Want to investigate your family history? To discover a known ancestor or simply to find a loved one? Whatever your goal, you have decided to build your family tree and list your ancestors. However, faced with the magnitude of the task and, despite your good will, you are lost, unable to know where to start. Here are all the places, from archives to libraries, to websites, where you can get valuable information.
If the quest for origins fascinates the French, many do not know where to start their research. First, you can count on civil status and parish registers to provide you with a solid database. Thanks to them, you will have, in your hands, the names of your ancestors, but also the follow-up of the filiation links. Birth, marriage and death certificates will be available to guide you in your research. It is possible to consult the civil status registers free of charge through the departmental archive sites.
Each department has its own archives. To find yours, you must navigate to the website of the Departmental Archives of your department of birth. Then all you have to do is enter the name of the municipality of your choice, then the type of act you want to consult.
The Filae site can also offer you another alternative since you can view the acts of all departments there. By offering an indexed version of civil status, it allows you to carry out a search based on a date, a name or a place. However, this service is chargeable, unlike the archives.
To help you, the population census, but also the different types of archives are available to make your job easier. You can consult the notarial archives to observe signed contracts and documents relating to an estate.
The conscription archives will allow you, at the same time, to follow the military career of ancestors who completed their military service. Tax records, but also judicial records will also be essential if doubts remain or if certain areas of research remain unclear. Do not neglect the electoral lists, which are kept in the town hall and in the departmental archives.
True wells of information, the Mormons systematically carry out their genealogy by religious duty. They thus safeguarded the world’s archival heritage and obtained authorization to microfilter old archives. Genealogists around the world therefore turn to Salt Lake City, where civil status records from a hundred countries are stored.
The FamilySearch company was also created and today counts more than 4 billion surnames. Telephone assistance is available 24 hours a day and the service remains free of charge. As its leader explains to Archimag, “millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history.”
Hundreds of associations where genealogy enthusiasts exchange regularly now exist. They almost all have regional or departmental bases and are located throughout France. Being part of an association will open up new research perspectives and allow you to be supported in your efforts. You can get closer to one of them by consulting the directory of genealogy associations.
In some cases, you can also seek the help of a professional genealogist. Thanks to his specialization in the field, he will be able to search with more precision for your ancestors or your descendants. The Chamber of Professional Genealogists can thus help you and carry out, for you, a complete genealogy according to your request.