France Genealogy

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Guide to France ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

France Wiki Topics
Flag of France.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
France Background
Local Research Resources
The FamilySearch moderator for France is SugdenHG

Country Information[edit | edit source]

France is a country in Western Europe bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Spain, and Andorra. The French Republic was established in 1792. The official language is French.[1]

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Getting Started with France Research

Links to articles on getting started with France research.

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France Research Tools

Links to articles and websites that assist in French research.

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Finding Your Ancestors' Town in France[edit | edit source]

  • Genealogical records are organized by geographical locality. Civil registration (government birth, marriage, and death records) and church records (christenings/baptisms, marriages, and burials) were kept at the local level. To search these records, you must know the town where your ancestors lived.
  • If you do not know your ancestors' town, follow the advice in the Wiki article, France Finding Town of Origin to search a variety of records that might provide that information.

France Clickable Map[edit | edit source]

FinistèreIlle-et-VilaineVendéeCôtes d'ArmorMancheLoire-AtlantiqueMorbihanMaine-et-LoireOrneSartheEureOiseCalvadosMayenneSeine-MaritimeSommeNordArdennesAubePas-de-CalaisAisneVal-d’OiseEssonneYvelinesSeine-et-MarneMeuseParisParisMarneMeurthe-et-MoselleHaute-MarneMoselleSeine-Saint-DenisHauts-de-SeineBas-RhinTerritoire-de-BelfortHaut-RhinHaute-SaôneVal-de-MarneSaône-et-LoireVosgesDoubsCôte d'OrJuraYonneCherIndre-et-LoireEure-et-LoirNièvreIndreDeux-SèvresLoir-et-CherAllierAinLoiretCantalLoireDrômePuy-de-DômeRhôneArdècheHaute-SavoieHaute-LoireIsèreAlpes-MaritimesVaucluseSavoieAlpes-de-Haute-ProvenceBouches-du-RhôneHautes-AlpesVarHaute-CorseCorse-du-SudLozèreHéraultGardAudeAveyronPyrénées-OrientalesTarnLotGersTarn-et-GaronneAriègeHautes-PyrénéesHaute-GaronnePyrénées-AtlantiquesLot-et-GaronneCorrèzeLandesDordogneCreuseCharente-MaritimeGirondeHaute-VienneVienneCharenteFrance Map.png
About this image

Saint MartinGuadeloupeMartiniqueFrench GuianaLa RéunionMayotteMap of French Overseas Territories.png

Click on the specific department name either on the maps above or in the list below to access the FamilySearch wiki article for that department.

Jurisdictions[edit | edit source]

Departments[edit | edit source]

Today France is divided into 96 departments, plus 5 overseas departments. This number has changed over the years. In 1790 there were 83 and at the height of Napoleon's reign there were as many as 130. Records are kept on the town level, but one needs to know in which department the town is located.

Note: The numbers in parentheses following the department name correspond to the numbers on the map above. Territoire-de-Belfort does not have a number on the map; it is located immediately below Haut-Rhin (68). The (1) on the map corresponds to the Paris area shown on the left inset. The final five departments listed below are overseas not shown on map above; their FamilySearch wiki pages may be opened by clicking on the names.


Historic Provinces and their Capitols[edit | edit source]

French Overseas Territories[edit | edit source]

Many of the records of the French overseas territories are on-line at Les Archives nationales d’outre-mer, literally The Overseas National Archives.

More France Research Strategies[edit | edit source]

Research strategies give guidance on how to research or what records to search for first. Below are additional research strategy wiki articles for France.

Research Tutorials[edit | edit source]

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Research tools can include resources that assist in locating correct records to search and determining the correct locality to search in. Below are links and Wiki articles to research tools in France.

Because the Alsace-Lorraine region (Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin, Moselle, part of Vosges, and part of Meurthe-et-Moselle) once belonged to Germany, many records are written in German.

FamilySearch Resources[edit | edit source]

Below are FamilySearch resources that can assist you in researching your family.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "France," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 23 March 2016.