Haute-Savoie, France Genealogy

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



Together with Savoie, Haute-Savoie was annexed by France on 14 June 1860 from the Kingdom of Sardinia in accordance with the Treaty of Turin. Previously, the territory of Savoy had been under French First Republic rule between 1792 and 1815, at which time it had been returned to the Kingdom of Sardinia. Haute-Savoie is adjacent to the departments of Savoie and Ain, as well as Switzerland and Italy. Wikipedia

Localities (Communes)

Record Loss

Census records for the arrondissements of Bonneville, Saint-Julien-en-Genevois et Thonon-les-Bains before 1886 were destroyed following a narrow reading of a ministerial circular of 12 August 1887 requiring the culling of lists of names more than 6 years old. [1]

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 Haute-Savoie, where you will find these records.

See Using France Online Department Archives for step by step instructions on finding and reading these records. For a demonstration of navigating archives websites, watch the video, Using France Department Archives Online.

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 Haute-Savoie , find and click on "Places within France, Haute-Savoie," 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.

During the reign of Napoleon, a different calendar was used. You will want to translate the dates written in these records back to normal Julian calendar dates. Charts in tis article will help you:

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.

Some Catholic Church records will be written in Latin:

A number of issues of newspapers which circulated in Haute-Savoie have been digitised and are searchable online at Rhône-Alpes News and Memory, a collaborative site serving the Rhône-Alpes region.

Newspapers in the Haute-Savoie region:[2]

Periodical name place of publication published from until frequency comments
Alpes Annecy 1869 twice weekly
Croix de la Haute-Savoie Annecy 1891 weekly
L'Echo du Mont-Blanc Annecy 1848 1856 weekly on-line
L’Indicateur de la Savoie Annecy 1879 1914 weekly on-line
Industrie Hôtelière Annecy 1902 fortnightly
Industriel Savoisien Annecy 1853 weekly
Revue du Diocèse d'Annecy Annecy 1882 weekly
Progrès de la Haute-Savoie Annemasse 1898 weekly
Messager Agricole Bonneville 1897 weekly
Echo de Faucigny Cluses
L'Ange et l'Orphelin Douvaine monthly
Rochois La Roche-sur-Foron 1880 weekly
Journal du Commerce et de l'Agriculture Rumilly-Albanais 1870 weekly
Cultivateur Savoyard Saint-Julien-Genevois 1877 weekly
Echo du Léman Thonon
Messager Agricole et la Zone Franche Thonon weekly
Union Républicaine Thonon weekly

Archives and Libraries

Most records of genealogical interest are held locally and not by the central National Archives.

The Departmental Archives for Haute-Savoie Archives départementales de Haute-Savoie) are located at 37 bis avenue de la Plaine, 74000 Annecy.

Genealogical Societies and Help Groups

Société Savoisienne d’Histoire et d’Archéologie

The Savoisian Incorporated Association of History and Archaeology was formed in 1855 and incorporated in 1881. It publishes quarterly reference books, organizes conferences, seminars, public lectures, and study tours. It also maintains a large specialized library open to the public. It publishes a website (in French only).

Mailing Lists

The area of Haute-Savoie is covered by bilingual English-French mailing list for the Rhône-Alpes Region of France at Rootsweb.

A French language mailing list, GénéSavoie (généalogie en Savoie) serves those with a genealogical interest in Savoy covering both French departments of Haute-Savoie and Savoie.


  • doc=accounts%2Fmnesys_cg74%2Fdatas%2Fir%2FArchives_modernes%2Frecensement%2FFRAD074_000000270%2Exml page_ref=71 unittitle=Recensements%20de%20la%20population%20de%20la%20Haute-Savoie& unitid=6%20M%20105-420 unitdate=1861-1936 Inventaire des recensements de la population de la Haute-Savoie, Departmental Archives of Haute-Savoie accessed 22 December 2012.
  • L'Argus de la presse: Nomenclature des journaux, revues, périodiques français paraissant en France et en langue française à l'étranger, (1st ed. 1917, L'Argus, Paris), ISSN 20179618, Gallica, La Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) accessed 31 December 2012.