|France Research Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
In France, tombstones with inscriptions can be found from as early as the 18th century. The inscriptions may apply to entire families, because members of the same family may be buried in the same grave in layers for several generations. Family inscriptions are especially common for the recent 20th century. Some older French graves have been replaced by new graves with recently deceased persons and new tombstones.
Cemetery records may include the name of the deceased, age, birth date, death date, and sometimes marriage information. They may also provide clues about military service, occupation, place of residence at time of death, or membership in an organization, such as a lodge. It is illegal to photograph French tombstones without permission of the cemetery keeper.
Cemetery files are usually kept at the town hall. The cemetery keeper at the entrance to a cemetery may have alphabetical files with detailed information and relationships.
A Jewish or German cemetery may be adjacent to but separated from the Catholic cemetery.
Death memorials and cemetery inscriptions (Obituaires, registres des cultes anniversaires des décès, et inscriptions mortuaires)
Research use: Used to distinguish adults from deceased children with similar names in parish registers where death information is often very meager.
Record type: Obituaries, gravestone burial inscriptions and sexton records.
Time Period: 1400-present. Some as early as the 12th century..
Content: Names, ages, death and burial dates and places, birth dates and places, sometimes relatives.
Location: Church and civil archives, private collections, municipal cemetery registries, periodicals, newspapers.
Percentage in Family History Library: 2%.
Population coverage: 40%.
Few cemetery records or tombstone transcriptions from France have been published. Some are listed in the Place section of the FamilySearch Catalog under:
FRANCE - CEMETERIES
FRANCE, [DEPARTMENT] - CEMETERIES
FRANCE, [DEPARTMENT], [TOWN] - CEMETERIES
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: France,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1984-1998.