“First Steps in French Genealogy: Parish and Civil Registrations of Births, Marriages and Deaths”
Anne Morddel, CG
6 October–13 October 2018
France has required the recording of birth, marriage, and death information since 1539: first as Catholic parish registrations by curates and priests recording baptisms, marriages and burials; then, from 1792, as civil registrations by mayors or civil registrars recording births, marriages, deaths, and related details. Nearly all of these have been filmed and digitized and are available online.
This course explains the formats and structures of these registrations, how to extract information from them, and how to interpret it, as well as how to find them and to use them to find more genealogical information in other documentation.
Anne Morddel, CG, is a BCG-certified genealogist originally from Northern California, now based in France, and specializing in French genealogy. She is the author of The French Genealogy Blog, on which she has written over 650 posts solely on the subject of French genealogical research. Her book French Genealogy From Afar is the definitive book on the subject, and she has written many booklets which cover specific issues in French research. Her articles have appeared in BBC Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, Genealogists’ Magazine, Napoleonic Scholarship, and others.
She holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of California at Berkeley and has spent her working life in the management of, and research in, libraries and archives. She is currently writing a biographical dictionary of American mariners who were prisoners of war in Napoleonic France.
Ms. Morddel is an accomplished speaker and has given talks and workshops at the Society of Genealogists in London, at the Royal Institute for Public Administration, at University College London, as well as for the governments of Bermuda and Uganda, and for private organisations in Great Britain, The Hague, and Japan.
Course Schedule (all times U. S. Eastern)
6 October 2018
- 11:00am: “History and Development of Parish and Civil Registrations”: The purpose, structure and requirements of the registration of population data changed over the centuries of the Ancien Regime, through the Revolution and into modern times. What information was written, how and why are covered, as are the non-governmental registrations of populations such as the Jewish and Protestant peoples.
- 1:00pm: “Birth and Death Registrations”: While French death registrations normally provide very little information, birth registrations, particularly from the mid-nineteenth century onward, are often a rich source of detail. How to find, interpret and use this information is explained.
13 October 2018
- 11:00am: “Marriage Registrations”: French marriage registrations often run to two full pages in the registers, with a wealth of information. Their format is explained and examples are examined.
- 1:00pm: “Online resources and How to Use Them”: There are dozens of French websites of use to the genealogist, most of which are free to use. However, most are in France. This session discusses them and gives guidelines for the non-French speaker in how to navigate them.
Plus Session, 27 October 2018: “Extracting and Organizing the Information in Registrations to Build a Research Plan”: The information in French civil registrations is plentiful and significant. This extra hour explains how to extract and organize it to prepare a research plan, with reference to Elizabeth Shown Mills’s FAN concept.