French Made
7/1/2008
Are your roots intertwined with the long, colorful tapestry of France's history? Use this five-step guide to unravel your généalogie française.

 
Despite our countries' recent political differences (freedom fries, anyone?), France holds a certain romance for Americans — the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Élysées, the sun-drenched lavender fields of Provence, the glamorous Riviera, haute couture, rich chocolate confections and world-renowned wines...oh la la!

For Americans with French ancestry, that je ne sais quoi makes genealogy all the more alluring. Just imagine the history and culture your forebears witnessed. Lucky for you, the process of tracing your French roots isn't literally indescribable: Follow the five research steps we've outlined, and say bonjour to your family tree.

1. Brush up on background.