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.
[su_heading size="20"]Why Should I Use Parish Records?
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. *
[su_heading size="20"]The History of F…
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.
[su_heading size="20"]What If I Don't Speak French? [/su_heading]
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 A…
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