia[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Australia Background[edit | edit source]

  • Many Australians with French ancestry are descended from Huguenot refugees.
  • Others who came later were from poorer Huguenot families. They migrated to Australia from England in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to escape the poverty in the East End of London, notably in the Huguenot enclaves of Spitalfields and Bethnal Green'. Their impoverishment had been brought about by the effect of the Industrial Revolution, which caused the collapse of the Huguenot-dominated silk-weaving industry.
  • A number of French orders of priests, nuns and brothers have contributed to the Catholic Church in Australia. They included the teaching orders of the De La Salle Brothers, Marist Brothers, and Marist Sisters. The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, based in Kensington, New South Wales, ran missions in remote Australia and New Guinea.
  • The largest post-war increase in French migration to Australia came during the 1960s and 1970s; unlike many other European countries, France did not establish a migration scheme in the immediate post-war period due to chronic underemployment, despite Australia seeing the French as some of the most desirable immigrants to obtain during that era.
  • Since that time, there has only been a small flow of French immigrants to Australia. Many people in the French-Australian community now originate from French overseas territories, especially New Caledonia.[8]

Basque Diaspora[edit | edit source]

  • The Basques are a people who live between the Bay of Biscay and the Pyrenees Mountains. They are currently to be found in France, in the so called "North Basque Country" or Pays Basques, and in Spain in the so called "South Basque Country" or Pais Vascos. There is also a considerable Basque Diaspora, particularly in Latin America and the USA. The Basque diaspora is the name given to describe people of Basque origin living outside their traditional homeland on the borders between Spain and France. Many Basques have left the Basque Country for other parts of the globe for economic and political reasons, with substantial populations in Colombia, Argentina and Chile with those of Basque ancestry in the hundreds of thousands; Peru, Venezuela, Guatemala and Uruguay (an estimated 5,000 to 50,000 descendants), Canada, and the United States.
  • People of Basque descent make up 10% of Argentina's population, and it was a major destination for Basques emigrating from both Spain and France in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • The Basques arrived in Chile in the 18th century as merchants, and due to their hard work and entrepreneurship, rose to the top of the social scale and intermarried into the Chilean elites of Castilian descent. This union is the basis of the Chilean elite of today. Thousands of Basque refugees fleeing Spanish Civil War in 1939 also settled and have many descendants in the country. Population estimates of Basque-Chileans range from 10% (1,600,000) to as high as 27% (4,500,000).
  • Colombia was one of early focus of Basque immigration; it is estimated that at least 40% of the Coffee Axis and Antioquia's population have Basque origin (2,800,000 persons). Between 1640 and 1859, 18.9% of the residents of Colombia were of Basque origin, making it possible for demographers to predict that nowadays more than half of the country has this ancestry (25,000,000 persons). The Colombian department of Antioquia has been considered a major route of the Basque-Navarre immigration, mainly during the colonial era, when hundreds of Basques migrated to be linked to the Spanish colonization companies.
  • A notable percentage of Peruvian people have at least one Basque surname, with more than 6 million or 18% of the national population. They trace back their presence to colonial times.
  • It is estimated that up to 10% of Uruguay's population has at least one parent with a Basque surname. The first wave of Basque immigrants to Uruguay came from the French side of the Basque country beginning about 1824.
  • The first wave of Basque immigration to Venezuela consisted in Conquerors and Missionaries, during the Colonization of Venezuela. The second wave of Basque immigration started on 1939, as a result of the Spanish Civil War.[9]

Brazil[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Brazil Background[edit | edit source]

Between 1850 and 1965 around 100,000 French people immigrated to Brazil.[2] The country received the second largest number of French immigrants to South America after Argentina (239,000). It is estimated that there are around 1 million Brazilians of French descent today. French colonies: Piracicaba (São Paulo - 1852); Guaraqueçaba (Paraná - 1852); Ivaí (Paraná - 1847).[10]

Chile[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Chile Background[edit | edit source]

  • There are 800,000 descendants of the French in Chile today.
  • The French came to Chile in the 18th century, arriving at Concepción as merchants, and in the mid-19th century to cultivate vines in the haciendas of the Central Valley, the homebase of world-famous Chilean wine.
  • The Araucanía Region also has an important number of people of French ancestry, as the area hosted settlers arrived by the second half of the 19th century as farmers and shopkeepers.
  • From 1840 to 1940, around 25,000 Frenchmen immigrated to Chile. 80% of them were coming from 'Southwestern France, especially from Basses-Pyrénées (Basque country and Béarn), Gironde, Charente-Inférieure and Charente and regions situated between Duran, Gers, and Dordogne.
  • Most of French immigrants settled in the country between 1875 and 1895. Between October 1882 and December 1897, 8,413 Frenchmen settled in Chile, making up 23% of immigrants (second only after Spaniards) from this period. In 1863, 2,650 French citizens were registered in Chile. At the end of the century they were almost 30,000. [11]

Cuba[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Cuba Background[edit | edit source]

  • The first wave of French immigrants to arrive in Cuba were fleeing the Haitian Revolution and the new governmental administration of Haiti after independence was declared. This immigration reached its peak between 1800 and 1809, when more than twenty-seven thousand French of all social classes arrived in the eastern part of Cuba. Many of them emigrated to the city of Santiago de Cuba, which had neither sidewalks nor paved streets, and lacked drinking water, supplies and dwellings for the refugees.
  • The beginning of the Peninsular War (1807–1814) between France and Spain caused the Captaincy General of the island to expel Franco-Haitian and French residents, and only those French who were naturalized Spanish citizens and had assimilated into the Spanish culture were allowed to remain. The exact number of French persons expelled from Santiago de Cuba is unknown, most of them moved to the southern United States, especially Louisiana.
  • In 1814, when peace between France and Spain was restored, the French immigrants who had left Cuba were allowed to return to the island. They, together with new French immigrants, formed a second wave of French immigration to Santiago de Cuba.
  • Between 1818 and 1835, a third wave of immigration to Santiago de Cuba occurred, prompted by a royal order from the Spanish Crown intended to increase the proportion of whites in the Cuban population.
  • The fourth and final wave of French immigrants to Santiago de Cuba occurred between 1836 and 1868. In this period over 2200 French settlers emigrated, most of them coming from the Atlantic coast of France. The local economy was strengthened while the immigrants were absorbed into traditional occupations. In 1851, a French-owned steamship line was inaugurated to improve communications between Santiago de Cuba and New York City.[12]

Mexico[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Mexico Background[edit | edit source]

  • French nationals make up the second largest European immigrant group in Mexico, after Spaniards.
  • The first wave of French immigration to Mexico occurred in the 1830s, following the country's recognition by France, with the foundation of a French colony on the Coatzacoalcos River, in the state of Veracruz. In total, 668 settlers were brought from France to populate the colony. Most of them went back to France as the project of colonization failed, but some permanently settled in Mexico. In 1833, another colony was founded in the state of Veracruz as well, under the name of Jicaltepec. In 1874, the community resettled on the other bank of the river, in San Rafael. From 1880 to 1900, the population of the colony grew from 800 to 1,000 inhabitants. There are now around 10,000 French Mexicans in the state of Veracruz.
  • Most French Mexicans descend from immigrants and soldiers that settled in Mexico during the Second Mexican Empire, headed by Maximilian I of Mexico and masterminded by Emperor Napoleon III of France in the 1860s to create a Latin empire in the New World.
  • The largest wave of immigration from France to Mexico came from the city of Barcelonnette, in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. Between 1850 and 1950, 5,000 to 6,000 inhabitants of the Ubaye Valley immigrated to Mexico. Today, there are '60,000 descendants of the "Barcelonnettes".
  • According to the 2010 Census, French people form the second largest European emigrant community in Mexico after Spaniards. There are around 9,500 French nationals registered in Mexico and about 6,000 to 7,000 Frenchmen unregistered. Two thirds of them are Mexicans of French ancestry holding double nationality. Many Mexicans of French descent live in cities and states such as Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Aguascalientes, Veracruz, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Puebla, Queretaro and Mexico City.[13]

New Caledonia[edit | edit source]

New Caledonia Online Records[edit | edit source]

New Caledonia Background[edit | edit source]

  • New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France in the southwest Pacific Ocean.
  • On 24 September 1853, France took formal possession of New Caledonia.
  • A few dozen free settlers settled on the west coast in the following years.
  • New Caledonia became a penal colony in 1864, and from the 1860s until the end of the transportations in 1897, France sent about 22,000 criminals and political prisoners to New Caledonia. Once the prisoners had completed their sentences, they were given land to settle. The Bulletin de la Société générale des prisons for 1888 indicates that 10,428 convicts, including 2,329 freed ones, were on the island as of 1 May 1888, by far the largest number of convicts detained in French overseas penitentiaries.
  • The convicts included many Communards, arrested after the failed Paris Commune of 1871.
  • Between 1873 and 1876, 4,200 political prisoners were "relegated" to New Caledonia. Only 40 of them settled in the colony; the rest returned to France after being granted amnesty in 1879 and 1880.
  • According to the 2014 census, of the 73,199 Europeans in New Caledonia 36,975 were born in Metropolitan France. The Metropolitan French-born migrants who come to New Caledonia are called Métros or Zoreilles, indicating their origins in metropolitan France.
  • There is also a community of about 2,000 "pieds noirs", descended from European settlers in France's former North African colonies;[14]

Puerto Rico[edit | edit source]

Puerto Rico Online Records[edit | edit source]

Puerto Rico Background[edit | edit source]

  • Today, the great number of Puerto Ricans of French ancestry are evident in the 19% of family surnames on the island that are of French origin. These are easily traceable to mainland France, French Louisiana émigrés, and other French colonies in the Caribbean.
  • Upon the outbreak of the French and Indian War (1754–1763), between Great Britain and its American Colonies against France, many of the French settlers fearing the English-speaking intruders who were invading Louisiana fled to the Caribbean islands of Cuba, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and Puerto Rico.These islands welcomed and protected the French from their English and Protestant enemy.
  • When the British attempted to invade Puerto Rico in 1797, many of the French immigrants offered their services to the Spanish colonial government in Puerto Rico in defense of the Island that had taken them in when they fled from the Louisiana "Territory" of the United States.
  • The British attempted to land in San Juan harbor with a force of 400 French prisoners, who were forced to fight (against their will) the other French troops defending Puerto Rico. French Consul M. Paris, sent a letter addressed to the French soldiers being forced to fight for England, promising them a safe haven in San Juan. The French prisoners agreed to accept the offer and become settlers on the Island. The English retreated from the Island without their 400 French prisoners. The newly arrived 400 Frenchmen all stayed and thrived in Puerto Rico. They soon sent for their families who were living in France.
  • In 1796, the Spanish Crown ceded the western half of the island of Hispaniola to the French. The French named their part Saint-Domingue (which was later renamed Haiti). The French settlers dedicated themselves to the cultivation of the sugar cane and owned plantations, which required a huge amount of manpower. They enslaved and imported people from Africa to work in the fields. In 1791, the enslaved African people rebelled against the French in what is known as the Haitian Revolution. The French fled to Santo Domingo and made their way to Puerto Rico. Once there, they settled in the western region of the island in towns such as Mayagüez. With their expertise, they helped develop the island's sugar industry, converting Puerto Rico into a world leader in the exportation of sugar.
  • In 1815, the Spanish Crown had issued a Royal Decree with the intention of encouraging more trade between Puerto Rico and other countries who were friendly towards Spain. The decree also free land to any Spaniard (and eventually French) who would be willing to settle on the island. Thousands of French and Corsican families (the Corsicans were French citizens of Italian descent) settled in Puerto Rico. The Corsicans (who had Italian surnames) settled the mountainous region in and around the towns of Adjuntas, Lares, Utuado, Guayanilla, Ponce and Yauco, where they became successful coffee plantation owners. The French who immigrated with them from mainland France also settled in various places in the island, mostly in the unsettled interior regions of the Island, which up to that point were virtually uninhabited.[15]

Russia[edit | edit source]

Russia Online Records[edit | edit source]

Russia Background[edit | edit source]

  • In 1763, Catherine the Great of Russia offered free land, no taxes for 30 years, freedom of religion, and other incentives to west Europeans to settle her vast, sparsely populated domain. Dozens of German and French (Alsatian) colonies were established and grew until World War I.
  • A French Protestant colony was established at Schabo in Bessarabia.
  • Since many Alsatians (people in Alsace-Lorraine, France) spoke more German than French, they were often called Germans when they emigrated to other nations. For example, some of the "Germans from Russia" were actually from Alsace-Lorraine, instead of from Germany. See the Germany Emigration and Immigration and the Germans from Russia Genealogy Wiki articles for important emigration records that include German-speaking Alsatians of France.
  • Many Russian Alsatians moved to the United States, Canada, or South America, beginning in 1874.

United States[edit | edit source]

United States Online Sources[edit | edit source]

United States Background[edit | edit source]

  • Some Franco-Americans arrived prior to the founding of the United States, settling in places like the Midwest, Louisiana or Northern New England. Twenty-three of the Contiguous United States were colonized in part by French pioneers or French Canadians, including settlements such as Iowa (Des Moines), Missouri (St. Louis), Kentucky (Louisville) and Michigan (Detroit), among others. While found throughout the country, today Franco-Americans are most numerous in New England, northern New York, the Midwest and Louisiana. Often, Franco-Americans are identified more specifically as being of French Canadians, Cajuns or Louisiana Creole descent.
  • From the beginning of the 17th century, French Canadians explored and traveled to the region with their coureur de bois and explorers. The French Canadians set up a number of villages along the waterways, including Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; La Baye, Wisconsin; Cahokia, Illinois; Kaskaskia, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan; Saint Ignace, Michigan; Vincennes, Indiana; St. Paul, Minnesota; St. Louis, Missouri; and Sainte Genevieve, Missouri.
  • In the 17th and early 18th centuries, there was an influx of a few thousand Huguenots, who were Calvinist refugees fleeing religious persecution following the issuance of the 1685 Edict of Fontainebleau by Louis XIV of the Kingdom of France.
  • Louisiana Creole people refers to those who are descended from the colonial settlers in Louisiana, especially those of French and Spanish descent. Their ancestors settled Acadia, in what is now the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and part of Maine in the 17th and early 18th centuries. In 1755, the British Army forced the Acadians to either swear an oath of loyalty to the British Crown or face expulsion. Some four thousand managed to make the long trek to Louisiana, where they began a new life.

Uruguay[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

  • 1888-1980 Uruguay, Passenger Lists, 1888-1980, index. The following information may be found: first and last name, port or country of origin, gender, age, occupation, marital status, nationality

Uruguay Background[edit | edit source]

  • During the first half of the 19th century, Uruguay received most of French immigrants to South America. 13,922 Frenchmen, most of them from the Basque Country and Béarn, left for Uruguay between 1833 and 1842.
  • Most of French immigrants who settled in Uruguay immigrated between 1838 and 1852, with a peak of 10,300 immigrants in 1843. Frenchmen made up 41.5% of immigrants to Uruguay between 1835 and 1842, representing the main source of immigration to the country.
  • Another great wave of French immigration to Uruguay occurred during the Paraguayan War until the 1870s. 2,718 French immigrants settled in the country between 1866 and 1867.[
  • The newspaper Le Patriote Français estimated the French colony in Montevideo in 1841 was around 18,000 persons. Another source claims the French colony in Uruguay reached 14,000 in 1842, 10,000 of them living in Montevideo and 4,000 in the countryside. 15,000 Frenchmen were registered in the country in 1843, most of them living in Montevideo where they made up a third of the population. The figure decreased to 8,891 in 1860 (making up 11.5% of foreigners) as many of them relocated to Buenos Aires but was as high as 17,900 in 1872.[16]

Vietnam[edit | edit source]

Vietnam Online Records[edit | edit source]

Vietnam Background[edit | edit source]

  • The French colonial empire was heavily involved in Vietnam in the 19th century; often French intervention was undertaken in order to protect the work of the Paris Foreign Missions Society in the country.
  • Between 1862 and 1867, the southern third of French Indochina became the French colony of Cochinchina. In 1867, the provinces of An Giang, Hà Tiên and Vĩnh Long were added to French-controlled territory. All the territories in southern Vietnam were declared to be the new French colony of Cochinchina.
  • Most French settlers in Indochina were concentrated in Cochinchina, particularly in Saigon, and in Hanoi, the colony's capital.
  • French Indochina was dissolved under the Geneva Accords of 1954 into three countries—Vietnam, and the kingdoms of Cambodia and Laos.
  • Unlike Algeria, French settlement in Indochina did not occur at a grand scale. By 1940, only about 34,000 French civilians lived in French Indochina, along with a smaller number of French military personnel and government workers. [17]

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

Published Emigration Records[edit | edit source]

Lists of emigrants are often published. These usually focus on the emigrants from one town, department, or region. An Dozens of other published emigrant lists from many areas of France can be identified in the Place search of the FamilySearch Catalog under the town, department, province, or region from which the emigrants came.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 'Immigration into France", in Wikipedia,, accessed 28 April 2021.
  2. "Armenian diaspora", in Wikipedia,, accessed 29 April 2021.
  3. "Armenian population by country", in Wikipedia,, accessed 29 April 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "French diaspora", in Wikipedia,, accessed 9 July 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "List of diasporas", in Wikipedia,, accessed 9 July 2021.
  6. "Algeria", in Wikipedia,, accessed 1 May 2021.
  7. "French Argentines", in Wikipedia,, accessed 9 July 2021.
  8. "French Australians", in Wikipedia,, accessed 9 July 2021.
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