French Parish Registers Online

French Parish Registers (FR: Registres paroissiaux) are church records of births, marriages, and burials in France and many of these French Parish Registers are now available for free, online.   Parish records predate government or civil records of births, marriages, and deaths and are often the only available record of these events.   In 1792, after the French Revolution, when the law prescribed that civil records of births, marriages, and deaths be kept and banned priests from keeping these records (between 20 September 1792 and 8 April 1802), some priests continued to secretly record baptisms, marriages, and burials and many of these registers have been preserved. These registers can provide valuable information - and open new avenues for research in case of blockages - with the mention of godparents, witnesses of religious marriage, burial. *   Parishes were the basic unit of church organization and also functioned in later years as a level of gove…
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French Archives

  French Archives Online   The French Archives are available online and their collections (fonds) are being digitized rapidly so if you check back from month to month you will see new collections online. The Archives of France linked to below are Departmental Archives. The country of France is divided into administrative regions called Departments and these are numbered in alphabetical order. Each French Department has an archive with genealogy records.       If you use Google Chrome as your internet browser, it will automatically translate most of these sites to your default search language and you'll have the option to see the original language, French, if you choose. Additionally, some websites give you the option to translate to another language. Here's a free French Genealogical Wordlist from FamilySearch. Here's an amazing French Glossary of Terms from the Departmental Archives of Vendée (Department 85). Many of these French Archiv…
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AncestryDNA Updated Ethnicity Estimates

AncestryDNA released new ethnicity estimates today, so if you've tested, be sure to log in and see how your ethnicity estimate has changed.   The best part is they allow you to compare your updated estimate to your previous estimate, so you can visualize the changes. (Use the toggle switch at the bottom of the ethnicity estimate to move between your new and old figures.)         Why did my AncestryDNA Ethnicity Estimate change?   If you're wondering why your Ethnicity Estimate changed, part of the reason is an improved reference database with which they can compare DNA samples.

"We have better tools for telling regions apart, especially closely related regions like Ireland and Great Britain. We also have 16,000 reference samples now instead of 3,000, which helps screen out less-likely regions. ...We determine your ethnicity estimate by comparing your DNA to samples of DNA from people who have a long histor…

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