Ethnic Heritage Toolkits

By Family Tree Editors Premium


Beginner’s Guide to Researching Your French Ancestry

<> This article from About. com walks you through the different kinds of records you can use to fill in your French family tree.

Bibliotheque Nationale de France

<> Search the National Library of France’s holdings online.

CimGenWeb Database

<> All you need is a keyword to use this French-language database of cemetery inscriptions. Part of the FranceCenWeb project, the database entries list name, cemetery, dates of birth and death and anything else found on a headstone.

Creating French Culture

<> US Library of Congress exhibit on French history and culture.

<> French news, culture and travel links.

France Genealogy Links

<> Many of the pages linked to here are in French, but if you can read the language (or have a good dictionary on hand), you’ll find a mix of genealogical data and historical background. Links include databases of pre-1900 marriage records, those guillotined in the French Revolution, emigrants to Quebec, medieval genealogy and royal lines.

Franco-Gene Denis Beauregard’s site for Franco-American and Canadian genealogy provides Web pages and contacts for more than 1,000 names. It also offers mailing lists, message boards, links and professional researchers for various regions of the Francophone world.

French Letter-Writing Guide

< French.html> If you don’t parlez francais, don’t worry.’s guide walks you through the process of addressing and formulating a request letter for French records.


<> Search databases of French civil records by department; marriage records by keyword, name or place; and more than 92,000 soldiers who received the St-Helene’s medal by name. All text is in French.

Genealogical Word List: French

<> Lists of French words and their translations are grouped by category. There’s also a short grammar primer on gender, spelling and accent marks.

Genealogy Resources on the Internet — France Mailing Lists

<> Mailing list links for special interest groups, overseas departments and 95 French districts.

Index of Towns

<> Robert Chenard’s compilation lists French town names alphabetically, followed by the department where it’s located today, its old province and how far it is from the closest major city.


<> The English version of French Web guide Karolus has helpful articles about genealogical research in France.

National Archives of Canada

<> Search for your French-Canadian ancestors using Archi-viaNet, a collection of online databases including 1.2 million files created by agencies of the Canadian government. Search results provide descriptions of the documents and tell how to find them if you visit the archives.

Online French-English Dictionary


Les Pages Jaunes

<> Use the French Yellow Pages site to search both business and residential telephone directories.

Research Outline: France

<> Offers step-by-step instructions and research strategies and discusses every type of genealogical record, immigration, heraldry, language, names and more.

Research Outline: French Republican Calendar

<> During its 18th-century revolution, France adopted a new calendar that was used in all government records. It marked time by the birth of the Republic and devised an entirely new set of months. This outline decodes the calendar and has tables for converting dates.

Roots Web’s Guide to Tracing Family Trees Lesson 24

<> RootsWeb’s primer gives you the lowdown on finding Canadian, French-Canadian, French and Acadian roots. Besides practical advice, the lesson also provides links for each group.

1755: The French and Indian War

<> Genealogists will be most interested in the list of soldiers who fought in the war; the site also has a history of the conflict and a bibliography of resources.


Beginning Franco American Genealogy by Rev. Dennis M. Boudreau (American French Genealogical Society)

Guide to Quebec Catholic Parishes and Published Parish Marriage Records by Jeanne Sauve White (Clearfield Co.)

Huguenot Genealogies: A Selected Primary List by Arthur Louis Finnell (Clearfield Co.)

Immigrants to America from France and Western Switzerland, 1859-1866 by Clifford Neal Smith (Westland Publications)

In Search of Your Canadian Roots, 3rd edition by Angus Baxter (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

The New Orleans French, 1720-1733: A Collection of Marriage Records Relating to the First Colonists of the Louisiana Province by Winston De Ville (Genealogical Publishing Co., out of print)

Permanent Parisians: An Illustrated Guide to the Cemeteries of Paris by Judi Culbertson and Tom Randall (Walker & Co., out of print)

• Tracing Our French Roots by Miriam Sagan (John Muir Publications, out of print)


American-Canadian Genealogical Society

Box 6478 Manchester, NH 03108 <> Publishes American-Canadian Genealogist. Its site outlines membership criteria, research services, activities and library resources.

American French Genealogical Society

Box 2113 Pawtucket, Rl 02861 (401) 765-6141 <> Publishes Je Me Souviens newsletter, plus birth, marriage and baptism compilations. At the AFGS site, you’ll find contact information for all its members, descriptions of its library materials, explanation of French genealogy-related terms and more useful links.

Acadian Cultural Society

Box 2304 Fitchburg, MA 01420 <> Publishes Le Reveil Acadien. Highlights of its Web site are a brief history of the Acadians, a surname list and Acadian links.

Bibliothèque Gènèalogiqueet ds’Histoire Social

3 rue deTurbigo 75001 Paris, France 01 42 33 58 21 <> Paris’ Genealogy and Social History Library exemplifies France’s meticulous record keeping. You can request copies of material from its family studies, microfilms, periodicals, civil and parish registers by writing to the library. (You may make up to three requests per letter; the fee is 20 French francs.) An English Web page is in the works, but you can easily search the site now to see if the library has a name you’re looking for.

National Huguenot Society

9033 Lyndale Ave. S. #108 Bloomington, MN 55420 (612) 885-9776 <> A list of documented Huguenot ancestors is on the site, along with many other online resources and publications.

Embassy of France

4101 Reservoir Road NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 944-6000 <>
From the Winter 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine

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