Charente, France Genealogy

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Guide to Charente, France ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

History

Charente is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from the former province of Angoumois.

Communes

Online Church Records and Civil Registration

The vast majority of your research will be in church records and civil registration. Fortunately, these records are available online from the archives of each department.

Finding Church Records and Civil Registration Online

Each Department of France has archives that provide digitized images of these records.
Here is the website for the Department Archives of Charente, where you will find these records.

  • Registres paroissiaux (parish registers)
  • Registres d'état civil (civil registration)
  • Censuses (recensements)

See Using France Online Department Archives for step by step instructions on finding and reading these records.

Search Strategy

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and search for their birth records.
  • Search the death registers for all family members.
  • Then repeat the whole process for both the father and the mother.
  • If earlier generations are not in the record, search neighboring parishes.


How to Read the Records

Learning to Read Enough French to Do Genealogy

  • It's easier than you think! You do not have to be fluent in French to use these records, as there is only a limited vocabulary used in them. By learning a few key phrases, you will be able to read them adequately. Here are some resources for learning to read French records.
French Genealogical Word List
French Handwriting.
  • There is a three-lesson course in reading French Records:
Reading French Handwritten Records Lesson 1: The French Alphabet,
Reading French Handwritten Records Lesson 2: Key Words and Phrases
Reading French Handwritten Records Lesson 3: Reading French Records

Societies

Family History Centers

Introduction to Family History Centers

Centre d' Histoire Familiale d'Angoulême
21 rue Hassel prolongée, Angle rue du père Marquette
16000 ANGOULEME, FRANCE
Telephone:+33 5-4561-2524

Centre d' Histoire Familiale de Perigueux
148 rue Combe des Dames
2400 PERIGUEUX, FRANCE
Telephone:+33 (0)5 53 09 01 55

Centre d' Histoire Familiale de Bergerac
74 Rue Pozzi
24100 BERGERAC,FRANCE
Telephone:+33 0-5636-34502

Centre d' Histoire Familiale de Lormont
Rue Condorcet
33310 LORMONT, FRANCE
Telephone: +33 5-56 74-8684

Websites