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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
Well, Dear Readers, CNIL is having an "I told you so" moment on the question of what they like to call "recreational DNA testing". They have published a long, explanatory post on their position since the announcement by GlaxoSmithKline that... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The French Genealogy Blog
Many slightly belated wishes to all our Dear Readers for a good 2019 in what promises to be a roller coaster of a year here in France, it would seem. We are putting the final touches on our upcoming course... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The French Genealogy Blog
Kathleen, Thank you for commenting. It IS a tough process for non-French speakers. Very happy that you find the FGB helpful. Spread the word.
The proper name for this series in the Archives diplomatiques is Correspondance consulaire et commerciale (1793-1901) (CCC) and we have recently discovered that, in some cases, it is a dandy resource for researching French in foreign lands, especially: Bonapartists, after... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
Thank you for this comment, Cathy. So pleased to know that you are finding the FGB helpful.
Excellent discovery today, Dear Readers, excellent discovery. We began the day with a visit to our doctor on Avenue Paul Doumer, where last Saturday's rioters had smashed a few shop windows and burnt a car right in front of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
Thank you for this! The information has been added in the post above.
Thank you for this comment. To be sure, the FFG is a wonderful resource and not to be forgotten.
A brief update on crucial indexing resources becoming available to you Dear Readers, albeit in the most chaotic way imaginable. Recall that we have explained many times that France's birth, marriage and death registrations, whether parish or civil, are created... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
Tamara, From what I can find, the civil registers of Saint Pierre were destroyed by the 1902 eruption of Pelée, as were those of Ajoupa-Bouillon, Basse-Pointe, Carbet, Case-Pilote, Grand-Rivière, Gros-Morne, Lorrain, Macouba, Marigot, Prêcheur, Le Robert, Sainte-Marie, and Trinité. I am afraid that what is on the ANOM website is all that there is.
What a lovely comment, Cathy. Thank you!
Cherith Chapman-Flowerday read our posts about the excellent genealogy tourism offerings of Montbéliard and planned her voyage. She tells of the adventure in today's guest post. If you have roots in Pays de Montbéliard, France, then it is the best... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
As those of you who have worked on this group will know already, this is a difficult patch of research territory. Briefly, because of their beliefs, their language differences (generally, they spoke German rather than French), and their separateness from... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
Oh, this is a tough one, Dear Readers, a very tough one, indeed, and through no fault of the expert archivists and their extremely busy staff. It is merely that the collections held here are from such a jumbled history... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
Mr. McCabe, Thank you for your comment. Many apologies if you have seen reason to take offense. Perhaps it is caused by a misunderstanding of my use of the first person plural voice for this blog, so I will refrain from doing so for this reply. Firstly, as to whether survivors of a war (or their children or grandchildren) have the right endlessly to badger those they helped, demanding personal favours and satisfaction which they justify with the sacrifice of those who fought is something I find reprehensible. War is terrible. People died on all sides. Decades later, to use their deaths to try to coerce anything from anyone, to rake up something so painful and horrific as death in battle for something so trivial, by comparison, as the hobby of genealogy is, in my opinion, immoral and disrespectful to the memory of those who died. Secondly, "the major DNA sites" are all American and all commercial. Why would they respect French laws? Why would the French expect them to do so? Conversely, why would the French follow American laws or customs? French law applies in France and it is written for the French. I cannot and do not attempt to speak for the French government; I merely attempt to explain French genealogy to English speakers here. To my understanding, There are many French people who are campaigning to have DNA testing for genealogical purposes be allowed but the laws, to date, have not changed. French law does place a high value on privacy (much higher than American law does) and I imagine that, even if French lawmakers ever did allow the establishment of French websites that would host and link French peoples' DNA test results, they would probably require the blocking of details about not only living people but about deceased people going back a couple of generations. This would protect the living from being indirectly identified (via a cousin or grandparent, for example, as has been done recently in the US to identify long-sought criminals). However, this only my guess as to what approach the French lawmakers might take. As I say, I cannot speak for them. Thirdly, you have misunderstood my use of a general, all-inclusive, first person plural. When I wrote, above, "Passionate as we may be about our family history..." I was not speaking for the French government or for French society. I was speaking in general terms. It could have been written: "Passionate as everyone may be about their family history, their desire to know more does not, in the eyes of French law, give them the right to invade a French person's privacy." I did not write it that way because the modern use of the third person plural in order to avoid having to choose a gender in the singular leads to such bad grammar (as in that revised version of the sentence, which should use the third person singular, either he or she, and not their) that I cannot bear to use it. Thus, in spite of the occasional misunderstandings,(as in your case and for which I apologize again), I will continue to write in the first person plural as it is, at least grammatically, correct, in order not to make a grammatical hash with mingled third person singular and plural usage. I do hope that this clarifies things a bit. Thank you again for your comment.
Hello, Thank you for commenting. You will have to contact the directors of ANOM to find out why the records that you want have not yet been digitized. There is a contact page on their website.
Well, Dear Readers, we may have met our match, being the staff of an archive facility to dampen our enthusiasm. We sauntered in to the Archives municipales de Colmar on a cold and sunny Monday afternoon. The reading room was... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
Quelle luxe! This is a wonderfully spacious facility, albeit quite far out of town (take bus number 4). There are large tables, each with electrical outlets for the fiendish tangle of chargers with which we are all now encumbered, with... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
At the Lunéville salon, we had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with the genealogist, Sandrine Roux-Morand, owner of Au Delà des Racines, who specializes in Alsace-Lorraine research, especially into the Protestant and Jewish families of the region. This is... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
One of the main reasons that we attended the salon in Lunéville was in the hope that there might be a group dedicated to the research of the Mennonites of the region, but no. Nevertheless, the hunt for associations of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
France does not have one of those national, gigantic genealogy gatherings on the scale of a National Genealogy Society Annual Conference or a RootsTech. This is for two reasons, we posit: firstly, there is a strong opposition among family historians... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
This has to be one of the saddest and most neglected of all the archives facilities we ever have visited. It is clear that municipal archives have not yet landed on France’s golden list of improvement projects. A dozen cities... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
Oh, Dear Readers, apologies all round. Has The FGB ever endured such a hiatus? We cannot recall one so long but for those of you who attended our online course, we do hope that you feel that the silence here... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
Our most recent long silence is due to our refining and perfecting the lectures we will be giving online via the VIGR, entitled First Steps in French Genealogy. We will explain in detail over four lectures how to begin your... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2018 at The French Genealogy Blog
Hello, David, Thank you for your comment. From what I have read "all trace of the Protestants in Metz before the Revolution was destroyed with the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685". Additionally, most inner city cemeteries in France were dug up and moved to outside of the city limits during the 19th century as part of a public health programme. Lastly, in France, graves that are not maintained, that fall into serious disrepair, are emptied, the bones moved to an ossuary, and the plot resold. All in all, I think it very unlikely that you would find a Huguenot grave in Metz. Let me know if you do! Have a nice visit.