Over the past twenty years, genealogy has experienced considerable growth as dematerialization and access to digital resources facilitate research procedures. Thousands of French people are now keen on this discipline and hope to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors to find a famous ascendant or simply better understand their family heritage.
To start your family tree, family testimonies and writings are your first source of information. They are an obvious and valuable starting point to begin your research and try to disclose part of your past. First, you can consult all the documents at your disposal, from civil status to birth certificates, including family books or announcements. Your close entourage will be an important interlocutor since it will allow you to obtain as much information as possible about your ancestors.
In a second step, investigations with the town halls will be necessary and will offer you the possibility of tracing two or three generations of history. The departmental archives will also be an important source of information, where you can consult civil status records. Birth and marriage certificates are thus kept and available on site 75 years after the register is closed. They are also published online after 100 years. Do not hesitate to contact the departmental archivists, who will be able to help you in your research.
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While the business of some genealogists could be hampered by distance or administrative slowness, the Internet boom has transformed the research of enthusiasts. In France, French people can now freely consult civil status registers and many sites support their procedures, such as Geneawiki.com or Guide-genealogie.com. Perfect for supervising beginners, they offer an ideal panorama of archives to begin your research. The familysearch.org platform is also an excellent tool for consulting genealogical resources.
Software and applications have, in parallel, been created to complete the genealogical offer. You can, for example, turn to the online Family Tree Creator application to view all the collected data in the form of a family tree. Fully translated into French and free, the application works without registration and allows you to enter an unlimited number of generations. You can then save it to your computer in the format of your choice or save it online, where it can be consulted at any time.