France - Birth - 1539-1791Edit This Page

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'1.'Baptism: Church records

Beginning in 1539, many churches required their clergy to keep christening (or baptism) records. The records may include birth dates. Information may be recorded on or after the date of birth. Information found in a christening depends on how detailed the minister made his record.

What you are looking for
Before civil registers began, church christening records were the best source for determining when a person was born.

Why go to the next record
Not all of the French christening records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

'2.'Parish Register, Marriage: Church records
Beginning in 1792, the government required civil registrars to keep marriage records. Usually these records included more information than the church marriage records that were kept during the same time.

What you are looking for
Couples were married when they were in their twenties and thirties. Marriage records may not give a birth or christening date, but they give the age of the bride and groom, making it possible to determine their approximate birth years.

Why go to the next record
Not all parish marriage records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

'3.'Parish Register, Death: Church records
Beginning about 1539, churches required their clergy to keep burial records. Before civil registration began, the government required churches to submit a copy of these records. They give the age or date of birth of the deceased which can be used when birth and christening records are not available. These records may not begin the same year for every parish.

What you are looking for
When parish marriage records do not exist, parish burial records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Burial records may not give a birth or christening date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.

Why go to the next record
Not all parish burial records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

'4.'Probates: Notarial records
The district court's probate records may provide information about the birth, marriage, and death of an individual. They may also help identify all the members of a family.

What you are looking for
When parish burial records do not exist, probate records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Probate records may not give a birth or christening date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.

Why go to the next record
Not all probate records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

'5.'List of Officers: Military records
District military records provide the date and place of officers in the army. The name of the father and his occupation may also be given. These records may also provide marriage and death information.

What you are looking for
When probate records do not exist, military records are the best source for determining when a male person was born. Military records may not give a birth date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his approximate birth year.

Why go to the next record
Not all military records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.


 

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  • This page was last modified on 5 September 2008, at 07:16.
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