Aude, France Genealogy

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Guide to Aude ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers.



For almost two centuries, Aude enjoyed peace and strong economic growth. The Visigoths invaded the area at a time when, the Roman senator, was busy suppressing the Bagaudes who were brigands or lawless types in central and northern Gaul. Roman authority was restored until 462. In 507, the victory of Clovis I at the battle of Vouillé permitted him to conquer Toulouse and Aquitaine. However, he could not recover the Aude territory which remained in the hands of the Visigoths. In 817, Louis le Débonnaire detached Carcassès and Razès from Septimania to reunite them with the marquisate of Toulouse and the kingdom of Aquitaine. Razès was another county that was formed by an archbishop of Narbonne who had been chased from his town by the Saracens.
In 1561, religious troubles appeared at Carcassonne in the form of a Protestant crisis. Duke Henri I de Montmorency, the Governor of the Languedoc, joined the Reformed side in 1574. On the Catholic side, the Duke Anne de Joyeuse became head of the Catholic League. Henri II de Montmorency was defeated at the Battle of Castelnaudary in September 1632 against the royal troops then was condemned to death and executed at Toulouse.

The present department is one of the original 83 departments created by the Constituent Assembly during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Languedoc. The Aude enjoyed strong wine production while grain farmers of Lauragais faced great difficulties. However, the department suffered from oversupply and a slump in sales of wine. In 1907 the crisis produced a winemakers’ revolt.

Localities Communes)

Church Records and Civil Registration (Registres Paroissiaux et Etat civil) Online

The vast majority of your research will be in church records and civil registration. For more information on these records and how to use them, read France Church Records and France Civil Registration. Fortunately, these records are available online from the archives of each department:
Here is the website for the Department Archives of Aude, where you will find these records.

See Using France Online Department Archives for step by step instructions on finding and reading these records.

Online Census Records

Census records can support your search in civil and church records. They can help identify all family members. When families have similar names they help determine which children belong in each family. See France Census.

Online Local Databases and Extracted Records

Groups devoted to genealogy have also extracted and/or indexed records for specific localities, time periods, religious groups, etc. Since church records at the departmental archives are generally not indexed, you might find an index here that will speed up your searching.

Microfilm Records of the FamilySearch Library

The church and civil registration records have all been microfilmed. Currently, they are being digitized, and plans are to complete that project by 2020. Check back occasionally to see if your records have become available. In the meantime, some of them might be available at a Family History Center near you. To find a microfilm: Click on Aude , find and click on "Places within France, Aude," and choose your locality from the list.

Writing for Records

Online records tend to cover only the time before 100 years, due to privacy laws. You can write to civil registration offices and local churches who might honor requests for more recent records of close family members for the purpose of genealogy.

For a civil registration office, address your request to:

Monsieur l'officier de l'état-civil
Mairie de (Town)
(Postal code) (Town)

For a parish church:

Monsieur le Curé
(Church --see The Catholic Directory for church name and address)
(Town) (Postal Code) France

For other addresses and for help writing your request in French, use French Letter Writing Guide.

Learning to Read Enough French to Do Genealogy

It's easier than you think! You do not have to be fluent in French to use these records, as there is only a limited vocabulary used in them. By learning a few key phrases, you will be able to read them adequately. Here are some resources for learning to read French records.

There is a three-lesson course in reading handwriting in old French records:

These lessons focus on reading church record and civil registration records:

Another resource is the French Records Extraction Manual, Full Manual. Much more is covered, but these first four lessons are especially useful.

Genealogical Societies and Help Groups

  • History and Genealogy in Minervois (Histoire et Généalogie en Minervois)
22 rue Pontus de la Gardie
11160 - Caunes-Minervois
Tel.: or (on Saturdays between 10:30 and 12:00)

  • Entraide Généalogique du Midi Toulousain
Siège social: 1, bis avenue Lamartine
31100 Toulouse

  • Association Narbonnaise de Généalogie
20 Rue Mazagran
11100 Narbonne

  • Cercle Généalogique de Languedoc
18, rue de la Tannerie
31400 Toulouse
Téléphone : 05 62 26 15 30