Haute-Savoie, France Genealogy
Guide to Haute-Savoie, France ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
Haute-Savoie (English: Upper Savoy) is a department in the Rhône-Alpes region of France.
To the north of Haute-Savoie is the Swiss Canton of Geneva and Lake Geneva; to the east the Swiss Canton of Valais and Italy's Aosta Valley; to the west the French department of Ain (from which it is separated by the Rhône), and to the south the department of Savoie (from which it is divided by a line drawn across the plain of Albanais and the Bauges massif). The modern departments of Haute Savoie and Savoie comprise the "Pays de Savoie" (Savoy).
- 1 History
- 2 Online Church Records and Civil Registration
- 3 Newspapers
- 4 Archives and Libraries
- 5 Société Savoisienne d’Histoire et d’Archéologie
- 6 Mailing Lists
- 7 Websites
The modern departments of Savoie and Haute-Savoie were constituted on 12 June 1860 following the Treaty of Turin (24 March 1860) by which Savoy was ceded to France.
The County of Savoy was part of the first Burgundian kingdom, then the kingdom of Arles and then the Holy Roman Empire. In 1416 the county was raised in status to the Duchy of Savoy comprising parts of modern France (Savoie, Haute-Savoie and the port of Nice), Switzerland (cantons of Geneva and Vaud), and Italy (Valle d'Aosta, Piedmont and part of Liguria).
In the 16th century, Savoy was an Italian state and, after 1713, part of the kingdom of Sardinia.
In 1792 France annexed Savoy; in 1815 its territory was returned to Sardinia; in 1860 it was ceded to France by the Treaty of Turin.
Census records for the arrondissements of Bonneville, Saint-Julien-en-Genevois et Thonon-les-Bains before 1886 were destroyed following a narrow reading of a ministerial circular of 12 August 1887 requiring the culling of lists of names more than 6 years old. 
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 Haute-Savoie, where you will find these records.
Department Archives of Haute-Savoie
- 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.===How to Read the Records===
- For more instruction on using these records, see:
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.
- There is a three-lesson course in reading French Records:
A number of issues of newspapers which circulated in Haute-Savoie have been digitised and are searchable online at Rhône-Alpes News and Memory, a collaborative site serving the Rhône-Alpes region.
Newspapers in the Haute-Savoie region:
|Periodical name||place of publication||published from||until||frequency||comments|
|Croix de la Haute-Savoie||Annecy||1891||weekly|
|L'Echo du Mont-Blanc||Annecy||1848||1856||weekly||on-line|
|L’Indicateur de la Savoie||Annecy||1879||1914||weekly||on-line|
|Revue du Diocèse d'Annecy||Annecy||1882||weekly|
|Progrès de la Haute-Savoie||Annemasse||1898||weekly|
|Echo de Faucigny||Cluses|
|L'Ange et l'Orphelin||Douvaine||monthly|
|Journal du Commerce et de l'Agriculture||Rumilly-Albanais||1870||weekly|
|Echo du Léman||Thonon|
|Messager Agricole et la Zone Franche||Thonon||weekly|
Archives and Libraries
Most records of genealogical interest are held locally and not by the central National Archives.
The Departmental Archives for Haute-Savoie Archives départementales de Haute-Savoie) are located at 37 bis avenue de la Plaine, 74000 Annecy.
Family History Centers
The nearest Centers are:
- Annemasse France Family History Center
- Chambery France Family History Center
- Geneva Switzerland Family History Center
- Lausanne Switzerland Family History Center
- Yverdon Switzerland Family History Center
Société Savoisienne d’Histoire et d’Archéologie
The Savoisian Incorporated Association of History and Archaeology was formed in 1855 and incorporated in 1881. It publishes quarterly reference books, organizes conferences, seminars, public lectures, and study tours. It also maintains a large specialized library open to the public. It publishes a website (in French only).
The area of Haute-Savoie is covered by bilingual English-French mailing list for the Rhône-Alpes Region of France at Rootsweb.
A French language mailing list, GénéSavoie (généalogie en Savoie) serves those with a genealogical interest in Savoy covering both French departments of Haute-Savoie and Savoie.
- History, heritage, archives of Savoy (in French)
- Haute-Savoie Francegenweb
- Gazetteer for Haute-Savoie
- Marcel Dupuy, "Aperçu historique sur l'organisation territoriale des départements" ("Historical overview of the territorial organization of departments"), (1953) (Jan-Feb) 31 La Revue administrative, pp. 9-16 JStor accessed 1 Dec 2012.
- doc=accounts%2Fmnesys_cg74%2Fdatas%2Fir%2FArchives_modernes%2Frecensement%2FFRAD074_000000270%2Exml page_ref=71 unittitle=Recensements%20de%20la%20population%20de%20la%20Haute-Savoie& unitid=6%20M%20105-420 unitdate=1861-1936 Inventaire des recensements de la population de la Haute-Savoie, Departmental Archives of Haute-Savoie accessed 22 December 2012.
- L'Argus de la presse: Nomenclature des journaux, revues, périodiques français paraissant en France et en langue française à l'étranger, (1st ed. 1917, L'Argus, Paris), ISSN 20179618, Gallica, La Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) accessed 31 December 2012.