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I am a writer and professional genealogist from California living in France.
Interests: French genealogy, American seamen in France during the War of 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars.
Recent Activity
In our last post, we wrote of the ship documentation on the website of the Departmental Archives of Seine-Maritime. Generally, it covers the period of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for ships from Le Havre and Rouen, with many gaps.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
It used to be that, to research a person who sailed for North America or the French colonies from Le Havre, we had to go to the Departmental Archives of Seine-Maritime in Rouen to look at the microfilmed passenger lists.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
We have recently returned from a research junket at the Departmental Archives at Doubs. Besançon remains a very pleasant small city and the archives continue to improve their service. The indomitable Yvette, resident genealogist volunteer, continues to offer assistance to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
Henry, No, it is not possible to but a Livret de Famille at all. It is a formal document provided once and only once to a family by the mayor.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2016 on The Livret de Famille at The French Genealogy Blog
Thank you so much for this comment, Annick. I suspect there are many others who have made similar mistakes but who have not your courage to tell of them or intellectual integrity to correct them!
We do feel that it is time for some reminders to those of you researching your French ancestors, for we have been contacted by people hell-bent on thundering down the wrong track. When we have refused to join you on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
Hello, Ahna, You will need to find the name of a town where your ancestors lived in order for your research to proceed.
We have just received word from Monsieur M., who writes the excellent blog on Alsace, Elsasser Wurtzle, asking for help from our very own Dear Readers. He is researching the village of Pfaffans, once located in Alsace, from which a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
Hello William, Thank you for your comment. Even with the DNA results, your research must begin with documentation, beginning with yourself and working backward through the generations. When you reach a French ancestor, you can then begin your DNA comparisons. Good luck!
Toggle Commented Jul 4, 2016 on Who We Are at The French Genealogy Blog
Annick, Well done finding them! Many are very hard to trace.
Mary, Thank you for your comment. It is true that many young men in the post-Franco-Prussian War annexed territories of Alsace and Lorraine emigrated to escape German military service, but it is more complicated than that. Not all those in the regions despised the Germans. Many families spoke German and felt themselves to be more German than French or, more precisely, to be more Alsatian than either French or German. They spoke German at home, had German-sounding surnames, were Protestant, etc.. It is important to note that, while there were thousands of those from the regions who opted to leave and keep their French nationality ( so-called "Optants"), there were millions who stayed.
Following on from our last post about a young man who emigrated from France after he was ordered to report for his compulsory military service, we wish to explain why this was not at all uncommon. Conscription into the modern,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
We were pacing the espace d'attente, or waiting area, of our bank the other day, up and down in front of four uncomfortable plastic chairs. We picked up each of the tattered magazines and each of the shiny brochures encouraging... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
Cathy, Thank you so much for listening to the podcast. I am glad if you found it helpful. It was a lot of fun to do.
Thank you , Annick! Let's see what Bryna has to add.
Bryna O’Sullivan, the author of this post, is a US based professional genealogist and translator of French to English, specialising in U.S.-Canada, Luxembourg-American, and Connecticut genealogy, and in the translation of historic French documents. You can reach her online at... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
It is our goal to visit all of the different locations of the archives of the Service Historique de la Défense, for they really do contain so much that is so different from what is to be found in the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
On this happy journey, we returned to the Departmental Archives of Charente-Maritime, which we had visited previously. The fellow who had reprimanded us for our informality on that last visit was still there, still pushing his trolley, still saying no... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
We had a lovely chat recently with Sandra Goodwin of Maple Stars and Stripes, which you can listen to here. Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
Amazing! Thank you so much for this!
As with all archives in France, those of the Municipal Archives of La Rochelle are divided into two major groups: those records created before the establishment of a new form of government after the French Revolution, the Ancien régime, and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
We continue with our discussion of little delights discovered in the Municipal Archives of La Rochelle, which really is turning out to be a revelation of what sorts of things may be found in communal and municipal archives generally. Each... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog
Hello, Thank you for your message and for reading The French Genealogy Blog. Please forgive the automatic response. I am away for a couple of weeks. I shall respond as soon as I can on my return. Thank you. Best regards, Anne
Toggle Commented May 29, 2016 on Contact Us at The French Genealogy Blog
Monsieur L wrote this via our e-mail: "They were taken at all locations, we call them "Annual Pension" lists and we have followed some families year by year. Seeing how long a man was at sea or the families left and returned in other colonial attempts."
Further to our ecstasies in the Municipal Archives of La Rochelle, there are more lists of people living in La Rochelle who were refugees or deportees from Canada or, later, Saint Domingue and who were receiving government allowances. The list... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2016 at The French Genealogy Blog