France, Finistère, Quimper et Léon Diocese, Catholic Parish Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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France, Quimper et Léon Diocese, Catholic Parish Records, 1772-1894 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Finistère, France
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Location of Finistère, France
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Record Description
Record Type: Catholic Parish Records
Collection years: 1772-1894
Languages: French, Latin
Title in the Language: France, Quimper et Léon diocèse, registres des paroisses catholiques, 1772-1894
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Paroisses, Quimper et Léon Diocèse, Finistère


What is in this Collection?

This collection consists of church records from Diocese of Quimper et Léon for the years 1772-1894. This collection is currently being published alphabetically by parish name, so additions to the collection will follow as other parishes are published in the future.

In 1539, François I issued the edict of Villers-Cotterêts, which required the Catholic Church to record baptisms. In 1579 the edict of Blois required the church in France to register marriages and burials. In 1667, the Code Louis required that two copies of the registers be kept, with one deposited at the bailliage.

In earlier years, separate registers were maintained for baptisms, marriages, and burials, but by the end of the seventeenth century entries for the separate ordinances were generally intermingled. By the latter half of the nineteenth century, pre-printed forms began to be used with the date and names written in by the officiating priest.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for France, Quimper et Léon Catholic Diocese, 1772-1894.

Collection Content

The index to this collection refers to baptism, marriage, and burial records. Baptismal record entries are the most common in the index, followed by burial records, with marriage records constituting the smallest portion.

Sample Images

Click on images for a larger view.

What Can This Collection Tell Me?

The following lists indicate potential information given in each type of record. It must be remembered that every record may not provide all the listed information, as the procedures for keeping parish records evolved considerably over the centuries. It must also be noted that individual parishes often developed record-keeping traditions unique to themselves.

Baptismal Records may contain:

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Birth date of child
  • Name and gender of child
  • Legitimacy of child
  • Names of parents
  • Names of grandparents
  • Names of godparents

Marriage Records may include:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Previous marital status (this could be “previously unmarried” or be “widow” or “widower.”
  • Their residences and ages
  • 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 banns (This usually occurred three separate times before the marriage, allowing people to state any objections to the marriage.)
  • Women are always identified by their maiden name.

Burial Records may include:

  • Date and place of burial
  • Date and place of death
  • Name of deceased
  • Age of deceased
  • Names of their parents (if unmarried) or name of the spouse
  • Names of witnesses and with their relationship to the deceased

How Do I Search the Collection?

Before beginning a search in these records, it is best to know the full name of the individual in question, as well as an approximate time range for the desired record. When entered into the search engine on the Collection Page, this information provides the quickest, most reliable path to finding the correct person. Of course, other information can be substituted as necessary.

Search by Name by Visiting the Collection Page

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page to return a list of possible matches. Compare the individuals on the list with what is already known to find the correct family or person. This step may require examining multiple individuals before a match is located.

View Images in This Collection by Visiting the Browse Page

⇒ Click the Browse through images link on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the appropriate Department
⇒ Select the appropriate Township
⇒ Select the appropriate Parish
⇒ Select the appropriate Record Type and Year Range to go to the images

Compare the information found on the images with what is already known determine if a particular record relates to the correct person. This process may require examining multiple records before the correct person is located.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference; see below for assistance in citing this collection. Save or print a copy of the image if possible.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the age listed in the record to estimate a year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's vital records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which individual is correct. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, occupation, or names of parents, to determine which candidate is the correct person. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records.
  • Check for variants of given names and surnames. For much of the period of this collection, spelling was not standardized; pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation. Simple clerical errors were also always possible. Furthermore, individuals were often listed under a middle name, nickname, or abbreviation of their given name. For women, remember that it was not uncommon to revert to a maiden name after the death of a husband.
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches. Alternatively, try expanding the date range; this is especially useful in searching baptismal records, as it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth.
  • Search the records of nearby parishes. While it was uncommon for an individual in this period to move more than about 20 miles from their place of birth, smaller relocations were not uncommon. Note that marriages usually took place in the parish where the bride resided.
  • Look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description, if possible.

For additional help searching online collections see FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

Citing this Collection

Citing sources correctly makes it easier to refer back to information that has already been discovered; proper citations are therefore indispensable to keeping track of genealogical research. Following established formulae in formatting citations also allows others to verify completed research by helping them find and examine records for themselves.

To be of use, citations must include information such as the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records, if available. The following examples demonstrate how to present this information for both this particular collection as well as individual records and images within the collection:


Collection Citation:

"France, Finistère, diocèse de Quimper et Léon, registres paroissiaux, 1772-1894." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Paroisses, Quimper et Léon Diocèse, Finistère (parishes, Quimper at Léon Diocese, Finistère).

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for France, Quimper et Léon Catholic Diocese, 1772-1894.


Image Citation

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for France, Quimper et Léon Catholic Diocese, 1772-1894.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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