Seine-Saint-Denis, France Genealogy
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|Local Research Resources|
Guide to Seine-Saint-Denis ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers.
- 1 History
- 2 Localities (Communes)
- 3 Church Records and Civil Registration (Registres Paroissiaux et Etat Civil) Online
- 4 Online Census Records
- 5 Online Local Databases and Extracted Records
- 6 Microfilm Records of the FamilySearch Library
- 7 Writing for Records
- 8 Learning to Read Enough French to Do Genealogy
- 9 Search Strategy
- 10 Genealogical Societies and Help Groups
- 11 Websites
The Seine department was originally called the Paris department when it was created on March 4, 1790. In 1795 it was renamed the Seine department.
Seine-Saint-Denis was created in January 1968, through the implementation of a law passed in July 1964. It was formed from the part of the larger Seine department to the north and north-east of the Paris ring road and the line of the old city walls. Seine-Saint-Denis has a history as a veritable left-wing stronghold, belonging to the red belt of Paris. The French Communist Party especially has maintained a continued strong presence in the department, and still controls the city councils of a number cities. Until 2008, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne were the only departments where the Communist Party had a majority in the general councils but the 2008 cantonal elections saw the socialists become the strongest group at the Seine-Saint-Denis general council. The Communist Party gained a majority in Allier and lost it in 2015). 
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. For most of France, these records are available online from the archives of each department. Digitization for the records of Seine-Saint-Denis began in March and April of 2017. Registers might be unavailable for consultation as this work progresses. You can check the genealogical collections of Seine-Saint-Denis Department here from time to time to see what has become available. In the meantime, the following methods can help you access the records:
- Seine-Saint-Denis was created from splitting the Department of Seine-et-Oise in 1968. It also covers a small part that was formally in the Department of Seine.
- Search the records of the Family History Library, which has microfilmed records for several municipalities formerly in Seine or Seine-et-Oise.
- These microfilms can be borrowed from the collection of the Family History Library or at a nearby Family History Center
Contact the Seine-Saint-Denis Archives
Try contacting the archives to see if arrangements can be made to have a record copied and mailed:
- Departmental Archives of Seine-Saint-Denis
- 54 avenue du President Salvador Allende
- 93000 Bobigny
- Departmental Archives of Seine-Saint-Denis
- Tel: 01.43.93.97.00
- Fax: 01.43.93.96.00
- Tel: 01.43.93.97.00
This guide will help you in writing to the archives in French: France Letter Writing Guide
Hiring Searches by an Agent Your Behalf
Online Census Records
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.
- Paris, France & Vicinity, Births, 1700-1899, index, ($).
- Paris, France & Vicinity Marriage Banns, 1860-1902, index, ($).
- Paris, France & Vicinity Marriages, 1700-1907, index, ($)
- Paris & Vicinity, France, Death Notices, 1860-1902, index, ($)
- Paris & Vicinity, France Electoral Rolls, 1891, index, ($).
- Tout en Un (All in One) Online Databases Check for online databases and records in right column. Check back occasionally to see if new databases have become available.
- Tout en Un (All in One) Local Databases Here you may find extracted/translated records, record indexes, and other helpful records such as cemetery, land, or military records.
- Geneanet Collaborative Indexes Search by locality (parish or commune).
- France, Protestant Church Records, 1536-1894 at FamilySearch (index and images)
- Cercle de Généalogie et d'Histoire de la Seine-Saint-Denis Geneabank Search
- Cercle d’Études Généalogiques et Héraldiques de l'Ile-de-France Database Surname Search
- CEGHIF Databases
- Civil records of Bobigny
- 1542-1900 - France, Civil Registration, Various Communes, 1542-1900 at FamilySearch — index
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 Seine-Saint-Denis , find and click on "Places within France, Seine-Saint-Denis," and choose your locality from the list.
If your locality is not found there, click on Seine , and check in "Places within France, Seine."
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:
- Reading French Handwritten Records Lesson 1: The French Alphabet,
- Reading French Handwritten Records Lesson 2: Key Words and Phrases
- Reading French Handwritten Records Lesson 3: Reading 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.
- Chapter 1: OLD FRENCH RECORDS
- Chapter 2: PARISH CHRISTENING AND CIVIL BIRTH ENTRIES
- Chapter 3: MARRIAGE ENTRIES
- Chapter 4: OTHER ENTRIES
- Chapter 5: FRENCH HANDWRITING AND SPELLING
- Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
- Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
- You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
- Search the death registers for all known family members.
- Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
- If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.
Genealogical Societies and Help Groups
- Seine-Saint-Denis Wiki GenWeb Associations
- Seine-Saint-Denis Forums
- Southern Europe Genealogy Research Community
- Tout en Un Seine-Saint-Denis
- GenWeb, Seine-Saint-Denis Portal
- Cousins 93
- Geneanet Surname Search
- France Geneawiki Genealogical Sources includes instructional discussions of various records available.
- French Republican Calendar. This site will help you translate dates used by France from 24 October 1793 to 31 December 1805.
- There are parallel articles also available on the French Language Wiki. Because they are maintained by different authors, links may be added there that do not appear here. Generally, the articles translate automatically to English when accessed.