France, Coutances et d'Avranche Diocese, Catholic Parish Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at


Title in the Language of the Records

Image Visibility

Publication of French records at is authorized by the French Commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL). CNIL does not allow publication of sensitive data below 150 years. Images for additional years may be viewed on microfilm and through other mediums.

Microfilms and microfiche are available for viewing at your nearest FamilySearch Center. For information see: Ordering Microfilm or Microfiche.

You may request a digital copy of items found in the Family History Library Catalog. For information see: 

The archives of France (in French)

Record Description

This Collection will include records from 1533 to 1906.

Name index and images of Catholic parish registers recording events of baptism, marriage and burial in the Diocese of Coutances et d'Avranche. Parishes within this diocese are within the boundaries of the department of Manche.

Entries were made in chronological order, with the records being written in Latin. Confirmations were not consistently recorded.

Publication of French records is authorized by the French commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL). The French commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL) does not allow publication of sensitive data within the past 150 years.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Catholic parishes in France. Parish registers, Catholic Diocesan Archives, Coutances, France.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

These baptismal records may include the following information:

France Catholic Baptism and Burial.jpg
  • Date and place of baptism
  • Birth date of child
  • Name and gender of child
  • Legitimacy of child
  • Names of parents
  • Names of grandparents of child
  • Names of godparents of child

These marriage records may include the following information:

France Catholic Marriage.jpg
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Marital status of the bride and groom
  • Names of groom's parents
  • Names of bride's parents
  • Names of the witnesses and their relationship to the bride and groom
  • Publication dates of the marriage proclamations ("banns")

These burial records may include the following information:

  • Name and age of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Names of parents of deceased or
  • Name of spouse
  • Names of witnesses (sometimes)

How to Use the Records

Parish registers are the best source for identifying individuals, parents, and spouses in France before 1792. Civil registration began in September 1792; after this date, civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths is equally important. The information recorded in the parish registers confirms the information found in the civil registers.
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Township" category
⇒Select the "Parish" category
⇒Select the "Year Range" category which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Known Issues with This Collection

If you encounter additional problems, please email them to Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

French Genealogy & Family History 

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We especially need language translations for both content and images. For specific needs, please look for callout boxes throughout the article or visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"France, Coutances Catholic Diocese, 1802-1907," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 April 2012), Marie Louise Henry, baptism 11 April 1856; citing Catholic parishes in France. Parish registers, Catholic Diocesan Archives, Coutances, France.


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