Ille-et-Vilaine, France Genealogy
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Guide to Ille-et-Vilaine ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
Church Records and Civil Registration Online
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 Ille-et-Vilaine, where you will find these records.
Click on "Registres paroissiaux et état civil" icon.
- 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 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.
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 handwriting in old 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
These lessons focus on reading church record and civil registration records:
Another resource is the French Records Extraction Manual, Full Manual. Much more is covered, but these first four lessons are especially useful.
- Chapter 1: OLD FRENCH RECORDS
- Chapter 2: PARISH CHRISTENING AND CIVIL BIRTH ENTRIES
- Chapter 3: MARRIAGE ENTRIES
- Chapter 4: OTHER ENTRIES
- Chapter 5: FRENCH HANDWRITING AND SPELLING