French Guiana, France Genealogy

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French Guiana Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
French Guiana Background
Local Research Resources
South America
French Guiana
Guide to French Guiana ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Country Information

French Guiana is an overseas department and region of France in South America bordered by Brazil and Suriname. The official language is French.[1]

Getting Started

Getting Started with French Guiana Research

Links to articles on getting started with French Guiana research.

French Guiana Research Tools

Links to articles and websites that assist in French Guiana research.

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French Guiana, France Map

Genealogy records are kept on the local level in French Guiana.

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French Guiana is divided into 2 arrondissements, 19 cantons (not shown here), and 22 communes:

Arrondissement of

  1. Awala-Yalimapo
  2. Mana
  3. Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni
  4. Apatou
  5. Grand-Santi
  6. Papaïchton
  7. Saül
  8. Maripasoula

Arrondissement of

  1. Camopi
  2. Saint-Georges, French Guiana|Saint-Georges
  3. Ouanary
  4. Régina
  5. Roura
  6. Saint-Élie
  7. Iracoubo
  8. Sinnamary
  9. Kourou
  10. Macouria
  11. Montsinéry-Tonnegrande
  12. Matoury
  13. Cayenne
  14. Remire-Montjoly

Online Church Records and Civil Registration

The vast majority of your research will be in church records and civil registration. Fortunately, these records are available online from the archives of each department.

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.

Finding Church Records and Civil Registration Online

Each Department of France has archives that provide digitized images of these records.
Here is the website for the Department Archives of Guyane, where you will find these records.
National Overseas Archives, Guyane

FamilySearch Resources

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


  1. Wikipedia contributors, “French Guiana,” in ‘’Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,’’, accessed 29 April 2016.