France - Death - 1539-1791Edit This Page

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1. Parish Register, Death: Church records

Beginning about 1539, churches required their clergy to keep burial records. The burial record may include death dates. Information found in a burial depends on how detailed the minister made his record.

What you are looking for
Before civil registers began, church burial records were the best source for determining when a person died. They included nearly everyone in the community and identified the complete name of the deceased.

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

2. 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
If church burial records are not available, church christening records were the best source for determining when a person died. In the christening record next to the person's name, the minister may put the symbol of a cross and death date, showing they died. When the father or mother appears in the christening records with a different spouse, it means the former spouse died the previous year.

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.

3. Parish Register, Marriage: Church records
Beginning in 1539, churches required their clergy to keep marriage records. If the father or mother appear in the marriage record with a new spouse, it can be estimated that the first spouse died about a year before. These records can be used when death and burial records are not available.

What you are looking for
Couples were married when they were in their twenties and thirties. Second and third marriages may occur anytime after that. If transcript christening records do not exist, parish marriage records are the best source for determining when a person died. When the father or mother appears in the marriage records with a different spouse, it means the former spouse died the previous year.

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.

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

What you are looking for
When parish marriage 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 notarial 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.
  • This page has been accessed 1,083 times.