Paris, France Genealogy
|France Research Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
Guide to Paris ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
Originally 79 communities belonged to the Ancient Department "Seine", later the communities were divided between the Departments of Paris (75), Hauts-de-Seine (92) Seine-Saint-Denis (93)and Val-de-Marne (94).
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 Paris, where you will find these records.
Department Archives of Paris
Civil registration before 1860 was destroyed by a fire in 1871, but some have been reconstituted and the alphabetical cards are available on the site also.
- 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 determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
- Search the death registers for all known family members.
- Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
- If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.
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: